Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Could you introduce yourself and explain your role in the project?
Hello, my name is Vincent Pontbriand and I’m the producer of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.
On which platforms will Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood be available?
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood will be available on X360, PS3 and PC.
Who is in charge of the development?
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is being developed by Montreal’s core team who worked previously on the first two titles of the franchise.
Patrice Desilets is the Brand Creative Director and oversees the direction of the game.
How is Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood linked with Assassin’s Creed 2?
The game starts right where Assassin’s Creed 2 ended and follows Ezio and Desmond as they continue the fight against the Templars. Ezio will have to lead the fight in Rome and there will be major events that will bring Desmond to unprecedented places.
What is the synopsis of the game? How is it linked with AC2?
The game starts right where Assassin’s Creed 2 ended, following Ezio and Desmond as they lead the fight against the Templars. In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Ezio Auditore will no longer be driven by a quest to avenge the murders of his father and brothers. The stakes are much higher now as he journeys into Rome, the center of Borgia power, greed and corruption. Defeating the corrupt tyrants entrenched there will require more than strength and leadership, Ezio must rebuild the very foundations of Rome. At stake is not only the city, but the Assassin brotherhood. Lose this fight and all of Italy will fall, succeed and a new Renaissance will emerge.
What can you tell us about the cast of characters for this new title?
Many of the characters that players enjoyed in AC2 are back in AC Brotherhood. First off, Ezio Auditore, our praised master assassin who players saw evolve in Assassin’s Creed 2, will face his most formidable threat to date. Ezio will rise to the occasion by building a brotherhood directly in the heart of the Templars stronghold, Rome. This seasoned assassin is now a legend, feared and fearless, introspective, wise and mature, leader to his assassin's brotherhood.
The Pope, Rodrigo Borgia, will reappear in AC2. Arrogant, manipulative, greedy, Rodrigo is a corrupt figurehead, controlled by his son…
Historical characters Leonardo Da Vinci and Machiavelli also return and will both play roles in Ezio's dealings in Rome. There are many of AC2’s cherished characters that will come back in AC Brotherhood.
There are also new key characters in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. This time around, Ezio will be faced with a most formidable enemy: Cesare Borgia, the pope’s son. Cesare is commanding, fearless, cocky, a fighter, and an army man. Ezio's true nemesis, he represents the biggest challenge that Ezio has faced to date. Ezio will need to use all his assassin skills in order to overcome this new menace.
Why did you decide to go to Rome for the next installment of the franchise? What new elements does Rome bring to the Assassin’s Creed universe?
As in the previous games in the franchise, we wanted to make sure that we chose a critical moment in history; a place of significance, dynamism and renewal.
Rome in the 1500s was considered the center of the world. The religious and political power of Italy was concentrated in Rome. At the beginning of the 15th century, Rome had not yet entered the Italian Renaissance and was behind cities such as Florence and Venice. In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Ezio will play a major in bringing the Renaissance to Rome.
In terms of scope, Rome is the biggest city ever created in an Assassin’s Creed game and is the richest city in terms of architecture and landmarks (Coliseum, Pantheon, Castel San Angelo Etc.). At the beginning of the 16th century, Rome has about 2000 years of history and has seen many civilizations rise and fall under its rule. Rome offers a variety of architectural types: Antique, medieval and Renaissance architecture. There will be 5 major districts in Rome - Vatican, Downtown, Tiber, Country, Antique - each will have its own personality and will cover a huge area.
Was Rome in ruins at the beginning of the game…?
At the beginning of the 16th century which is where the game starts, Rome is very different than what we know of it today. The city is practically in ruins and the wealth and power is concentrated in the Vatican. The leaders of Rome and Italy do not share the wealth, nor do they invest in the city. The Templars rule the Vatican and have literally created an impenetrable fortress of it.
After getting feedback from our players, one of the most surprisingly satisfying experiences in AC2 was upgrading the Auditore stronghold at Monteriggioni and watching the environment evolve accordingly. The evolving environments of AC2, such as the new look of Venice during Carnival, was one of AC2’s most charming strengths. For Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, we wanted to extend the property upgrade system in a logical and exciting direction. This time around, Rome is the new Monterigionni.
At the beginning of the game, Ezio travels to Rome and will need to strengthen the assassin’s guild with new members and weaken the Borgias corrupted leaders. To align the people of Rome to his cause and to assemble a force strong enough, Ezio will invest in the city and bring back the wealth to its people. Players investing their hard- earned money in Rome will see the fruit of their actions and be able to unlock many features, such as factions, and missions. The player will get to see Rome evolve and embrace the Renaissance based on their in-game investments. As a feature, this is fully integrated in the storyline and the player will see Rome and Ezio progress simultaneously throughout the game.
How has Ezio evolved from AC2 to AC Brotherhood after all that he has gone through? What are his main motivations this time around?
