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This morning, Ubisoft officially announced Ezio's return to the Assassin's Creed franchise, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Though the game was outed and cursorily detailed in some placeholder box art last week, the official press release shared some specifics: the single-player campaign ("set in the living, breathing, unpredictable city of Rome") is expected to last 15 hours, and sees Ezio recruiting and training "promising young Assassins" for deployment across the historical capital.
Rather than using money earned to bolster a villa, you'll fix up Rome itself, which will change Ezio's social standing, unlock missions and curry favor with various factions. The release promises collaboration with Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Caterina Sforza, and describes new "secret weapons." Ubi is throwing in poison darts, parachutes, hidden blades and guns, not to mention an "advanced flying machine" -- which is presumably useful in more than a single mission this time.
Multiplayer -- developed by Ubisoft Annecy, who created the online component of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory -- is said to feature "multiple authentic character classes" (presumably the characters seen in the gallery below) each of whom will use "signature weapons and killing moves." We'll look for more details and a more specific release date than "Holiday 2010" at E3, perhaps on a giant advertisement emblazoned on the side of the convention center.