Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: Multiplayer Hands-On Impressions

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Also check out our impressions of the single player mode.

The idea of playing a multiplayer competitive version of Assassin’s Creed might seem a bit odd at first. The game is very singularly one-player. A co-op game online might have potential, but when it was announced that Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood would feature a competitive multiplayer, many of us were left wondering how they would ever pull it off. Today we got a chance to eat our words.

At E3 Ubisoft showed off a six player competitive online mode called “wanted”. There will be other modes, but the reps were keeping quiet about those for now. The multiplayer itself is indirectly connected to the campaign in the game, as you take control of a Templar assassin from the present day, and go inside of an animus that takes you to Eizo’s Italy. Once there, the simulation is a training exercise to help Templar assassins hone their skills. In other words, you get to play in the Assassin’s Creed universe without upsetting the carefully plotted story.

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Honestly though, the plot is unimportant. What matters is the game. In “wanted”, six players are put inside an area, and each is given an opponent to assassinate, which means that someone is also out to assassinate you.

Before the game begins, you choose a character skin to play and then select a pair of abilities. The character choices that were available included a priest, a noble, a doctor and three others that make up the random character types you frequently see wandering through the campaign.  The choice of characters did not seem to affect the gameplay.  More skins are promised as unlockables, including one- the Harlequin- that is exclusively available when you pre-order from Gamestop.

Once you choose your character, you select your ability loadout. The choices included things like a sprint paired with throwing knives, the ability to temporarily disguise yourself paired with a pistol, and a smoke bomb paired with throwing knives again. As you gain experience points, you will have the option to unlock more sets of abilities.

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When the game begins, you are given the image of your target, and you also become a target. A HUD will give you a direction towards your target, but they can blend in with other computer controlled characters that look the same. Once the map confirms that your target is nearby, you have to determine which character is real, then walk up to them and assassinate them. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. The target will be notified when you are nearby, and they can attempt to blend, find somewhere to hide, or make a run for it. If they survive for a certain amount of time, the contract ends and you are given a new character to target, and the target that survived will receive a point bonus. It can make for some intense chases both as the assassin and the target, and it forces you to constantly be on your guard as you could be chasing someone down, which will in turn give you away to your pursuer.

As you play and succeed in your goals, you will gain experience that leads towards unlockable skins, abilities and more. The level cap is supposed to be 50, but that could change.

The wanted mode itself was fun, but more than that, it was unique. It is a twisted look at a deathmatch, seen through the eyes of an assassin and a target at the same time. Assuming that Ubisoft can build on the wanted mode and offer more gametypes that are as equally compelling, gamers might find themselves playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood for a long, long time to come after it is released on November 16.

Warning: This trailer may not be suitable for all ages.