While it may be a downright necessity for a modern triple-A game to include some form of online multiplayer (at the cost of local co-op, it seems) these days, but not every version works. With Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the developers took their story-driven franchise and crafted a multiplayer system that even the most loyal fans never could have expected.
So with Assassin’s Creed 3 expanding on every single aspect of the formula, we’ve been waiting to see what Ubisoft would be improving in the competitive multiplayer. The mode certainly has room to grow among the campaign fans, and the newest trailer proves that change is on its way. From the locations to the characters and brand new cooperative modes, the new multiplayer looks ready to win the attention of the largest audience the franchise has enjoyed so far.
It isn’t hard to see why multiplayer modes for Assassin’s Creed face a unique challenge, as most of the marketing has focus on the elements of Assassin’s Creed 3 that most players are excited for – the new hero, Connor Kenway, and the American Revolution that will host the story’s plot. But while Desmond and his friends are re-living a history lesson in an attempt to uncover a world-saving mystery, the Templars are training for an all-out war.
Built on the idea of hordes of Templar soldiers simulating combat in Abstergo headquarters, AC3‘s multiplayer is expanding on the previous incarnations by way of weaponry and features. The most refreshing aspects of AC multiplayer – and those which differed the most from shooters – was the challenge posed to players: remain undetected by other human-controlled characters. The best way to do that was mimic AI behavior, and AC3 is giving even more ways to do it.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t first mention ‘Money Bomb,’ the ability to scatter gold coins in an attempt to weed out real-life players from NPCs – the AI character scramble for the money, while players can’t. The unfortunately-named ‘Glimmer’ ability grants invisibility for a short time, making it even easier to close the distance to a target before risking exposure. These are just two of the fourteen new abilities available to players upon choosing one of the brand new character types, but they are a promising start.
A multiplayer system is nothing without its perks, and AC3 has some that are certified game-changers. The ‘Blender’ perk grants an extra dose of anonymity in crowds, changing one additional NPC’s appearance to that of the player in an effort to confuse pursuers. It may not perfectly replicate numerous action movie chase scenes, but is has the potential. Not all the perks are designed to help evade, though, as the ‘Unstoppable’ perk makes a player capable of bulldozing through a crowd during a pursuit, instead of stumbling to the ground after numerous impacts.
It may be just a narrow slice of the multiplayer content and feature set, but the environments and new modes are starting to explain the need for AC3 to be split between two discs. From the size and quality of the environments – seen in the trailer with alternating weather schemes – it looks to take just as much advantage of the new AnvilNext Engine as the campaign’s game worlds. Whether or not they feature as much wildlife or environment interactions will have to wait to be seen.
How do you feel about this preview of AC3 multiplayer? Have you been a fan of the competitive modes since they were first introduced, or have you remained interested only in the singleplayer? More cooperative modes should help more players bring their friends online, but perhaps Ubisoft will be pleased with simply impressing those players who are already convinced.
Assassin’s Creed 3 releases October 30th for PS3 and Xbox 360, November 20th for PC, and November 18th for Wii U.
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