Assassin's Creed IV: The New Wolfpack

Kevin VanOrd exercises his prowess and his patience in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's Wolfpack multiplayer mode.

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I could eye two treasure chests, and knew that cloaked thieves might swoop in to steal the riches within at any moment. Yet I could only guard one at a time, and thus had to keep my senses keen and my mind wary. As soon as I eyed a suspicious figure nearing a chest, I sprinted in the for the kill--or if I was lucky, snuck in for it, garnering more points in the process. Then my partner got knocked out while guarding a third chest, and I had to rush to his aid, leaving my own treasure unguarded. My comrade recovered, and just in time: burglars were unlocking both my chests, and I assassinated both, worried that they'd pilfer my riches before I could stop them.

It was a nerve-wracking stretch of gameplay, but my teammate and I persevered. This treasure protection sequence is one of the new mechanisms in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's cooperative Wolfpack mode, a mode that saw its introduction in Assassin's Creed III. The main thrust of Wolfpack is this: you and up to three others rush across the map to eliminate vaguely identified AI targets, earning points so that you can add precious seconds to the clock, which is constantly counting down to zero. Performing stealthy assassinations, synchronizing assassinations among all players, and leaping onto targets from above are a few of the ways you can pad your point total and keep that clock ticking. The round is over once the timer reaches zero--or once the team completes all 25 waves.

Like the series' other multiplayer modes, Wolfpack is tense. The timer is the source of that tension: as it threatens to strike zero, you must make every assassination count, but you must also resist the temptation to rush every kill, given that you maximize your point total when you exercise skill and patience. It's a struggle against your own human nature, which tells you that you must hurry to beat the clock. But Wolfpack doesn't demand you hurry so much as it demands you be efficient. And in this case, efficiency means knowing when to slow down and resist the urge to attack.

I played the newly retooled Wolfpack at Comic-Con 2013 with two different members of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed IV team for a lot longer than I care to admit. Wolfpack remains compelling, in part due to new wave types that demand you adjust your approach. The aforementioned treasure chest wave (officially called Defense) is one such mechanic. Another is Infected, which the game's designers equate to Pac-Man. Here, you must eliminate roaming targets--but before you can do so, you must first pick up a package that makes these enemies vulnerable to assassination. Should you call attention to yourself before these targets are vulnerable, they can attack and stun you, which of course steals valuable time. To return to the Pac-Man analogy, you can think of the infected foes as the ghosts that initially pursue you, and the packages as power pellets that you consume so that you can turn the tables on them.

It's in Infection that tensions are at their highest. My co-op partner and I would shout out strategies to each other, only for one of us to be knocked into submission by an infected target, leaving the other to change focus and sprint towards a package rather than to slowly stalk intended targets. My heart raced as the timer cruelly counted down, unsympathetic to my pleas of leniency. When we finally completed the wave, the breath rushed out of my lungs, all my anxiety temporarily relieved. And then the anxiety all came rushing back when I realized there were still a dozen waves to go, and that I couldn't rest on my laurels.

How I walked away without chewing my lower lip into a pulp is beyond me. Yet that rush of a wave properly completed had me playing match after match, well after my fellow press members had moved on, leaving me with an amused Ubisoft teammate and a continuing desire to keep playing until I survived the 25th wave.

Ubisoft is aware that players leaping into Wolfpack mode in Assassin's Creed III often felt in over their heads: the mode has a different rhythm than other multiplayer modes. And thus, Discovery mode was born. Discovery is an extensive tutorial mode that introduces Wolfpack mechanics in a story-based structure, so if you didn't play Wolfpack in Assassin's Creed III or found it frustrating, you'll want to start with Discovery in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. If you're like me, however, you'll already be prepared for the resolve Wolfpack requires. You might have the twitch skills and the strategic intellect many multiplayer games require of you. But do you have patience? That's the deciding factor separating the winners from the has-beens in Assassin's Creed IV's Wolfpack.

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Discussion

63 comments
botsio
botsio

the panel was cool.the game is panning out just fine.

ORB1T4LOne
ORB1T4LOne

All these pictures make me ask : Will we ever play a Desmond's female Assassin ancestor ? I mean, there must've been some female Assassins in his family, right ? Wouldn't you like to stare at your character's ass while you slit Templars throats ?

Typhlosionwolf
Typhlosionwolf

No! Multiplayer is NEEDED. It's the only thing that keeps me playing the game. I know other people who feel that way too. There's no reason why there can't be both an amazing story mode and an amazing mulityplayer mode.

SKErwin
SKErwin

This is not AC anymore...Ezio, Altair, COME BACK!!!!!

OhNoesItsDobby
OhNoesItsDobby

I wish for the love of God they'd just ditch the multiplayer and focus on making the single player awesome. It was cool in Brotherhood as a spin-off thing but it really should've stopped there.

eddieham13
eddieham13

Yeah the multiplayer was so easy most of the time. It seemed like I was mostly up against call of duty players, because they'd be running around getting 100 point kills while I stealth 600 point + kills. Also stunning people that think they can just run at me in my direct line of sight.

