Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer Beta review.

It's quite an interesting spin on multiplayer gaming. At least for pvp.

I give it thus far a 3/5 (online play/beta build only). Room for improvement but translates a lot of the franchises solo play elements pretty well to a multiplayer experience.

First off in the demo you can play two different game types; Wanted and Alliance. (You also have access to a solo tutorial).

In both game modes present in the demo. If you kill any cilvians while you're on your "contract" to kill another player. You lose the contract. You will also be notified when you have a new "pursuer" assigned to you, or if they failed to end you.

Wanted: Up to 6 people, standard pvp with the Assassin's twist of not being spotted. Take your target out with stealth or perhaps steal someone elses target if you're quick enough. If you spot your attacker, you can run to escape with obsticles or hide in the trademark hay piles. You are also afforded a brief moment to smash the Circle button in desperate hope to kill your attacker before they give you that unwarranted tracheotomy. Keep in mind you have to be with in melee for this to work; just like your attacker.

Alliance: 6 players, 5 being required to start the match. Similiar to Wanted but with a somewhat co-op game style. 3 teams of two go against each other. Little bit more dynamic feeling than Wanted. Though you don't really spawn next to your teammate; or really help them for that matter. Example: you can get bonus points if your ally has a enemy "locked" or targeted and you kill them. Sort of a reward for kill stealing? Perhaps but it's a team thing I suppose.

Like so many multiplayer team based games. It felt your teammate was doing more for you by just being someone that wasn't going to kill you. Moreso than offering any real assistance to you in a major assassination.

In both games you do get style points and it did feel rewarding pulling things off well. It was also frustrating a bit to see someone in a full sprint through multiple crowds in your direction nail you.

Upgrades - I only got to level 5 so far; out of a what seems 20 levels for the beta. There's a lot more than just those though. As you level you'll unlock things each least for the first few levels that is.

Abilties: They are activated with the L2 button. Some of the abilites I unlocked are: Sprint, it's like a double sprint to compensate for everyone's traditional ability to sprint for jumps and building climbing. Also Disguise which allows you to change your characters appearance to a different preset one for a few moments. Abilites do have a refresh timer which isn't to bad. They're also set to profiles, each profile has 2 slots for 2 different abilities. So you have to swap out the ones you want.

Streaks: Activated when you meet the requirements such as 3 kills silently or 3 kills period. They'll give you +300 or +100 points respectively.

Perks: Passive abilties. They allow you to say run into more people before losing your balance, great for pursuit. Also one allows you to change a NPC's skin to your characters skin unless there's already one present.

Graphics / Maps - Everything looks good like it should. Only a couple of maps to play on; I felt they were perhaps a tad bit small. Perhaps though it was just the spawn points. A few times I spawned waiting only a couple seconds to get a new contract and was killed. Even so you'll quickly get a feel for the maps and recognize where you are. You'll also feel quickly, that you've seen everything on the map; with only two to three plays.

Stealth - Eh there's some hiccups. It's a little bit of a catch 22. The game encourages you to blend in with the crowds as you would in the campaign. But with players stalking you as you're stalking them. You tend to shy away from the crowds for fear your attacker is there; which is quite likely. Because you're hiding from one person in a hay pile. Someone else should they locate you can get you as well.

Kill animations are fairly long so they really make it known where you are. If anyone is within eyeshot they've got you. I'd say a third of my kills or being killed took place at the same exact time someone elses was. Assassin dominoes if you will.

Camera - It's hard to press and hold X to walk at a slightly quicker pace to catch up to your target or keep them in sight. While at the same time moving the camera with the right thumbstick. It made it hard to see who's coming around corners which lead to a few deaths and missed kills.

Physics - I had a few instances where the animations took over for the physics. For example:
Running and leaping off a rooftop, with sprint enabled. My attacker turns and begins his kill. I am in mid flight towards another building and my character is warped back to his arms to be thoroughly assassinated. Nothing wrong with the kill, just that I was 10ft. from him.

Other - One annoyance because of players with the beta - using mics, no one was using them for strategy besides coughing into them and talking about the game itself and how F*** slow it is. Which it actually wasn't "slow" so much as it was waiting for players to join. Being a beta it's not exactly flooded with people atm.

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