Assassin's Creed: Revelations Multiplayer Hands-On

Revelations looks ready to refine the series' first stab at multiplayer with new modes, gameplay tweaks, and avatar customization.

"Revelations" might sound like a meaningless stock subtitle for unnumbered sequels (see also: "Origins," "Evolution"), but when Ubisoft's Annecy studio first added multiplayer to stealth action series Assassin's Creed, it was genuinely revelatory: a tense, cerebral, asymmetric competitive experience that was true to the spirit of an until-then decidedly single-player, story-driven franchise. But that was in last year's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. What manner of revelation can Revelations bring to the table?

In a word, none. In many words, the multiplayer in Assassin's Creed: Revelations isn't a radical overhaul of the previous game's offering, but instead, it's a richer, refined experience that builds on the comparatively bare bones of Brotherhood, as well as adding the expected new maps and skins. Though the multiplayer suite in Revelations won't offer the full surprise of its predecessor, the additions and improvements are many, sweeping, and, in as much as we've seen so far, welcome.

First up, there are the fixes. The core free-running and stealth-killing action feels much the same as in Brotherhood, but with a handful of mechanics retuned or rebalanced. Locking on to a distant target is less fiddly. Stunning your attacker, which felt unreliable and finicky in Brotherhood, is much easier, with the balance tipped a bit further in the prey's favor than before. What's more, if assassin and prey hit, kill, and stun simultaneously, the target receives an "honorable death." Though he or she will still be killed, both parties earn points. It's a way of rewarding you for spotting your attackers, even if you weren't fast enough to evade them.

Outside of the action itself, Ubisoft promises to cut down the time players will spend queuing for their next match (Brotherhood multiplayer fans will recall the frustration of long and occasionally unfruitful wait times). It's not yet possible to confirm how improved the online access is, having spent our hands-on time playing opponents in the same room, but this is exactly what we wanted to hear. At any rate, players can now vote for their next map and mode between matches from a selection of three.

Shanks for the memories.

In our time with the game, we played with nine new characters across three new maps (Antioch, Constantinople, Knights Hospital), all designed in keeping with the exotic setting of the single-player campaign. We also sampled two of the new modes: Deathmatch and Artifact Assault. These sit at opposite ends of a scale of multiplayer complexity.

Deathmatch is a simple free-for-all, a pared-down version of Brotherhood's Wanted mode. You play without a radar to point you to your target and without computer-controlled duplicates of your target to distract you. We're told Deathmatch is intended as a kind of entry point for those inexperienced in Assassin's Creed multiplayer, delivering the basic experience with less sneaky evasion going on than in the other modes. If you can spot a character who matches the portrait in your target window, it's more or less seek and destroy.

Artifact Assault, on the other hand, is a take on capture the flag, blending team-based defense and attack with the game's characteristic free running and devious stealth, and it makes for a more complex mode than Deathmatch. The map is divided into two. In your team's half, you are an assassin; in the enemy's half, you are its prey. You must sneak--or, riskily, dash--into the enemy's side of the map, swipe a flag (sorry, artifact) from the enemy base, and then get it back to yours. The Assassin's Creed twist is that you might run hell-for-leather out of the enemy's half of the map, in which you are at risk of assassination, to the relative safety of your own. Or you might smuggle the invisible artifact out from under your enemy's nose, putting the assassin-eluding tricks in your abilities loadout to good use.

The new content is capped off with new perks and skills for those custom loadouts. Among them is the tripwire bomb, in effect a proximity mine; closure, which instantly shuts and locks nearby gates; and minor hack, which kills opponents at long range by hacking the animus software itself. New, also, is a storyline layered over the multiplayer progression. As you level up, to a level cap of 50, you will proceed through an Abstergo-based story--the plot of Revelations as seen through the eyes of the Templars. Revelations will also provide an equivalent of prestiging for multiplayer enthusiasts; you can loop through the 50 levels of progression up to 99 times.

Yoink!

Customizable avatars are the icing on the multiplayer cake in Revelations. The Templar persona skins are more minutely customizable than in Brotherhood, with six body parts or costume elements to choose designs for (head and hair, chest, arms, legs, belt, and accessory), along with the usual color choices. In addition, you select your avatar's primary and secondary weapons, which in turn determine the in-game animated flourishes for kills; stuns; and the all-new, just-for-fun taunt moves.

Cosmetic customization spills over into new social features in Revelations, in which a player's Templar profile divulges his or her stats, including favorite skin, favorite ability, kill-to-death ratio, and the like. These profiles are the calling cards you'll encounter in the game's leaderboards and in its new dares feature. Dares are challenges issued by a friend's multiplayer accomplishments--a little like Need for Speed's recently added Autolog social suite.

