E3 2012 Hands-On: Animus hack noobs with Assassin’s Creed III multiplayer

We all know that fans of the Assassin Creed series have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of ACIII and its singleplayer campaign. Many of those fans, including myself, are anxiously anticipating not only that, but the multiplayer aspect as well. I was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the game and I must say that I am quite pleased.

Starting off, players will notice that in addition to the standard 2 ability set that we saw in Revelations, there is an additional ranged ability that is included. The representative from Ubisoft informed me that the ranged ability includes the poison dart, pistol, throwing knives and a few others that he could not name.

The map we played on was Northwest Passage; an icy tundra with what appeared to be an old school version of an ice breaker ship docked in the middle. One of the first things I noticed while traversing the map, was that the chase breakers were changed to suit the map, which is a good thing. In both Brotherhood and Revelations, all of the chase breakers were standard gates that came down as you ran through. On this map, it was a mini avalanche of ice that fell down from a sort of ice-bridge as you pass under it.

The game mode that we were playing, was a new mode to the series called Domination. For any FPS player, you can automatically compare this to Domination on Call of Duty. You and your team is tasked with holding 3 control points scattered across the map. The longer you hold those control points, the more points you accrue and at the end, the team with the most points win.

Obviously in the beginning of the game, all of the control points are neutral. As you capture a control point, a barrier is created not only around the control point, but across the map as well. This barrier is similar to the one in the Capture the Artifact game mode in Revelations that separates the map between the two teams. Once you cross over into enemy territory, your status automatically becomes notorious to the other team. As you enter the second barrier that surrounds the enemy control point, enemy players are notified that you are trying to take the control point. This is where your abilities can really come in handy.

Before I get into abilities, I will state that as long as you are in enemy territory, you can’t kill opposing players, you can only stun them. They on the other hand, can kill you. This also works vice versa in a sense that if you are defending, you can only get stunned by other players in your territory, but you can kill them. Getting back to abilities, if you are either attacking or defending, blend can be your best friend. Just walk into a group of NPC’s (preferably a group that contains at least one character that looks like you) and the game will automatically hide you. This is perfect for tricking enemies into making them kill an NPC, or just giving them a headache because they can’t locate you.

I unfortunately did not get a chance to play with the new abilities, but I did have fun using some of the older abilities like throwing knives and decoy. All in all, the game felt great and the controls are just as smooth as before. I foresee that players will definitely be playing this multiplayer for a while not just as a detraction from FPS multiplayer, but because it actually is a great experience playing. Assassin’s Creed III releases to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 30th, 2012.



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