Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Post 01

There are a few new features that improve the Assassin’s Creed in the franchise’s latest iteration, Brotherhood. For this post, I’ll talk about “Kill Streaks”.

When I first heard someone reference kill streaks, I assumed it was some scoring mechanism. I’d kill a bunch of people and, like a first-person shooter, the game would exult in my devastation. Turns out, that is not the case at all. A kill streak is a game-play mechanic, a way of, if done properly, chaining attacks together that makes combat pretty exciting, fast-paced, and makes Ezio look very lethal — which he should be by this point in his career.

Figuring out how to perform the kill streak was the hardest part for me, even though it’s really simple (I just wasn’t getting the idea of which buttons to press when). Once I got the basics, I received a lot of enjoyment out of mastering the system.

It starts out with you and some combat participants. Usually, someone nearby attacks you. You counter their attack and kill them in the process. But, really, you don’t need to start the sequence with a counter. I believe any killing animation will do.

While your assassination animation is playing, press the left analogue stick toward your next target and press the attack button. I usually spam the button in order to make certain the next chain is properly triggered. How often or when you press the button doesn’t matter. It’s very simple. And as soon as you kill off that first guy, Ezio immediately leaps at your selected target and kills him outright. No need to wait around for the next opening or attack to counter.

Reading this, you might wonder “is it dumbed down?” No, not at all. Instead, it creates fluidity in combat. As I wrote, you’re spending less time sitting around waiting for someone to attack you and more time killing — you know, the fun stuff.

“Does it take all the challenge out of the game,” might be your next question. No, because, like Batman’s Arkham Asylum, there’s a rhythm to it all and it requires you to keep an eye out on the battlefield around you.

Like Arkham Asylum, your next target should be the guy about to attack you. If you attack someone else, then while you’re trying to kill your target — you’re exposed to attack from someone else. If you are hit or grabbed (yes, the game now features grabs — opponents can grab you and leave you open to hits from their allies), the kill streak ends. The kill streak can also end if you aren’t close enough to a target and have to take time to move toward them. Again, you want to be aware of your surroundings and positioning. There are times where you attack the wrong person. The animation starts and someone else lunges at you. As long as you’re quick with the counter-attack, you can usually turn their attack into another kill and keep the kill-streak mode going.

OK, maybe I should not have said “no” to the challenge question. The game is a little easier. But it’s also much less frustrating. And I think that matches your character’s skill as an assassin.

Thankfully, there’s a practice arena in the animus to let you perfect the system. They give you some baddies and a time limit and give you some scoring goals as a target. I think the top goal is 300 or 400 points — which I managed to double when I was first getting into the system. I’ll have to try it again.

I love the iteration on their combat system. I originally found the AC combat system to be good, but not nearly as good as Arkham Asylum’s. I feel like kill streaks definitely borrows on the greatness of Arkham Asylum and I’m no longer unfavorably comparing AC against it.

Next time, I’m going to comment on their new assassin’s guild questing system.