I previously covered Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood on the blog way back in December 2010. Towards the end of my review I said:
As for whether Brotherhood is significantly shorter than it’s predecessor, well, it’s definitely shorter, but not by much. I have completed the main story mode with a smattering of side missions in about 16 hours. 100% completion in AC II totalled a good 30 hours. To achieve the same in Brotherhood I’m estimating around 20 hours as a ballpark figure. So that gives you a game 2/3 the size as its predecessor.
It turns out that I underestimated the sheer amount of content the developers packed in to Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. In fact, I’ve notched up 37 hours of gameplay within the historic walls of Rome. And that’s still just the single player.
So, what does this have to do with The Da Vinci Disappearance? Well, we’re talking about DLC that adds more gameplay to a game already fit-to-burst with content. The DLC itself isn’t anything particularly remarkable. If you’ve played through a good chunk of Assassin’s Creed II and/or Brotherhood, then there’s nothing new to see here.
What the DLC does do indirectly, is give you the excuse to explore Rome all over again. There are new Trophies/Achievements available (half of which I’m pretty certain don’t warrant the DLC requirement). The ‘killer’ incentive if you’ll pardon the pun, is the ‘Il Principe’ Trophy/Achievement which is obtained by receiving 100% synch in ACB and full synch in all missions of the Da Vinci Disappearance.
Prior to the DLC, there was never any real incentive to 100% complete the game (except for your own personal satisfaction). I don’t know about Achievements, but with Trophies, they’re not retrospective so anyone who did bother to go for 100% will feel a bit aggrieved right now I’d imagine.
Only one quibble- ‘Il Principe’ is no way a silver Trophy. For the sheer amount of hard work and effort that you’ve got to go through to earn it (with such missions as ‘Hell on Wheels’, ‘The Apple of Eden’ etc) it should have been a shiny gold Trophy. Oh well.
For the future of the Assassin’s Creed series, the developers should take note that DLC doesn’t have to be new stories or ‘DNA Sequences’- they could release challenge packs that would just fill the game world with additional challenges/quests to complete. As open, sand box games, the Assassin’s Creed series is particularly suited to this kind of DLC.
Verdict? The Da Vinci Disappearance is a must-buy for fans of the series, and for completists. Don’t expect much from the DLC itself- it just enriches an already fantastic game.
As for the multiplayer? I’m not a big fan of it. I’ll be playing it through gritted teeth to try and claim that ever-elusive Platinum Trophy. Let’s hope that I’ll be proven wrong on this aspect as well!