In customizing your Templar profile, you can also pick a title--with various titles unlocked by leveling up and by completing challenges--as well as a customizable emblem design, of the kind we've seen adorning armor in, say, Halo multiplayer. This emblem, though, isn't just for your profile card: it appears on your avatar's costume (usually on a cloak) in the game proper, as it will on the computer-controlled duplicates drafted in to confuse would-be assassins, along with the rest of your cosmetic customization.

It might be hard to beat the revelatory leap of no multiplayer to some (rather good) multiplayer, as between Assassin's Creeds 2 and Brotherhood, but Revelations looks ready to take Assassin's Creed's first stab at multiplayer somewhere special. Look out for it in November.

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Discussion

115 comments
abompro
abompro

I'm so very much looking forward to singleplayer and multiplayer. Super pumped about the better matchmaking (please, let it be like a normal matchmaking system). All in all, I've tried maybe 3 hours to get into a MP game on Brotherhood, but have only played one game...and sucked, because I was so thrilled about getting in. LOL

Akhmad98
Akhmad98

to be honest the nicest story AC1 because it was really about the creed and it was longer than the rest. in the other Assassin's creed games they don't even mention the creed. now that they are going back to Altair and the Middle East and i get to play with my ancestors again makes me excited for this one. also i felt like they weren't really getting too much better because the next game i liked most was II but i hope this one beats the rest and.. Sometimes when Altair would assassinate people he would speak Arabic (my first language) with this funny accent which was cool also he was a muslim because sometimes he would say verses from the Quraan

lorly1
lorly1

Anyone notice the music from the first video from civ 4

lebman69
lebman69

Make single player bigger. Multiplayer games proves that the developers can't make a decent story which means all your getting is a half ace game you can play with your buddies which is the only reason/way you can make the game slightly more fun than playing alone.

stefanelut
stefanelut

nice game,nice story,nice gameplay this will be way better than ac1

trivolution
trivolution

This is way better than Battlefield 3. Get lost Battlefield 3!

planetpisces
planetpisces

Absolutely loved the MP in Brotherhood, it was ridiculously fun and completely sucked me, and also I thought the online community in general was decidely more mature than the typical FPS fare. Looking forward to it just as much as the SP. Highly, highly, recommend for people who took a pass on it to check it out. It's great stuff.

Ballen04
Ballen04

So unbelievably keen for this game, cant wait!

psycho75
psycho75

I'm not into multiplayer but brotherhood was the first title who manage to suck me in for hours, especially the tension of Wanted mode,love to stun my hunters nd rear then calling me names after from their readsets,priceless lol. Many people are concerned about a loss of quality on the single player because of multiplayer,but i don't this will happen,after all this is a story driven game and Ubi have a lot of passion for this one,i'm sure this will be a complete package of fun for us to enjoy...

palmakoy
palmakoy

@the_reqiuem i ve palyed the MP in brotherhood extencievly and i enjoyed,it just bugged me that the single player was shorter the it was in assasin creed 2 and how it didn t feel as well made

grim0187
grim0187

For all of you people honestly worried about multiplayer taking away from story have you looked around? Dead Space 2, amazing story. Bioshock 2, Red Dead Redemtion, GTA IV, AND AC: Brotherhood. All amazing stories. All had multiplayer. They DO have a seperate team devoted to making multiplayer, I hope you all realize this...

contentxcontext
contentxcontext

@Abysses1 i never really see the appeal of it. Aside from fighters and racers that is, and even then im getting tired of the humiliation that people seem to think they need to send your way if you loose. I dont play games to feel depressed but to help disract me from my own personal problems as a break from them. But more often then not multiplayer gaming make me feel more terrible with myself.

Abysses1
Abysses1

I am getting sick of multiplayer -.- It's in EVERY f**cing game.

lilflex1
lilflex1

this is a very rough year for supportive gamers

mattg90520
mattg90520

I didnt hate the multiplayer in Brotherhood; I just hated the achievements for it. Honestly, I would enjoy a games MP a lot more without achievements but in all honesty, that was the first MP I enjoyed irregardless.

Zerathine
Zerathine

What i really would like to see, was DR2-ish co-op, screw the "realism", i want to see 30 ezio's running around :D

ShadowMoses900
ShadowMoses900

I hope they fix the too easy combat and the awkward controls, because other than that I enjoy this series quite alot.

Gomtor
Gomtor

Looks good, but I am not into multiplayer.

