Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
The story so far: Way back in the jungles of E3 2010, a surprising revelation rose over our mental horizon. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – the game we immediately had pegged as a cynical cash-in – turned out to be well worthy of being credited as a standalone forward shift for the series. You can read that preview here.
Not happy providing us with another step forward in the single-player shenanigans off Messrs Auditore Di Firenze, Ubisoft has added multiplayer for the first time in the series, and yesterday, Ubi let us gawp at it for a bit with a controller in our hands. And we quite liked it.
The mode we played was called ‘Wanted’. Players got to choose from twelve different character models. Each model is matched by a ton of NPCs, which will dutifully mill around the city of Rome throughout the competitive argy-bargy. Since there are no gameplay differences between the models themselves, players are free to choose to be who they wish. However, each must choose from one of four perk loadouts, each of which featuring two perks.
As far as we could see at this stage, there was no way to mix your perks how you wish. The loadout we went with was ‘Disguise’ and ‘Hidden Gun’, each of which were mapped to the left and right trigger buttons respectively.
The aim of Wanted was essentially that same as your standard deathmatch – be the last man standing. The rub here, though, is that the game will only allow to track one other player; your target. Of course, in turn, another player is tracking you, and so on and so on in one giant Renaissance circle-jerk.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the only guy you can kill. If by some miracle you manage to identify another assassin from the throng of identikit NPCs, you can kill him just as easily, but such a find is unlikely unless, say, the other player decides to use the roof or if he is engaged in a battle with his own target or random discovery.
So, onto the perks; the hidden gun is self-explanatory. It’s the same one-round assassination method which can be found in Assassin’s Creed II (should you play quite along way in). The disguise is pretty cool, though; you’re able to change your character model. So, if for example your character is a monk, you can change to courtesan or any of the others.
Multiplayer goes up as high as eight either side (16 players), Wanted, though catered for up to six total. While tracking your prey, a directional widget beams a neon arrow in the direction of your target and widens the close you get. The only trouble we had with the mode at this stage was being killed by our stalker while we were killing our target. This seemed to happen a lot.
Taking down your target makes you rather obvious, you see. NPCs just don’t get up to that kind of cloak and dagger shit, and the chances are that even if your own follower is nowhere near you while you go about the mortal videogame inevitability. Also, it seemed near-impossible to defend ourselves against the guy tracking us.
Still, it is Assassin’s Creed, and for the first time ever, you can get your friends involved. And that has to be worth something, right?