Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Beta Full of Stabbing Dudes... Hands-On with the Assassins Creed: Revelations MP Beta

Let's get this out of the way from the get go: I'm not really that into the Assassins Creed franchise, but I'm still glad it exists as it definitely has its fanbase. Another year means another game as Assassins Creed: Revelations is on track for a November 15 release, but like the last game, a multiplayer beta was released way before its release for people to try out. Brotherhood pretty much established the core concepts of the series' multiplayer modes as it was something unique for the time compared to your everyday first-person shooter. Usually stealth-based multiplayer games don't get the attention they deserve because of the fact you have to effectively use stealth to have a chance of winning. This was the case in another famed Ubisoft franchise, which is the Splinter Cell series as its multiplayer was unique in its time, but never got the attention it deserved because people rather play something like Halo. Brotherhood basically made stealth-based multiplayer cool again and Relevations hopes to improve its faults from last time to make it something that last a while competing with other multiplayer juggernauts that are this holiday season. Even though the beta period ended and I didn't have as much time as Playstation Plus owners had, Ubisoft released the beta to everyone on its last days and I still had a good time once I was able to get the basics down.

In case you're not familiar with the concept, if I had to sum it up in a nutshell, you're basically sneaking around killing your contracts while trying to avoid opposing players assassinating you. The more stealthy you are with these kills, the more points you'll score in a match. Since the game is more about score than just reaching a certain killcount within a time limit, it is all about killing effectively while preventing others from killing you. Most of the traits and tactics from the single player game apply in multiplayer where you get more points in a kill if you're unseen from your contract, using the crowd to your advantage, and so on. The maps in this beta are quite small and in the same setting, meaning more opportunities to kill your contracts. There are ways to avoid pursuers from killing you such as stunning them if they don't see you, otherwise you'll get a honorable death (some points as they get less points since it is a contested kill), or baiting them to kill civilians. In other words, its pretty much a game of hide and seek, but you're always in danger as someone can sneak up and kill you even from the air as they jump from rooftops.

The modes are your typical conventions seen in other multiplayer games with an Assassins Creed twist. Deathmatch is pretty self-explanatory, but the team modes are quite interesting takes on your standard modes. Manhunt is a round-based variant of team deathmatch as one team pursues the other and they switch off. Arifact hunt is their version of capture the flag, so that's self-explanatory as well. The team based games often have multiple contracts to kill, so your radar of finding them is easier compared to free for all deathmatch games. Also as expected in modern multiplayer games these days, there are loadouts and perks to mess around with catering to your playstyle and a leveling up system to unlock more of those goodies along with getting awards if certain tasks were done earning more experience points. At least you when first start out, you have to play a mandatory tutorial to get accustomed with the modes, which is a nice thing to have especially for newcomers like me.

Even though I'm not that good at the game, I enjoyed my short time with the Assassins Creed: Relevations multiplayer beta in the past several days. It feels refreshing to play a multiplayer game that requires different skill and mindsets unlike your everyday shooter. Patience pays off extraordinarily well in a game like this where it is all about effectively killing your opponents, or in other words, quality over quantity in this case. If you're into a different, methodically paced multiplayer game, Assassins Creed: Relevations is worth diving into and of course there's a lengthy campaign as well in which you continue the adventures of Ezio (maybe Altair too?) in the conclusion to his story arc.

No comments: