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Assassins Creed 2 was an impressive single player experience that came close to winning many writers’ game of the year awards in 2009. Since the game lacked a multiplayer component, it was hard to rationalize a GOTY title when you consider the continued enjoyment associated with the replay value of multiplayer. Ubisoft hopes to cover all their bases with the release of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood.
The multiplayer beta introduces players to a new kind of deathmatch. The first mode available is “Wanted”. In this mode, you are assigned another player to kill. Your radar points you in their general direction, but it is your duty to assassinate the right person. Killing an NPC will result in the target escaping and you will have to wait for a new assignment. While you’re busy hunting, one of the other six to eight players is stalking you. You will want to act as much as a robot as possible mimicking the computer AI and wandering slowly in order to throw off your would-be stalker. Some people will forgo secretive tracking and haul ass across Rome ignoring the awareness of the other players, but the cunning are rewarded with extra points for silent take downs and luring others into traps.
The second mode which became available on October 13th is “Alliance”. Very similar to “Wanted”, players are expected to outrun, out think and out kill the competition, but now you have an accomplice. All players are divided into teams of two. One can act as bait will the other keeps an eye open for bizarre behavior. The team dynamic cuts down on the chaos of “Wanted” and makes the game feel more deliberate and skill based as opposed to stabbing and grabbing.
You can pick you character from a plethora of choices. These Abstergo agents are supposed to be able to blend into their surroundings, so your options are people you would normally see in a town. You can be an engineer, nobleman, courtesan, doctor, a priest, etc. You can also play as a prowler which most closely resembles Enzio from Assassins Creed 2. As you take down your targets and avoid becoming a victim yourself, your score rises after each match and you level up. Since the game is still in beta, you can’t level up too high; but the game does reveal the potential for special skills and abilities called level rewards that can give you an advantage similar to load outs from shooters like Halo: Reach and Modern Warfare 2. Upon graduating to level 2, you gain the disguise ability that completely changes your player skin into someone else instantly. Eventually you can unlock smoke bombs, faster dashing speeds and point multipliers in order to take the lead for going on a killing streak.
Assassins Creed: Brotherhood is like no other multiplayer experience available on consoles. As of right now, the beta is only open to people who pre-ordered the PS3 version of the game or Playstation Plus subscribers. All the other conspirators will have to bide their time until November 16th 2010.