Game Name: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood – The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC
Platforms: Xbox 360
Developer(s): Ubisoft Montreal
Genre(s): Action & Adventure
Release Date: 3/10/2011
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Price: 800MSP ($10)
Sadly, one of the most interesting characters in Assassin’s Creed 2 was completely cut in brotherhood and given a lesser role. Anyone who has played Brotherhood knows that Leonardo Da Vinci was used solely to sell Ezio new items; sure he dropped a few bits of insight on what Ezio should do but he wasn’t the aww inspiring inventor that we saw from the second one. Many people had high hopes that this DLC will put some more light onto the story and give Leonardo a larger role; however, this did not happen. Leonardo appears shortly in the beginning of the DLC’s missions just to be kidnapped shortly later by an underground cult.
The DLC shows up on the map as “Recovered Memories,” and as far as I can tell can pretty much be done whenever you want. A majority of the download comes from the new areas and the locations to explore. Most of the missions require stealth based approach with instant fails if you are caught; however, since the missions can be done whenever a player wants to do them, they needed a way to balance the DLC between the veteran players and the new players. By making a majority of the missions require stealthy approaches, even the weakest of players can beat them with time.
It is up to Ezio to decipher paintings from Leonardo and discover where he was taken. The paintings are scattered everywhere due to the destruction of the Villa that once housed the works of art, but finding them comes as second nature to a true Assassin. During the entire search Ezio will run into a bunch of thugs, sneak around a whole bunch more, and run into Leonardo’s secret apprentice.
The singleplayer experience is fun; however, it is sadly short and doesn’t actually add much more to the story as a whole. You learn a bit more back story, get an excuse to run around old locations some more, and gain the ability to kill hoards of enemies once again without having to rile them up first. Other than that, there isn’t much more.
On the multiplayer front there is a brand new map for everyone to play. The map is fashioned after the Alhambra Palace (if you don’t know what that looks like, you aren’t playing enough Assassin’s Creed). Four new characters to play as, and two brand new gamemodes. The characters are essentially just new skins with brand new kill animations. Sadly, a few of them, such as the knight, seem to use old animations (I could’ve sworn I recognized the blacksmith’s swing in that last strike).
The two gamemodes include Assassinate and Escort. In Assassinate players are tasked at tracking down anyone and killing anyone. There are no guidelines to how the game is played and since you can kill anyone, unholy alliances spring up among the players. Depending on how you look at it, this can be either good or bad. Escort on the other hand requires team work; but on the other hand team work is what brings the players down. If you stay too close to the VIP you are guiding the enemy will know who is being protected, but if you stray too far you leave the VIP wide open to being attacked. These two new gamemodes leave plenty of room for new strategies to form and old friendships to be broken as you stab them in the back.
Ubisoft did a very good job on the DLC’s achievements. Only a few are actually specific to the DLC, the rest add more reasons to play the full game which is a brilliant idea. Cramming all ten achievements into the DLC would’ve created a very easy list, but Ubisoft has made both a challenging and fun list by giving the players a large range of things that they can do whenever they want and within any part of the game. Some of them are still pretty easy and won’t take much time to achieve, but ‘Il Principe’ really takes the cake when it comes to achievements. If you want to 100% this game, get ready to go back to some parts of the game you missed or simply didn’t spend enough time with.
Below is the achievement list:
- Strong-Arm – 10 – Throw a Long Weapon, Heavy Weapon, and Smoke bomb more than 10 m at a guard.
- High Roller – 20 – Win 10000 florins playing Hazard.
- il Principe – 100 – Receive 100% synch in ACB and full synch in all missions of the Da Vinci Disappearance,
- Airstrike – 20 – Kill 10 guards with a single arrow storm.
- GPS – 20 – Complete the Da Vinci Disappearance.
- Clowning Around – 30 – Beat up the 5 thirsty harlequins.
- Special Delivery – 20 – Double Assassinate from a parachute.
- Grand Theft Dressage – 20 – Steal 5 horses from their riders, while remaining on horseback.
- Going Up – 5 – Kill a guard with the bag that drops from a lift.
- Easy Come, Easy Go – 5 – Pay 500 florins to an orator, then pickpocket him afterward.
What is provided in the DLC is a handful of additions to both the singleplayer experience and the multiplayer experience but there really isn’t much. The new missions are decently sized with a standalone side story, but the heavy emphasis on sneaking and instant fails makes the missions incredibly annoying. Many people play Assassin’s Creed for the assassinations and sadly the only bit of pure assassinations located in this DLC is within the multiplayer with the additional gamemodes and characters. What is provided in the DLC isn’t amazing, but it isn’t horrible either. There is a bit of additional gameplay, but a heavy dose of additional gameplay comes from the achievements and only people that actually go for achievements will appreciate them. The DLC will take an average player only a few hours to complete the singelplayer aspect; and quite a few more if you are into multiplayer and getting achievements.
I give Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC