January 19, 2010

Assassin's Creed gets multiplayer

Apparently we are due for another Assassin's Creed game this year. According to some statements from the Ubisoft meetings, they have another game slated this year that will include, get this, multiplayer. Now I'm looking a that thinking, "What are those idiots thinking?"

Who knows, maybe, just maybe it could work. I just don't see how you can turn a close-combat, stealth-action game into a multiplayer frag-fest. I'm not against multiplayer, but I also don't think that games should add multiplayer simply for the sake of adding multiplayer so that the publisher will be happy cause they get to list another item on the box.

Assassin's Creed is one of the best selling new IPs in this generation of consoles. Assassin's Creed sold roughly 8 million copies worldwide and it's recently released sequel has already moved 6 million copies. That's huge, for any game. So what will adding multiplayer add to the franchise?

There are some games that make sense to do multiplayer. Adding it to Uncharted made sense. It's some of the best online gameplay I've ever experienced. Especially the co-op levels. BioShock 2, though I've not yet played it, sounds like a good fit. I could even see some online modes work with a game like Mirror's Edge, where you get to race against an opponent or even have some team relay events.

But I just don't see how it would work effectively with Assassin's Creed. That's not to say I don't see that there could be some online functionality. But I would think it would need to be co-op objective-based gameplay as opposed to deathmatching.

Here's how I see it working. 3 to 4 assassins would be tasked with infiltrating a structure (a castle or mansion or even a walled city) and then eliminating targets within. Essentially, it could play like Rainbow Six co-op but you would have some difficulties to overcome. With Rainbo Six, you can have team chat because, in our day and age, we do have the ability to talk to each other via little headsets. Obviously, in game set in the 1400s, that's just not going to fly. Co-ordinating a door breach with Rainbow six is easy. How would you co-ordinate a simultaneous taken-down in 1400s? Perhaps we bend the rules a bit? Since we are reliving the memories of ancestors via the Animus, and we know from Assassin's Creed II that while in the Animus you can communicate with the outside world, I guess it could stand to reason that your team of assassins are all linked together through a network of Animi (Animuses?) and can therefore team chat.

That's all I could think that would work within the Assassin's Creed fiction. What do you think? Does multiplayer make sense for Assassin's Creed? Or will it fall flat?

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