Singleplayerwise, it’s been Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. I did a fast run through the last few sequences of Assassin’s Creed II earlier in the month, but I put the bulk of my playtime into that one quite a while ago and on a gameplay and graphical level Brotherhood is better in pretty much every respect. It’s really pretty impressive. Rome may be a single city versus the three and surrounding environs in ACII, but it’s a much more memorable and varied city, and dealing with Borgia towers, renovating shops, buying landmarks, investing, and treasure hunting (because of the rare items that they drop - they’re still pretty inconsequential monetarily) is both compelling and leads to really feeling like you know the game world in a way that I never really got with the previous two games.
Similarly, combat is significantly more involved (though still trivial) and quicker, with more moves and weapon types available to you, incentives to vary your approach some (via guild challenges), the ability to quickly chain kills (in impressively brutal fashion), and horses (and mounted guards!). Also enemies have less health on average than in ACII, which doesn’t reduce their threat profile but does prevent needing to pound on them for a tiresome length of time with even the most damaging weapons.
The platforming sequences are significantly better thought out, with none of ACII’s timed bullshit so far (though a couple have optional timers for full sync) and still have all the tricksy spectacular parkouring that was good about them in ACII, in a variety of interesting settings and circumstances. They still overuse “detection means desync” sequences, but they’re a bit more forgiving and the layout often is reasonably good at conveying intended ways of getting through undetected.
And finally, of course, it’s just plain delightful to have badass assassins backing you up to summon at will.
The story’s the only real downside. It doesn’t do a lot to further the overall metanarrative (which for me is the biggest appeal of AC’s storyline), and it’s definitely slighter even for Ezio’s tale. But it does well enough, really.
Multiplayer, it’s been Dead Island. With the introduction of a third player to our coop, I switched to Xian, and while I was enjoying Dead Island just fine before as Logan, Xian is much, much more enjoyable. Her ludicrous damage output and tendency to dismember at the slightest touch are so much fun. And of course Dead Island is clearly based around the melee combat - throwing and guns both work acceptably (though thrown weapons do have an unfortunate tendency to get lost or interact strangely with the physics and embed themselves in solid objects/stick floating in the air), but the visceral appeal is melee.
I’m really quite impressed with it overall. It’s beautiful, the worldbuilding is excellent, and combat is always tense and exciting, even at higher levels when you are a murder machine. The story’s nonsense, but oh well.