Evasion through crowd morphing is hilariously effective as well.

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

The Joker and Harley Quinn in the second picture? anyone?

Ariost
Ariost

Bring back alliance mode please. My friend and I always had a blast playing 2v2v2.

Parky23
Parky23

playing wolfpack in ac3 was so difficult if it wasnt with friends ppl just sprinted constantly trying to take all the kills i remember screaming dwn my mic most of the time trying to sync kills haha hopefully ppl will play the tutorial

AizazSharif
AizazSharif

Assassins creed 4 black flag is going to be awesome ....... 

sahar90900
sahar90900

The guy presenting the dolls looks like Michael Bolton XD 

baszzer
baszzer

Thumbs up if you think AC IV would be the one of the best since AC II.

crix01
crix01

All 3 previous multiplayers have been pretty much the same. I like it, but It won't matter how good this multi is unless they fix the crapy connections, made the game unplayable in ACIII. All the good players are unkillable laggers. And they should get rid of the smoke bombs too.

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

One of the reason I love AC mutliplayer is that it removed the obsession of the K/D ratio. I still play AC3 multiplayer alot, though the constant smokebomb use tends to turn me off. What I also dislike AC3 is that they no longer show videos of what the templars were up when you unlock them in multiplayer. I was like "damn, they had something there". The way I saw it was: SinglePlayer =Assassin's Story, MultiPlayer = Templar's story.

nini200
nini200

I loved Multiplayer in AC3.  Haven't played 1 or 2 but I really liked the way Ubisoft created a unique MP instead of just typical run and gun.

lorider25
lorider25

Multiplayer > Single Player

All day, everyday.

eatdogcrap
eatdogcrap

can I ask some here a question? can gamespot block you from commenting? because my last account  keep posted for over 2 weeks and no one has replied back to my comments. then I tried an other browser and see my post aren't being showing up. It shows visible if I'm logged in on that account

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

i'm tired of my single player resources getting stolen by the inclusion of multiplayer.

keep em separated and let the multi be an optional download.


LittleSaintGoph
LittleSaintGoph

This was a cool addition in AC3 but needed tweaking a lot, sounds like they've rectified some of the issues!

Don_Mattrick
Don_Mattrick

I want SP news not MP :(.

Does anyone remember when AC was about a brilliant amazing story and SP and not about MP and dull story and SP ( AC III)?

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@ORB1T4LOne You play as a female in Liberation, though she is not Desmond's ancestor. 

platinumking320
platinumking320

@Typhlosionwolf I honestly don't see why CO-Op hasn't evolved and non-typical multiplayer modes like those tried in F.E.A.R. 3  and Gears haven't been adopted more. Just another example of folks looking at story and gameplay as Oil and Water, and it just aint true.

crix01
crix01

@eddieham13 Sounds to me that you are one of those laggy players. I get a lot of contested kills even when i'm not on the line of sight of my target or i get stunned even when i've pressed the kill button like a hundred times.

daviz88
daviz88

JOKER : Harley !!!!!!!! what do you think you are doing?

HARLEY : i have really gotten tired of your shit always kicking me around like trash but today all that ends

JOKER : HARLEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HARLEY : good bye honey

BATMAN : now i didn't see that coming.

poopinpat
poopinpat

@baszzer Shouldnt be hard since there hasn't been any really great ones... brotherhood was ok but nowhere near as good as 2.

gplayer5
gplayer5

@berserker66666 LOL that's epic. I didn't even notice that until I read your comment. xD

Good reference. lol

QueerGamersXist
QueerGamersXist

@eatdogcrap if your posts contain any words that may be considered offensive then you must be logged in to view them. and yes, GS can also block accounts completely, though if this were the case you would be notified of it in that account's messages.

LittleSaintGoph
LittleSaintGoph

@Don_Mattrick Oh my god stfu...

1. This isn't Ubi releasing MP news, this is a review of what was played by a GS staff member at an event
2. They released 20 minutes of SP content in videos the past week
3. Separate teams develop the MP and it debuted in arguably the best AC game to date

Stop fishing for likes it's pathetic. None of what you said made sense.

Typhlosionwolf
Typhlosionwolf

@platinumking320 @Typhlosionwolf Well multiplayer certainly has evolved since Brotherhood. Bigtime actually with all the new modes and stuff. To me keeping it simple though is part of the appeal. It's nice to have something that isn't constantly changing too much.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@crix01 @eddieham13 Laggy? No I think not. You sound like the kind of person that would probably blame lag for any misfortune you have in a game regardless of whether it was lag or not.

Also you only need to press the kill button once. If the other person presses the stun button then it will be a contested kill. The stun button can be pressed before you press the kill button and it can still be contested it's not that they are pressing it before you. Also its a third person game you have no idea were their cameras are looking.

eatdogcrap
eatdogcrap

@QueerGamersXist @eatdogcrap Yea I got some Q&A from another blog. It seems my previous account got shield off from the public. It was very sneaky of GS to do that letting me feel I was being ignored.
Your name at first sounds offensive but then reading all of it it's not bad. Mine is well.. I'm not keeping this account.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@PaulJanson @udubdawgz  

lol, ya wrong.

all multi should get assassinated or, at least, knocked out and dragged to the dungeons.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@crix01 1. When I am moving around, running or not I check behind me very frequently to see if anyone is following me, I then tend to hide and wait for them around a corner so when they run around I can stun them. You know you can spin the camera around?

