E3 2012: Assassin's Creed 3 multiplayer hands-on
Assassin’s Creed 3 has had an absolutely brilliant showing at this year’s E3 expo thus far, earning several “Best of Show” ribbons already, along with lines of fans eager to get their hands on the upcoming hit. Ubisoft’s event presentation of the game, though, has been primarily focused on the single-player portion of the game, rightly so – the franchise is experiencing its first true, pivotal setting change. Thankfully, we were able to get our hands on the multiplayer for an action-packed, stealth-filled match, and we’re glad to say that it’ll be fighting with the campaign for your play time this fall.
Our play-through began with an Ubisoft representative describing the mode, which was detailed as a domination type match where your team of four will battle the enemy assassins to capture and hold three points. After the short details, we were presented with a menu screen where one member of our team picked out our team attire for the match; in this case we were bandana-wearing, hat-loving assassins battling enemies who looked like Hulk Hogan clones. The demo did feature several question marked boxes for character types, revealing a slew of choices for fans to try out.
In just a few short seconds we began the match, quickly rushing to a near capture point. We found it beneficial to interact with the NPCs as we captured each point, so that we would be difficult to pick out by enemy assassins. After gaining a substantial amount of points for our first capture, we decided to trudge over to an enemy point and make our first take-back attempt. The setting, which pitted players in a freezing cold, snowy village, features several free-running/climbing opportunities, making transitions from defense to offense quite satisfying. Nearing the enemy’s stronghold, the opposition became aware of our presence, giving us one of two choices: rush in detected and attempt to take down pursuers, or act as NPCs and gain access to their capture point. We chose the latter and succeeded. Beginners luck, maybe?
As the match continued, action intensified and points began to roll in by the hundreds. Though we were primarily captivated by the actual gameplay, we couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the scenery was and how NPCs interacted with one another. It made the experience exhilarating and ever so satisfying. Add-in the fact that one can play however one wishes (offensive, defensive, lone-wolf, etc.) and it becomes apparent that Assassin’s Creed 3 is not just a fantastic story-based title, but a full fledged juggernaut in the gaming industry.
Will Ubisoft still primarily focus on Assassin’s Creed 3’s main campaign? Most likely. But from what we’ve seen, the AC3 team has crafted one heck of an online component that becomes addicting from the start. If you’ve never experienced an Assassin’s Creed multiplayer, well…shame on you, but it’s quite clear that the third installment will be a worthy starting point.