I want to tell everyone to buy Murderous Pursuits whenever I write about it, but I can't. It's a quietly brilliant hunt 'n' be hunted multiplayer game in the vein of Assassin's Creed multiplayer, from the same people who made The Ship: Remasted. The problem is that by 'quietly' I mean 'most of the time there aren't enough people playing to fill a server'.
Huzzah for free weekends! From 6pm British time tonight until 9pm on Sunday (10am PT today, 1pm PT on Sunday), you can play without spending a penny. The gates have been flung open alongside a free update, which adds a new map, game mode, and two new characters. There's also a new ability, providing would-be murderers with one more tool to tackle their quarry and fend off attackers. Between the new stuff and actually having people to murder again, I'm eager to hop back in.
The new game mode is called 'Elimination'. It's played over multiple rounds, because when you're killed you don't respawn. On the one hand that should incentivise stealth, caution and mind games. Murderous Pursuits works best when everyone approaches it that way, rather than recklessly running to and fro like headless chickens with murder contracts stuffed into their beaks. On the other hand, waiting around sucks.
Those two new characters won't add anything beyond some visual variety, but they're welcome nonetheless. Truth be told I've never paid much attention to the setting, and I'm only just realising as I read this press release that all the characters are supposed to be actual time travellers rather than modern day time-tourists playing dress up. But yes, one of the new characters is an actual pirate. The other is a hunter who got stranded with some dinosaurs.
That just leaves the new ability. It's called "Subvert", and it clears "all the abilities of players in the area and prevent anyone from using abilities for a short period of time". Reading that description immediately reminded me of my intense dislike of Silencer from Dota 2, and my conviction that skills revolving around 'making stuff not happen' detract from games rather than add to them.
I can already hear the exasperated sighs in store for me this weekend as that ability foils my plans in ways that I don't find particularly interesting, but hey - I'm definitely going to be playing. You should too.
You can download the free trial through Steam, where you can also currently pick the game up for 33% off (£12/$13/€13) if you want to play it forever.