Hide And Go ‘Aaaarghwhy’ – AC III’s Multiplayer

By Nathan Grayson on October 17th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

She pinched him too hard, apparently.

On paper, Assassin’s Creed multiplayer always sounded like something that absolutely, categorically would not work. I mean, we’re talking about a series known for its sprawling tales of historical conspiracy and climactically timed eagle noises. How could that possibly translate into a teeming arena of hooded hoodlums? As it turns out, the answer to that question is “quite well.” In previous entries, Ubisoft crafted a pretty special blend of sneaky deception and stabby swordception. Assassin’s Creed III, meanwhile, doesn’t seem interested in breaking the mold too terribly much, but the new setting certainly opens up intriguing possibilities. Dive into the conveniently placed haystack beyond the break to see for yoursel– no wait! Evil Washington moved it. That crazy scamp. Maybe you should just use the stairs.

Of note: there are two trailers because Ubisoft’s gone and region-locked them for some reason. Recently, it released two versions of this single-player trailer – only the UK version of which showed Connor burying the hatchet with British soldiers long enough to bury his hatchet in a few Americans. Maybe that has something to do with it? I honestly have no idea.

Regardless, both of the modes highlighted here seem a bit less high-pressure than AC’s typical multiplayer stalwarts, but that might not be such a bad thing. Wolfpack, especially, has my eye with its Horde-Mode-in-assassin’s-clothing appeal. I was, however, a bit disappointed to see only town-based maps and modes. I’d be interested in something specifically tailored to the wilderness – especially given all the potential possibilities wildlife, treetops, and larger locales open up.

Ubisoft does love its DLC, though, so who really knows what’s in store? Admittedly, it’s tough to justify slowly ringing up a sizable tab on map packs when so many games on our side of the platform pond hand them out for free, but I’m a strong believer in judging things on a case-by-case basis. At any rate, multiple players! In one videogame. What a strange and novel concept. Let’s discuss it.

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24 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Smashbox says:

    Something about the still in the second embedded video really turns me off, I have to say.

    Is 2012 the year of neck-stabbing-and-chopping in marketing? I think maybe I’ve seen enough of that kind of thing.

    • Metalfish says:

      The best games the option of not killing anyone to prove how awesome you are: deus ex, mirror’s edge, battlefield….

      • Premium User Badge

        Smashbox says:

        I haven’t killed a man in Dishonored yet, but there is quite a lot of neckstabbery in the marketing.

        • Premium User Badge

          Naum says:

          I find it especially weird for Dishonored because the devs put more emphasis than usual on the viability of non-lethal approaches, going out of their way to provide alternative mission objectives and such. Then again, marketing for games seems to have a general tendency to be woefully non-representative of the actual game.

          Apart from that, I’m also pretty sick of the emphasis many current titles place on meticulously rendered violence. For me at least it contributes precisely nothing to both the gameplay and my emotional response to the world. Quite to the contrary, excessive violence — for instance executions in War of the Roses — will often disconnect me further from the virtual pseudo-reality.

      • reggiep says:

        The best games My favorite games give the option of not killing anyone to prove how awesome you are: deus ex, mirror’s edge, battlefield….

        • Geen says:

          Yes! Beating MGS3 non-lethal makes you feel like a badass, but lethal, it only makes you feel slightly badass.

    • Amun says:

      I don’t know why people still get excited over a new asscreed game. Ubi has had 5 years and 5 games to mix things up a bit, but they keep producing the same exact style of advertising and exactly the same gameplay (fun running around with a dull-as-nails-hand-hold-you-to-death story).

      People keep buying it I guess. =/

      • Serpok says:

        I know I will buy it.

        Sadly there is nothing else with that kind of multiplayer avaliable at the moment.

      • socrate says:

        People throw their money out at everything and were supposed to be in a bad economy spot….riiiight

        Gamer these days have no idea what a good game actually is…give them any dumbed down concept and FPS and they will throw money your way…dumbed down game for a retarded generation i guess

        Then there is american consumer that will pay as soon as they see their flag or something about their history on it…not like everything about their history is totally overhyped in the first place anyway,probably why they went that way with this AC game,maybe people are finally getting that this is yet the same damn boring game that offer nothing really fantastic or new….even the first one was just an upgraded Hitman game.

    • Muzman says:

      Candylady there, knowing what he did last winter and giving Guy Tricorn a scrape with a logging hook, got me to that point well before you apparently.
      Maybe we’re getting old.