V-Mack
V-Mack

I love assassins creed, the story's the games play and how far they have come with their series. The story just keeps on getting better and better...but the multiplayer is not fast pase enough for me and i hate waiting and searching for people. i think they should completely rethink their multiplayer. When u have a game that's fast passe and keeps the player on their feet the whole time u don't need to do much, but this is not fast passe ces ur chasing someone or ur running away and since its not fast passe it gets boring quickly if there isn't something else there that can help us enjoy the game. i cant think of what they need to do because of they type of game it is, i wouldn't know how they can make multiplayer fun but where they are with m/p just does not do it for me :( . but the story and game play is so amazing the it overshadows its mp

LittleChatelain
LittleChatelain

I love how the capture the flag game type is looking. hah that is like old school summer camp style, with the dividing boundary in the middle. I can just see it now. Each player lined up on their side staring each other down waiting for someone to move across the line.

Alinooridinho
Alinooridinho

This game (AC Series) was built for Freemasons and they use this way to wash your brain.You can easily find their logos in this game even UBISOFT s Logo.

Strydarr
Strydarr

Loved Brotherhood's multiplayer. This sounds even better.

gashoe13
gashoe13

...In the picture labeled Yoink what's the guy on the right doing... Whatever. This looks impressive! I didn't play the original multiplayer, but I was interested. This looks very cool.

INewIRave
INewIRave

I really thought brotherhoods online didnt need half the bs they included. Perks, abilities, killstreaks? Assasins creed of duty. The gameplay was quite entertaining but i would only buy an assasins creed game for the story to be honest.I mean the multiplayer is all right but if it means they are putting more time into developing the multiplayer than the single player then that would piss me off. Bring back prince of Persia rather than wasting your time!!!!

stealth6spy
stealth6spy

EASIER to stun! I keep cursing wildly at my TV because some ******* keeps stunning me every time I get up and they make it EASIER for them!

crossbit
crossbit

@djaime - I thought at first that templar vision was OP, but after being on the other end of it a couple of times noticed the telltale aura that shows up around anyone using it. It's a great ability if your target isn't watching, but otherwise it's like walking towards them with "Apply smokebomb/mute here" stamped on your forehead. @the_requiem - Yeah, deathmatch sounds completely pointless.. taking out all the stealth elements doesn't make it an "intro" mode, it makes it an "8 people chasing eachother around an empty map" mode. Don't think it'll suit the gameplay at all, ACB's deathmatch dlc worked nicely but stripping out the NPCs will kill it. :l

BladeStrike1234
BladeStrike1234

Once single player doesn't suffer... As alot have said...there were imbalanced abilities in Brotherhood that you were basically forced into using to stand a chance...and others were useless. I expect this to be the same...

hella_epic
hella_epic

remove templar vision, it is so unfair,completely ruins the match for me......

BFKZ
BFKZ

Multiplayer? on every game? i guess i'll pass on this one.

SonnyMooree
SonnyMooree

Pretty much amazing if you ask me,AC went on a whole new level on MP,if they to that with SP or even better this game will be a must-have..

djaime
djaime

"nerf/change templar vision", i was part of the multiplayer tester team for ACB, and we point this to the devs, but they said that they'd change in next releases.. voici revelations!

toonsim2
toonsim2

The multiplayer on Brotherhood was good. A refreshing change to all the FPS multiplayers. Oh and BTW I hope they nerf/change templar vision as it was so broken it made the game one sided.

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

All sounds good except the hacking. that's cheese on a stick.

SHERNEE
SHERNEE

I just want this game. I'll take whatever it'll give me.

woonsa
woonsa

Just remove the MP, problem solved.

Scianix-Black
Scianix-Black

This game needs some kind of tag or freeze tag mode.

the_requiem
the_requiem

@palmakoy: Have you played ACB MP? I spent more time on ACB MP than any other game and spent more time in ACB MP than all AC games' SP combined. It is fun and it is single most unique online experience.

the_requiem
the_requiem

Deathmatch sounds... boring. I hope they got a beta for this one. Am not buying Revelations, but if MP is as fun as in Brotherhood and matchmaking issues resolved, I just might pick it up.

the_requiem
the_requiem

Deathmatch sounds... boring. I hope they got a beta for this one. Am not buying Revelations, but if MP is as fun as in Brotherhood and matchmaking issues resolved, I just might pick it up.

spartan2777
spartan2777

Its not going to be multiplayer focused, the day Assassins creed has a bad story is the day the franchise dies

packers91
packers91

@palmakoy Have you played an assassin's creed game?

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

If every game needs multiplayer, how about something besides deathmatch and capture the flag.