Answered by Jeffrey Yohalem: Scriptwriter
In AC2, Ezio was driven by a desire for vengeance against the murders of his father and brothers. This quest ultimately brought him into the Assassin order, but he was on his own, fighting primarily his own battles and the Assassins aided him.
This time around, Ezio has matured, he is more than 40 years old; he sees a much bigger picture. Ezio will become a leader, someone who unites the struggling Assassin order against the forces of the Borgia and the Templars. Rome will become a safe haven for the Assassins, the beginning of a Renaissance for the Assassin order. This will be Ezio’s legacy and he’s taking it seriously.
Ezio will now lead a brotherhood. How is the brotherhood implemented in the story and game play?
As Ezio progresses throughout the story, he chooses certain characters to join his brotherhood. As he recruits new novice assassin members, Ezio will be able to send them on assignments. As they perform assignments, the novice assassins will gain experience and will progress to become master assassins. These assignments will be given by Ezio using a unique animus interface. Ezio will be able to customize his assassins and give them specific weapons.
When they are not gone on assignments, Ezio will be able to call his assassins from anywhere and at anytime to help him complete his mission. When activated, the brotherhood emerges and will help Ezio to kill guards. Depending on the weapon Ezio equipped them with, they will fight differently. If Ezio equips them with crossbow, they will shoot from a distance, if they have swords, they will fight in close combat etc. Ezio will learn to become a leader while still perfecting his skill and progressing himself towards being a better assassin.
What changes have you brought to the fighting system for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood?
Answered by Patrick Plourde: Lead game designer
For Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood we decided to change the dynamics of the fight system: we want the player to take the offensive.
To achieve this, we are giving the player new moves and mechanics (like the Kick, Combos Strings, linking Range and melee attacks etc.) to quickly take care of multiple opponents.
To raise the pace, the new fight system now has AI that is more aggressive – so “staring” matches between Ezio and his enemies are a thing of the past.
In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the players that take the upper hand will win fights – and get rewarded, both viscerally and visually, by doing so. Our motto is strike first, strike fast.
The horse will play a larger role in the game. Can you tell us more about that?
The horse in Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II was a fun gameplay element but its use and specific features weren’t fully optimized. The horse was a fun means of transport with certain restrictions such as being confined to the outer city limits and allowing only assassinations of guards on foot.
This time around, our objective is to exploit the full potential of the horse and make it a core and fun component of the game that players will be able to use strategically in their missions or while free-roaming. For Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, players will be able to venture inside the walls of the city and gallop down the streets of Rome. Not only will they be able to go into the city, but we are developing new features that players will be able to use while being on the horse…
What can we expect more of in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood?
In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, players will get to see many returning and appreciated game feature from ACII that we are improving: secret locations, new Leonardo’s gadget, new enemy types, factions etc. As the game is shaping up, we are very confident that this game will be the best Assassin’s Creed experience yet, which also includes for the first time, a multiplayer mode…
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Could you introduce yourself and explain your role in the project?
Hello, my name is Stephane Baudet and I’m the Creative Director of the Multiplayer component in AC Brotherhood.
For the first time ever in the AC franchise, AC Brotherhood will feature a Multiplayer mode. Why do you think having a Multiplayer mode is important for this franchise?
The demand for a multiplayer experience is growing fast, regardless of the game genres. Although the AC franchise was very successful at proposing a critically acclaimed single player experience, we wanted to explore the multiplayer area as well.
The multiplayer experience is not a change of direction in the franchise, but a development of it. Developing a multiplayer experience for a game that provides a very successful solo experience is a great challenge but also an extraordinary opportunity.
The action adventure genre doesn’t really have established schemes when it comes to multiplayer, unlike other genres such as shooters or driving games. All those elements combined provided us with a huge opportunity to innovate.
How is the Multiplayer linked to the Assassin’s Creed universe (synopsis)?
As observed during the escape from Abstergo at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed 2, Abstergo has built a large facility, filled with multiple Animus machines. This facility serves as a training ground to train templar recruits in the art of Assassination in order to eliminate the Assassins once and for all… The templars wants to use the techniques of the assassins, the bleeding effect, against their enemies. A training program containing the memories of highly skilled characters is uploaded to the subject, and allows the templars to train and improve their skills…
How do you describe the Multiplayer experience?
The multiplayer stays true to the brand values and player expectations. Just like in both Assassins Creed game released to date - freedom, social interactions, free running, assassinations etc. - are at the heart of the multiplayer experience.
What makes the multiplayer experience unique is the fact that players are no longer asked to assassinate AI or Non Playable Characters, but real human players, with similar skills. Therefore, you can expect adversarial experiences at the heart of the multiplayer modes. Every game session is unique, and replay value is endless, because it is built on each player’s action or reaction.
