If variety is the spice of life, then a multitude of assassination animations must be the spice of death. Game Rant recently had some extensive hands-on time with the multiplayer beta of Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and it made quite an impression. Brotherhood‘s introduction to the hide-and-seek style multiplayer turned a lot of heads when it was first announced, with an expected amount of dissenters doubting the final product.
Did Assassin’s Creed need multiplayer? Would Ubisoft‘s splitting focus degrade the quality of the campaign? Thankfully, respective yes and no answers provided gamers with one of the most original competitive multiplayer modes of the current generation. Now the team is taking another stab (pun intended) at the Abstergo Training Program, but does this addition warrant another go?
In short, it absolutely does. The old adage of “if it ain’t broke” applies to Revelations‘ multiplayer just as much as it does to Call of Duty‘s. The gameplay, leveling up, abilities and perks will feel very familiar to any who have spent time with the online component of Brotherhood. Revelations multiplayer revolves around seeking out a target and killing him or her without attracting the attention of the other Templars, who are doing their best to stab you in the back.
This cyclical gameplay might become repetitive if it were not firmly placed within the Assassin’s Creed world, meaning innocent civilians constantly litter the sidewalks and alleyways, making the hunt that much more dangerous. Along with the threat passersby, players are granted perks and abilities as they level up to further complicate matters, such as smoke bombs, throwing knives, increased lock-on range, etc. What is a very simple design in practice becomes much more complex as players gain abilities, perks, kill streaks and death streaks. Fortunately, the game eases newbies in.
There is a tutorial that explains the basic mechanics of assassinating targets. None of the unlockables are available to first timers, ensuring players will have a grasp on the basics before throwing them into the deep end. Slowly, as the player’s level increases, more and more customizable options open up to suit everyone’s individual play style.
There are a few potentially major gameplay differences that make Revelations’ multiplayer feel more complete and polished than its predecessor. Sneakier kills are now not only worth more points, but also happen faster, so it is to the player’s advantage to jump out of a crowd or from a bale of hay rather than sprint full speed around the level with their sword pointed outward. The UI is also much sleaker, along with the selection of maps and modes. Getting into your desired multiplayer match with your friends is a much easier process in Revelations.
The modes remain mostly the same – ‘Wanted’ is a typical free-for-all deathmatch where players hunt for targets while avoiding their pursuers. ‘Manhunt’ breaks players into teams and faces them off in two rounds. In each round, one team serves as hunters while the others attempt to hide, run, or stun their attackers. ‘Easy Deathmatch’ is a simplification of the Wanted mode, disabling all abilities and leaving assassins to fend for themselves. ‘Artifact Assault’ is a capture the flag type mode and a slight variation on ‘Chest Capture’ from Brotherhood – one team attempts to steal the artifact while the other defends it.
There is plenty of variety in both modes and maps, and Ubisoft has confirmed that the multiplayer will be much more closely related to the single player campaign this time around. There are even hints that the story of Abstergo may be further explored in the multiplayer of Revelations. Overall, this is shaping up to be yet another must-have Assassin’s Creed title with a robust and original multiplayer to boot.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations comes out for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 15, 2011.