Assassin's Creed Brotherhood: devs spill secrets about in-game Easter Eggs, working with Hideo Kojima

In our final exclusive interview we ask about hidden goodies in Brotherhood, and about Ubi's special relationship with the Metal Gear Solid team...

Hello and welcome to the last of our Assassin's Creed Brotherhood week interviews here on PSM3 blog. It's Friday 19 November, which means the latest Assassin's Creed is finally in shops, ready to be taken home and shown a good time. Chances are you've already bought the game, so if you haven't already why not snap up our latest issue to see if our opinions on the game align. If you love Assassin's Creed, they probably will...

So far this week we've spoken to the Brotherhood development team about following Assassin's Creed 2, developing Ezio, creating Rome, and introducing multi-player. Now, as a Friday treat, we've asked them to spill the beans on Easter Eggs in the game. Warning, the following interview contains spoilers, so if you really don't want to know about some of the surprises in store, we recommend holding back.

As ever if you like what you've read here, you can get more on Assassin's Creed Brotherhood in the latest issue, or - if you want to make sure you're always first to know about future Assassin's Creed games - why not take out a subscription here.

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The final interview...
PSM3: Is it fair to say you've added a few fantastical elements? For example the parachute?
Steve Masters, Lead Game Designer: We do take a few liberties, but the parachute I think is an interesting example because conceptually it works, but of course we tweak it to be fun for the gameplay. So we do take a few liberties with the actual mechanics of the devices. But you know, all of these things are inventions of Leo's (Da Vinci) and many of them went on to actually become realised later when technology actually caught up with it. So yes we play a little bit (but) we stay within the bounds of reality I think.

PSM3: One of the key features I always notice when playing Assassin's Creed II is the Animus device. Would you say this is crucial to the success of the franchise?
SM: It's certainly something that we hold completely close to the centre of the franchise. You know the Animus is not a time machine, it's a memory reading device. And it absolutely gives us a huge amount of freedom for inserting elements such as the HUD. So we can have those HUD elements, or things popping up into the world, or database entries - all of those things perfectly contextualised and without having to break the realism of the world. So it's a very difficult balance to strike - when we're in the present we don't have a HUD, or things like that. And we always manage where we are in the Animus and who's transitioning from where and to what, and things like that. So we take a lot of care over that to make sure it's correct.

PSM3: And at the same time you can use the Animus to surprise people and play with their expectations during the game?
SM: Sure. It's a fantastic tool for us. Or device I should say.

PSM3: I guess you're not allowed to answer this, but I'll ask anyway. There seems to be a strange collaboration between Assassin's Creed and Metal Gear Solid (for instance the contract assassinations seem influenced by Peace Walker) is that a fair comment? Do you feel you've learnt from Kojima?
SM: Yeah, they're tremendously talented developers. A lot of the team has always had a huge amount of respect for them and really enjoyed playing their games. They're awesome achievements. So it's always a pleasure to be able to have a meeting of minds with Hideo Kojima and you know, the times he's dropped by at E3 or TGS, that kind of thing, it's always a pleasure. And yeah, we have a few links that will hopefully surprise people.

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