How many game modes can we expect? Can you specify how the “Wanted mode” plays?
You can expect various game modes and most of them would be really different from what gamers are used to seeing. We will reveal them all in detail in the months to come.
Our Wanted mode for example will offer a contract to each participant on another player. So you will be both a predator and a prey.
The winner is the player who accumulates the higher number of points in a given time. There are many ways to accumulate points and this number of points is based on the way you will choose to play the game (silent kill, spectacular attack, never been caught by other assassins...).
What maps can we expect to play in the multiplayer? What are the differences between the single player maps and multiplayer maps?
You can expect to play Maps based on the Italian renaissance era, such as Florence, San Donato and Rome. Other maps will be revealed in the months to come. The multiplayer maps are Abstergo’s interpretation of historical locations for the purpose of the training. All Multiplayer maps are specific, but mostly built from the single player locations and elements such as the buildings and landmarks. The maps sizes and specific layouts have been iterated multiple times to fit perfectly with the number of players involved and the multiplayer specific gameplay elements. The maps also feature new interactive elements that have been created specifically to support the intense free running or help players to chase each other like the “Chase breakers”.
What are chase breakers?
Chase breakers are implemented in the level design and are specific objects – beams, corner swings etc. – that once triggered are destroyed to break the free-running path of the person running after you, giving you better chances of escaping. Another example of a chase breaker is a gate closing behind you while you are being pursued, leaving your predator behind you and allowing you to escape so you can pursue your own target.
Who are the characters in the multiplayer? How many characters can we expect in total?
Although, you might encounter some of them in the Single player Campaign, all multiplayer characters have been created specifically for the multiplayer modes. Altaïr and Ezio were so strong and unanimously acclaimed by the players that our challenge was to create multiple charismatic characters that would work as believable assassins of the Italian Renaissance. We started by extracting historical ordinary characters from the cities and then transformed them into “real assassins” when they are in action. Like Ezio, each multiplayer character has a unique handcrafted assassin weapon corresponding to their origin or cast, and they will also come with their own set of animations with unique assassinations. As of today, we have revealed a part of our cast which includes: the courtesan, the prowler, the executioner, the noble, the priest, the doctor and more will be added to the list in the coming months.
How will players be able to differentiate themselves from one another and create their own assassins playstyle?
One strong element of the Assassin’s Creed universe is the sense of freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom of movement, freedom to achieve your objectives the way you so choose, etc. We didn’t want the character selection to impose a way of playing like you might regularly see in multiplayer games (Team Fortress, Battlefield). The choice of the character skin is the first element of distinction between the players, but they do not impose a particular play style. The play style is up to the player and the choice of abilities he attaches to his character’s skin. Therefore, you can build-up your characters to fit your gameplay style like in an RPG by picking and developing your own set of skills and abilities. That way you will be able to play the game, the way you want, or the way that fits the situation best. There will be many abilities in the game such as the smoke bomb, the hidden gun, disguise in another target’s skin, morph the entire crowd around you into your skin etc. These abilities will definitely impact the strategy of the player in a game. More abilities will be revealed in the months to come.
E3 Demo – Monteriggioni attack
1. When and why does Ezio’s villa (Monteriggioni) get attacked?
Answered by: Jeffrey Yohalem - Scriptwriter
Cesare, the ambitious, young general of the Papal forces, strikes back at the Assassins for their attack on the Pope, Rodrigo Borgia in 1499 (just days earlier). Marshalling his troops, Cesare sets up his battalions overnight, hitting the heart of the Assassin order, the Villa Auditore, and catching the Assassins by surprise in the early morning.
2. What can we expect during the villa attack?
With Assassin’s Creed, we are always trying to push further what is achievable. The scene is set early in the game and will set in motion everything that will unfold in the game and our intention was to create a very cinematic, impressive experience that strikes an emotional chord among players, the attack on Monteriggioni. To bring this vision into reality, we worked heavily on elements such as explosions and destructible buildings but also the entire chaos, that feeling of helplessness, surrounding such an assault. What can you expect? A relentless experience with lots of wow-moments!
3. What is the ballistic gameplay?
The gameplay in the Villa sequence revolves around the idea that you must defend your stronghold. Around the 1500’s, long-range gunpowder cannons were quickly adopted throughout Italy due to their usefulness in siege defence. Ezio will have to use this new piece of artillery in the hopes of defending his Villa against Cesare’s forces. One of the many new gameplay types in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood…
4. What are the new guard archetypes in the game?
For Brotherhood, we’ve decided to add new types of guard archetypes such as the Horseman, gunman, papal guards etc. The papal guards are the ultimate guard archetype. They are elite soldiers who were sent respectively by leaders of Germany and Switzerland and they are charge of protecting the Vatican territory and the pope. Cesare, the main nemesis of the game, is the lieutenant in charge of the papal guards.
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