Preview: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Multiplayer Beta

By Tyler Christensen

October 8, 2010

Assassin’s Creed has always been close to my heart, ever since the moment I played the first game shortly after its release for PlayStation 3. I loved everything about it from the gameplay to the story to the characters to the overall feel and look of the game. Riding a horse across the Holy Land was a definite plus too. Being a fan of open-world games, I felt closer to home than ever before with an intense and original story of a man who is an ancestor of a long line of assassins and is able to go back through the genetic memories of his kin to fight against Templars.

Check out my impressions for the multiplayer beta for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, there is even a nice little gameplay video that I had created after the break.

For the first time in the Assassin’s Creed series, we get the opportunity to experience a side of the creed of assassins like never before with multiplayer. Some of you are probably questioning the fact that a multiplayer game mode was even being designed for Assassin’s Creed, and are probably also wondering how something like that could even be pulled off. For me, I always loved the thought of being able to be within the world that Ubisoft had created through a multiplayer experience, and when I had found out that they were planning just that for Brotherhood… well, let’s just say that luckily that day was laundry day. I had the chance to sit down and have some hands-on playtime with the multiplayer beta, and in all honesty I couldn’t put it down. I had a lot (and I mean a lot) of fun playing through the beta for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.

Unfortunately, at the time that the beta had begun, there was only one game mode, “Wanted,” a free-for-all type of mode where eight players must find and assassinate each other. A second game mode called “Alliance,” where three teams of two players compete for the highest possible points as a team. This game mode is to be unlocked by the community, but it is unsure as to how this is done.

The Assassin’s Creed games play quite heavily on the art of stealth, and the multiplayer is no different here. Wanted is a mode where it is kill or be killed, fly or fight, and if you are wanting the highest points out of all who you are playing with, I suggest killing your target in the stealthiest of manners possible.

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The beta starts off with a multiplayer training program within Abstergo. That’s right, be prepared to re-enter the Animus once again, and choose your assassin in training. There are seven to choose from, such as the Executioner, the Doctor and the soldier to name a few, with an eighth being able to be unlock further on through the ranking system. It first gets us up-to-date on the radar indicator, which is a much needed tool within your assassinations. As you become closer to your target, the compass indicator’s width will increase. When the indicator becomes bright that means that your target is in sight, so don’t make any noticable actions or your kill bonus score will go down when you assassinate your target.

I did seem to notice that in the first two Assassin’s Creed games, it was best to keep to the rooftops, and by all means, its still the case in multiplayer but I had also found that sticking to the ground is where it is easiest to locate your target and obtain an incognito kill bonus, which score you with a whoopin’ 300 points towards your rank. Rooftops are definitely still a very useful mode of transportation, especially since the game revolves around some parkour movements.

There were only two maps available during the beta; Castel Gandolfo and Rome. A third map, Siena, was unlocked by the community of players of the beta by obtaining five million kills throughout the beta since it launched.  Siena is a smaller map, like Castel Gandolfo, and it takes place during the night. It’s definitely a nice looking map with great detail. Castel Gandolfo has to be my my favorite map out of the three, mainly due to it being a close-quarters map where being incognito throughout the match is certainly obtainable. If you have smoke bombs, these are great distractions in a close-quarters area. Toss one of those babies down if you spot your executioner, and quickly press ‘O’ before your enemy can assassinate you and you will give them a stun that will rock their world. Run and find a safe spot to blend, either surrounded by a group of AI that look like you (for extra confusion for your assassinator), on a bench or jump into a bin of leaves to evade… seconds later, points amass.

I found that there is no reason to rush in multiplayer. If you keep your cool, its easier to spot your assassinator. I noticed a lot of people just running a muck across the map searching for their targets, while I could be patiently walking through the crowd, keeping up with the “flow of traffic” and being able to have my target never know what hit them as I walk past them silently. If you are one of those players who prefer not wanting to use the tactic of being calm, by all means, run across the rooftops and across scaffoldings… I’ll use them too, but just remember that my hidden gun is stealthier than your hidden blade.

The abilities and perks within multiplayer really give your character a little extra oomph. The ability to throw down smoke bombs or sprint faster than others or being able to disguise yourself as another character to evade from your pursuer was such a great feature of the game. The even have the ability to morph. I can only imagine what abilities will be available in the full multiplayer experience, and I’m sure that they will help you become an even more hardcore assassin than what you were a few ranks prior.

I also noticed while playing the beta, during the Wanted matches, it appeared that the opposing players’ ranks were never revealed. If this is one of those things that was developed on purpose, then I applaud you. Knowing what rank your opponent is and what abilties they possess slightly put a damper on the gameplay. Being oblivious of other players’ “powers” and rank give that extra fun-factor, for me, due to never knowing what will happen when you are assassinated. Generally, I’ve noticed that people become intimidated when they see higher ranked opponents.

I didn’t have many complaints about the beta, except for finding that I could not mute other players in the match with me. Not being able to mute a player in the case of said player having a microphone malfunction or purely just being a nuisance is distracting. Not being able to assassinate targets in the proper fashion of being incognito because of a person’s microphone is a definite let-down. The ability to mute others should be looked at and set up for full release, otherwise there may be a lot of annoyed players out there jumping out of lobbies until they find a match that has no one using a microphone.

Other than the issue of not being able to mute other players, I felt that the multiplayer aspect of Brotherhood was great. It kept me entertained for several hours and couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait until the full release in November, so I can get back to assassinating my enemies and exploring the rest of the multiplayer world that Ubisoft Montreal had created for us. By the looks from the beta, they have done everything right to this game. They have made a great multiplayer experience and if I had fun with only one available game mode, I can only imagine what the full release is going to be like when it releases on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November.

So, until then, I leave you will a short video that I had created showcasing some of the take-downs in the beta.

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Tyler Christensen

Marked until death with the words "Gamer" across my back (literally) with Duck Hunt pistols across my shoulder blades. Tyler enjoys good beer, open-world games and is also a singer/songwriter.

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