E3 10: Hands-on with AC: Brotherhood multiplayer

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All this week I am going to be giving ridiculously quick hands-on impressions of all the games I see on the E3 show floor. Since I think everything is a little amazing, they will be rated, from least to most favorite: 1 (A Little Amazing!), 2 (Kind of Amazing!), 3 (Pretty Amazing!), 4 (AMAZING!), and 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!).

Earlier, I covered the single-player part of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, but now it’s time to focus on the game’s multiplayer, something that Ubisoft has been really hyping. Is it as cool as it could potentially be? Is running around an open world with a bunch of assassins as exciting as it sounds?

I unfortunately didn’t get a solid answer to those questions based on the limited time I had with the multiplayer demo. My reaction was pretty mixed.

Here’s how the game works: You select an assassin based on eight different types, each one visually different than the next. I, obviously, chose the courtesan, a lovely lady WITH THE HEART OF A KILLER! After selecting your character, you get to choose your two specialties. I chose the ability to blend in with the crowd and shoot targets with a hidden gun, but there were many others to select from: extra speed, special assassin kills, etc. Once everyone in my match was done choosing their characters, the game began!

Basically, all the assassins run around together in a huge open world with a bunch of innocent civilians. You are immediately assigned a contract, which places a bounty for killing a citizen of the city. Sometimes this contract will be on a computer-controlled player, sometimes on a character controlled by another human player. Also, sometimes the contract will be assigned to many different players, meaning it is a race to find the target first. If you kill the target you are awarded points and assigned a new contract. Kill a civilian by accident and you lose points. This game of cat and mouse continues until time runs out. Player with the most points wins!

Of course, there is more to it than that. You can also earn points by successfully thwarting an assassin that is targeting you. This is particularly satisfying as if you hide from them, their contract is canceled out and you are free to run around without being pursued.

I had fun in multiplayer (my courtesan was a murderous fox!), but my main issue was that it was really confusing! Granted, I was thrown into the game and only got to play for 8 minutes, but I had a lot of trouble finding my target and successfully assassinating them. At times I would miss completely even though I was pushing the right button; other times I couldn’t tell who my target exactly was and would kill an innocent civilian by accident. Also — and this has me worried — it felt a tad bit repetitive. I am assuming things are much deeper than they appeared in the short demo, but I felt like I was just doing the same thing over and over again. It is early, though, and, like I said, there may be more to it than what I managed to figure out.

Interesting multiplayer. I just have some concerns about it keeping my interest for long periods of time.

Rating: 2 out of 5 (Kind of Amazing!)


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