2. I experience no lag in the game.

3. If it is taking you 5 seconds to see a response then that means that you are the one that is lagging as the request you have sent through the button press is taking far too long to be received by the server and then the response from the server will take too long to get to you. From what you have described the reason you are losing is because you are the one that is lagging, while myself and other players who are not get around much better.

Summary: You are the one that is lagging. That's why it seems that players are faster than you because their actions are being received by the server before yours. 

I was playing Dota 2 the other day and while my MS is usually 30 - 60 for some reason it hit 300 on this one match. It was just myself who was lagging and I suffered for it, my character didn't respond to action immediately like normal.

If there is any lag at all then your the one lagging, if not, then I answer yes to your final statement.

crix01
crix01

@eddieham13 @crix011: Pushing the kill button for 5 seconds next to my target nothing happening and all of a sudden the guy kill me = LAG.

2: Guy walking away from me with his back facing to me and still getting contested kill = LAG (You know you tend to look in front of you when running away and characters in the game have no rearview mirrors)

3: Me pressing the button to stun several times before my pursuer gets near me to get the kill and not getting contested kill = LAG.

And this happens with only few players and coincidentally are the ones getting the most points. How come i can stun and kill some players and not others? Yea, that's lag. And if you say its "easy" is probably because you are one of them. Never wonder why so few people play the multi in ACIII, yea, that's the lag. FYI i used to play the multi in Revelations and this things didn't happened as often, unless i became an awful player all of a sudden.

poopinpat
poopinpat

@EL_Bomberdor and try not to tell people to STFU on a comment board.  Its being childish and counter-productive towards what they are meant for.

poopinpat
poopinpat

@EL_Bomberdor That might be the case with AC but it isnt always true.  I would've bought crysis 3 if it had a longer than 5 hour campaign.  If the game wasn't so focused on multiplayer it would have had a longer campaign.

But with AC I really don't see them sacrificing campaign for mp.  MP will be more or less tacked on.  Even if it is really good it doesn't represent the meat of the game.

What udub is saying is a valid complaint with games, just left on the wrong comment board.

BTW, devs don't magic up some more money and development time when they decide to add mp modes.  Either they anticipated it when initially asking for funding or it detracts from what was meant for single-player if they decide to tack mp on as an afterthought.

PS. your comment was equally as selfish as his only from the other side of the fence.


SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

Well no TLOU has MP to extend the life of the game like most SP games do but if people enjoy it and its actually good then I've got no problem with it I've also never touched the AC multiplayer but I'd never ask for if to be removed because I know people enjoy it

EL_Bomberdor
EL_Bomberdor

@udubdawgz

STFU. Such a selfish comment on multiplayers. More than just your likes in the world... Pathetic!

If the world listened to you I wouldn't have TLOU multiplayer to play on a daily basis...

And if you knew anything they actually invest MORE into the game to create the multiplayer meaning, more is invested into the game, meaning they wouldn't invest that MORE into the campaign they would keep to budget down and release the exact same game without a multiplayer meaning a multiplayer has no effect on the single player campaign.

baszzer
baszzer

@udubdawgz Just a clarification. On what manner does a single player experience gets jacked by the inclusion of multi? 

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@baszzer @udubdawgz  

why? 

because, like many others, i never play multi and so my single player experience gets jacked by the inclusion of multi.

if the multi is so good, then, release it separately.

but, keep it away from my single player game and add gameplay and value to it instead.

there's nothing better than buying a game and knowing it has no multi on it and that, therefore, the single player has gotten all the love it deserves.


baszzer
baszzer

@udubdawgz and why? It is totally separate from single player and is but a choice. If you don't like then do not bother. As for resources I think they're just the same with the campaign though just in a different implementation. Well, except for the multiplayer models of course. 

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

@crix01 @PaulJanson @xXl_z3r0_lXx @LittleSaintGoph @Don_Mattrick I'm with @SirNormanislost because I would also like to know how the gameplay was the worst when it has everything previous ones had, in terms of combat, free running, etc..... Who made you the King of Awesome? " You can argue wich AC has better story......Unless you like crapy games." See that? A mature and logical person would've said: "Well, I like didn't the story of this game, it's just not for me." Like I said, it's subjective. Not everyone is going to like every story. People have different taste. I don't like Rock n' Roll, doesn't mean it's crappy.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

Because of? What made AC3s game play "crappy"? (Well except the skill quick select radial menu bassicly pausing the fake instead of being what it was in previous games)

DGWTF
DGWTF

@xXl_z3r0_lXx @LittleSaintGoph @Don_Mattrick He said the game it debuted in. As in Brotherhood.