  2. iucounu says:

    I had “Brotherhood” on the PS3 and thought it was rather excellent, but the multiplayer left me oddly cold; oddly, because I expected to really enjoy it, and … didn’t. It sounded great, but wasn’t that much fun. There’s something just a bit off.

    I love the idea of a multiplayer assassin game where you have to blend in and be sneaky – I also own The Ship, for instance. But nobody seems to have quite hit on the formula yet. I wonder if Spy Party (where the hell is Spy Party, by the way?) will get it right by virtue of being asymmetric.

    • Chris Hecker says:

      where the hell is Spy Party, by the way?

      Working on it! Hopefully the beta will be open soon, where “soon” is defined as weeks. Hopefully. In the meantime, you can sign up for the closed beta and you’ll get an invite at some point pre-soon.

      Chris

      • iucounu says:

        Oh, hey, awesome! I love the internet. Nice to meet you! Off to sign up for the beta.

  3. db1331 says:

    I’ve never tried the MP in these games. Is the combat in the game really in-depth enough to provide challenge or reward skill in MP? Don’t you just walk up to someone and press X? Or maybe you just wait for them to attack first, and hit your instant win counter. Or is 99% of it about getting close enough to kill?

    • iucounu says:

      You’re in a city populated by clones of you and the other characters, and you don’t know who is a player and who is an NPC. You are told to kill another player, but you only get a general sense of the area they’re in; you have to pick them out by watching their behaviour without giving yourself away. So a lot of it is about mimicking NPC behaviour. Unfortunately, something about the way the game plays means that it’s often more chaotic than sneaky (at least in my experience.)

    • reggiep says:

      Apparently they’ve completely redone the combat in AC3 to require a bit more skill than just waiting to counter and then unleashing a string of combo instakills. Apparently you have to time things a bit better, which could play out to some sort of infinite counter back-and-forth in multiplayer.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Short answer, yes it’s all about getting near to your target, preferably un-noticed. The combat’s all single button one hit kills.

      Long answer, even if you counter you still die, although the opponant gets a much reduced “score” for the kill and is left more vulnerable for other assassins briefly. Match winners are based on score rather than kills, so you really want to get in there without them noticing you to counter, which is hard because there’s an audio cue when a pursuing assassin comes within a certain range that makes everyone very alert very quickly when you approach. That plus lots of actions leave you briefly vulnerable means lots of misdirection and trying to get someone to commit to doing something so you can get an uncontested kill.

      Unfortunately one of the later grindy-xp-unlock system skills called smoke bomb ruins this by being a fast enough skill and area of effect based that if you mash it when the audio cue sounds you’re usually going to stun your pursuer and get away scot free. Plus in one of my favorite modes, assassination where you choose your targets rather than being asigned them, but you never know if they’re a player or an NPC, players are stunned and helpless long enough for the smoke bomb deployer to open a contract on the the stunned player and kill them afterwards as well.

      • Serpok says:

        Grindy? You have enough points to unlock smoke bomb after first match.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Just to clarify I’m talking about revelations since I don’t own brotherhood. There the smokebomb is a level 20 unlock (of which level 22 is the last skill unlock) which’ll take about 100 games or more to reach.

          As I said I don’t own brotherhood but the wiki states it as a level 6 unlock, with what I’ve experienced of ubisoft’s multiplayer progression in revelations I really doubt you’ll gain 6 levels in your first game of brotherhood.

  4. Droopy The Dog says:

    I’m both eager and dreading to see what they replace that atmosphere ruining smokebomb with.

  5. MichaelPalin says:

    Looking at some of the art of this game I have the impression Ubisoft really, really wanted a pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed.

  6. Snargelfargen says:

    Someone please explain why that lady is tearing off the man’s goatee with salad tongs.

  7. Coflash says:

    I can’t believe how many people had a problem with Dragon Age 2’s awesome button but see nothing wrong with that sort of thing, it’s like a bunch of cutscenes have been strewn together and you’re left only to walk between them, surrounded by the dumbest and most oblivious civilian + enemy AI known to man… but little 12 year old boys still get to feel like the big strong man on screen, I guess that’s all that matters. It’s beyond pathetic.

    If they spent half as much time innovating the gameplay as they do on violent motion caps, I’d begin to understand why such a game gets so much praise. I’d wager that if the game didn’t have these death sequences or improved graphics, nobody would care. Aside from the ship combat, the game play looks as boring and as easy as ever.