30 December 2010 | bob the moo
A curio for Assassin's Creed completists but not good enough to be more than that
So, this year my girlfriend kindly bought me AC: Brotherhood for Christmas – an easy present for her and one I actually wanted anyway. By luck I had the night of the 26th and the majority of the 27th all to myself – what better time to get stuck into this game? Well, sadly it was the PS3 version she ordered in error, so my free time remained just that – free time. Thinking of the game i took the opportunity to watch the short film that had accompanied Assassins Creed 2 – something I'd always meant to watch but never got round to since I'd rather be playing that great game.
The story is a prequel of sorts to Assassin's Creed 2 and, as a promotional tool it makes sense as part of generally feeding the grapevine with more stuff to talk about. Other games use controversy to get chatter (MW2's airport massacre, Medal of Honor's Taliban etc) so perhaps it should be praised for that, however beyond ease of production, I wasn't really feeling it in the way that I felt the couple of trailers for AC2. The best bits of the live-action short film are the same as the moments of style and action from the animated trailers and indeed they very much try to look like the game to the point that I wondered why an extended computer-animated trailer wasn't produced instead of this? The story is fairly secondary here since this "feel" is what the film is all about, so any scene that is about being an actual "prequel" to the Italy-set part of AC2, is pretty dull and one can feel the film desperate to get to the next stylishly filmed bit of stealth or action. The cast are not bad, but they have nothing to do except be live-action version of computer game characters, they don't perform so much as jump around. This limits the film somewhat and it is therefore hard not to compare it to the beauty of the game, since it lays out its stall as being all about the look and style. Of course watching it ahead of the game this may not have been the case but certainly watching in retrospect it feels very much secondary to the game and clumsy by comparison.
A curio piece for AC completists perhaps but not particularly worth seeing otherwise – and certainly not good enough to distract me from the knowledge that I should be playing the game, not watching this!