After the horrible experience of buying and playing and hating Call of Duty: Black Ops, I was ready to give Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood a try. The sheer fact that I was able to get it for 25 bucks was a plus. Another plus was how much I enjoyed AC 2, which was up and down much better than the first game. The Assassin’s Creed games have the same basic formula. You run on roof tops and climb buildings. You kill people that need killing and you try and make the world a better place and stop the Templar order. Oh, and you do this by being stuck in a machine, navigating your genetic memories. It is very complicated to explain but simple to play. It hit me as I was playing the game, actually. I’m a guy playing a video game where I’m a guy playing a video game. Meta enough to explode brains. The first game did all this but in the basic of ways, in the smallest way possible. Assassin’s Creed 2 did this almost to perfection. Brotherhood adds to that perfection. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood isn’t an add-on. This is the Third game in the series and we are all going to have to get use to the idea of calling Assassin’s Creed 3 something else. I’m voting for Assassin’s Creed: Mega-stab!
I’m not going to go into the game play dynamics or how cool the multiplayer is or any game-reviewy stuff like that. There are tons of video game sites you can read for that. Instead, I want to talk about the hidden propaganda of the game. In the game, there are puzzles. In order to solve these puzzles, you have to see and read images that don’t paint America, or Capitalism, in a good light. I love these puzzles. One of them discusses the U.S. economic invasion of Latin America. One discusses the continued economic confusion of Russia. One puzzle even discusses the Supreme Court Political financial case where Corporations have the right to donate as much money as they want in political elections. Most gamers probably have no idea what any of this means. But the gamers who do know what it means have a very nice sense of understanding the game’s logic. Templars want to rule the world. Assassins want to stop them. And what the Templars have done to gain control of the world, through television, through marketing, through economics, through politics, is very timely, very smart, and very scary. That’s why I enjoy the Assassin’s Creed games. It isn’t just the game play, even though the game play is really, really good. It is the idea that there are layers of narrative that a gamer can find an enjoy, if they are willing to look, and think, hard enough.