To celebrate our world exclusive review of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - ahead of the game's release this Friday 19th - we're dedicating a week of exclusive content to Ubisoft's adventure series. We've secured five exclusive interviews with the game's development team - addressing a different topic every day until the game's release. Day one tackles the key question - is Brotherhood a true sequel to Assassin's Creed 2, or an elaborate expansion pack?
Live Facebook Q&A: tomorrow
Plus, as an added bonus, we're giving you the chance to get your questions answered by Andy H, who has played and finished the game. Check out the PSM3 Magazine Facebook group from 1pm-6pm on Tuesday 16 November, then go to the ASSASSIN'S CREED BROTHERHOOD - YOUR QUESTIONS post, and leave your questions in the discussion thread. We'll answer them throughout the afternoon. Feel free to ask anything about the game, but don't expect us to spoil the plot.
Day One: The pressures of following AC2
PSM3: Do you think that the community has accepted Brotherhood as a full-blown sequel, and not a 'glorified expansion pack?'
Steve Masters, Lead Game Designer: For sure. I think if you've been following our various demos like at E3 or GamesCom, you'll have seen that we have a really huge scope. We have a very long campaign - it's almost the same as Assassin's Creed II. We have a fully-fledged multi-player game now, which is a brand new thing for the franchise. We have several new gameplays, you know, a much improved fight system where it's faster, more brutal, more offensive. The whole Rome upgrading system and the Assassin's Brotherhood are two very deep systems that you'll have a lot of fun with. So I think people who have been checking that out will realise that, yes, it is a full game in its own right.
PSM3: Do you feel that people are now more positive about Brotherhood, who before may have not been bothered because they'd already played Assassin's Creed II?
SM: Yeah, I think people started off with an idea of, you know, "they're pushing this out fast!" But really, once they see it, once they play it and experience it, they understand that it's actually a really huge game, and the additions that we're making to the gameplay and to the storyline change things forever. It's going to be a huge experience that people are going to really enjoy.
PSM3: Assassin's Creed is a complex series (in terms of the plot). How do you ensure continuity?
Mathieu Granjon, Artistic Director, Annecy Studio: Post-its, hundreds of post-its. Just kidding, we've had a plan for where we're going from the beginning, it's been very clear to us. We also created, or are aware of everything, big or small, that happens in any of the games. It's not a series a writer can just jump onto, you have to live it. The story is the spine of Assassin's Creed, so we are given the control necessary to ensure the continuity of the games and the team works hard to fit within the narrative rules of the AC universe. Sometimes it's a tough call, something will be very cool on the game design side but not fit the universe. Ultimately, everything must be justified or it won't work. However, we design and write together, so it's rare that either side has to cut anything.