The man with the powdered face trails his target closely, sliding in between small groups of people to stay cleverly hidden and inconspicuous. Ahead of him walk three identical women – one of which is his prey. He follows, looking for any clue that may betray his marks identity… nothing – she’s good. The man decides to enact plan B. He breaks from his group and walks at a brisk pace towards the three woman. Quickly, he reaches into his coin purse and throws a small fortune of gold on to the ground. Two women react with joy, one does not. Without missing a beat, the nobleman slides a knife between her spine – the kill complete.
Same Old Tricks, New Assassins
From Assassins Creed III to Black Flag, the multiplayer experience has hardly changed at all – and thats okay. If you’ve never player multiplayer on an assassins creed game, its unlike any other multiplayer you’ve experienced. No guns, no swordplay, no fisticuffs – just pure stealth action. In most game mods, you are given a target, and you must kill that player in the most stealth way possible. Running at them like a wild boar will net you 100 points, but blending in with the crowd, using a smoke bomb, or finding some other way to kill your target unseen can net you huge points.
Before the game begins, players pick the character they want to use – the world is then populated with exact replicas of each player. Its up to you to decide who is a computer, and who a real person is. This is made easier with a sort of “Hot/Cold” meter that you follow to find your targets. When you’re in line of sight of your target, it turns blue. When you are right in their general area, the whole circle lights up and its then up to you to decide who to kill. Smart players will be hiding with look alikes, so its up to your cunning to devise ways to expose them.
This isn’t a multiplayer for the impatient. Running not only nets you less points, but it gives away your location to anyone within line of sight – making you super easy to stun. Stunning is your only means of defense when you are a target. When someone is after you, and very close, you hear a soft heartbeat and whispers that grow louder and louder. This noise makes you INCREDIBLY paranoid. When you hear this, its up to you to decide who your hunter is, and to attack first. If you attack first successfully, you stun them and are able to run away. If you attack at the same time as your hunter, you are killed, but you wound them in the process and cut their netted points from the kill in half.
There are some frustrating mechanics; its all too often that I kill the wrong target (a civilian) even though I was clearly facing the real person. This cause you to be locked out of your weapons for ten seconds – a lightyear for your prey to stun you and get away. This is especially prevalent when they hide in groups. The game urges you to lock your target with L2, but in the moment its very hard to remember. Nothing is worse then making a perfect approach, knowing the player is oblivious, and then clumsily stabbing the character standing next to your target that looks nothing like him or her.
The multiplayer is incredibly fun and unique, but only for a few games. After three or four I often get bored of it, and switch to Resogun or single player. The game truly creates exhilarating scenarios. Killing your target reveals your location on the map, so its imperative that you flee as fast as possible. With the heavy whispers and heart beats, its a uniquely stressful online experience. If you have the game, you have to try it. Otherwise, buy the game if you want an awesome pirate story, and an interesting multiplayer mode to break of the single player.