Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is a direct sequel to Assassin's Creed 2, one of last years biggest critical and commercial successes.
While it isn't 'Assassin's Creed 3' Ubisoft has made it clear that Brotherhood isn't a throwaway AC title, it's a full sequel in size and scope.
With only a few weeks left until release we've compiled a list of 10 things you should know about Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.
If you're struggling to scale a wall quickly, look for one of the many new lifts. '
Cranes' can be found almost everywhere, and sprinting into them will make Ezio or Desmond grab the rope and slice the pulley just beneath their grasp, sending the hoisted weight crashing down to the ground and them up into the air at breakneck speeds in reverse.
Useful in a pinch, great for shortcuts and, of course, it looks FRIGGIN BRILLIANT.
At some point during the assassins' long road trip, programmer Rebecca Crane wrote new lines of code into the Anima 2.0 framework.
The best addition? That'd be the Arkham Asylum-style challenge rooms inside the Virtual Training option: Free Run challenges are races; Stealth Assassinate challenges are room-clearing tasks.
Locate challenges involve hunting for flags and tackling thieves and couriers and Combat challenges are all about notching up the kills either without taking a hit or in a certain time limit, depending on which game you pick.
Last year we were mystified to see Ubisoft yanking the mission replay system from Assassin's Creed II mere weeks before shipping the game.
Now the decision makes sense. Every story mission in Brotherhood comes with its own sub-task to complete in order to achieve full synchronisation.
The first secret location, for instance, must be completed in fewer than eight minutes (an extremely tough task) for the 100%, while other tasks ask you to finish without losing health or getting spotted to pass. If you fail, simply replay a past mission to get the full 100%.
One surprising option in the Animus menu is the ability to 'Return To The Present' at any point.
Why? Well, because there's an awful lot more going on in 2012 now. Desmond's fully assassin-ed up and a large portion of the opening sequence involves (careful for spoilers, now) sneaking through the now ruined Auditore Crypt you unlocked using UPlay Points in Assassin's Creed II.
That's right: Lucy, Desmond, Shaun and Rebecca all end up setting up camp in the final assassin stronghold that was Ezio's mansion.
Monteriggioni is a great place to explore; especially now it's filled with mopeds. Those barrels you used to climb up to the rooftops during Parkour sessions? They've all cleverly been replaced by flatbed trucks.
Secret Locations ranked among the best features in ACII, so their return is definite cause for celebration. The justification for their return, however, hasn't changed.
According to a scroll we collected at the end of Nero's Golden Palace (a covert location populated by a gang of ferocious 'Romulans' dressed in wolf skin - no relation to the Star Trek aliens), these are six keys locked away in a secret section. Collecting them all will unlock the Romulus armour.
CHEAT 'N' GREET
Chalk this one up to not paying attention but we swear it happened. While we were jotting down notes during a loading screen we looked up to see the following message: 'Ride the Unicorn Cheat Unlocked.'