Ubisoft, to the surprise of many, managed to get people interested in the multiplayer component of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. The scenario was kind of reminiscent of Naughty Dog and Uncharted 2, where they pulled off the same thing. Now, with Assassins Creed: Revelations, Ubisoft has a chance to make the multiplayer mainstream, so when Assassins Creed 3 finally lands, they have a solid fanbase at their disposal. It can also be seen as their determination to make the franchise stronger, and to the point that each game sells a lot. After having played the beta of Revelations, I have to say, things are looking bright for Ubisoft.
Core gameplay is similar to that of Brotherhood, but it has been polished a lot with quite a bit of balancing fixes, new weapons and skills for gamers to play with. The most alluring thing about Revelations is definitely the graphics. It’s a bit impressive that they manage to create a wonderfully realized world looking crisp and clean, with a lot of detail sprinkled for you to ogle at. The game looks gorgeous and this is just the multiplayer portion. Of course some may argue that they’re using the same assets but, for me, it’s the final product that counts.
Having played the beta on the PS3, I have to say, it runs perfectly well. No slowdown or pop-ins like the previous Assassins Creed games, or any glitches are to be found in the current beta build. And mind you, I played it quite a bit. As I elaborated earlier, you will find many similarities between Brotherhood and Revelations; however, if you play a lot, you will realize the subtle changes Ubisoft has employed here. The leveling up system is pretty straightforward; you earn XP after each game depending on your performance and get to unlock a lot of skills and bonuses. And they’re quite refined I might add. For e.g. even at a lower level you have access to items that stun your enemy if they follow you or give you time to exit out of their sight.
In this game, you can actually stun your pursuer if he misses or stumbles which pretty much means the end of his contract. The formula is the same: Hunt or be hunted. With some new gameplay modes that bring other rules to the equation. The maps look splendid and the beta features three maps namely, Knight’s Hospital, Antioch and Constantinople. The main advantage over Brotherhood is that the maps here offer much more freedom to the person who is hunted and he has the ability to break out of sight easily. The layout is much more complicated so might need some memorizing. There is absolutely no lag in the beta, which makes me wonder if they have dedicated servers or not. Even if they don’t, it is a great achievement on consoles.
There are five modes in the beta: Wanted, Manhunt, Deathmatch and Artifact Assault. There are two new modes in Revelations and they work really well. Wanted as the name suggests; you have to kill your target without being killed by your pursuers. In Manhunt, team work is required and teams take alternate turns to kill each other. Deathmatch while pretty obvious has the same gameplay mechanic as Wanted but the compass is not available here and you will compete in a small area. Artifact Assault, is much like Capture the Flag but instead you have to capture artifacts. The modes are quite fun but the learning curve is slightly on the higher side. Revelations’ offers a tutorial mode where you can learn the gameplay mechanics easily.
There are a lot of abilities and perks at your disposal, much like the previous game, but it has been more expanded upon here. Abilities ranging from poison, tripwire, disguise, smoke bomb and throwing knives and perks like sentry, blender, 3-kill streaks and a lot more are available at your disposal. Utilizing these effectively determines how well you will place in the final score board. Everything is customizable including your characters which really brings an unique identity to each character. The sound is fantastic, especially you can hear the finer footsteps if you have a good sound system. Along with the brilliant soundtrack that makes you hum to the tune while playing, the production values are quite apparent here.
The interesting thing here in the game is that, you earn Abstergo credits as you level up, and you need to use them to purchase abilities and perks. The beta is level capped till 30, and I have seen a lot of people online that have already reached the limit. It’s amazing how competitive the multiplayer component in Assassins Creed: Revelations is, compared to some of the other games out there.
The game will release in November for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and considering how polished the beta is, the full version is looking really promising.