Sunday, January 02, 2011

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

I'm about a quarter of the way through the single player side of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and a few nights into the multiplayer mode.

Color me wicked impressed.

The single player -- the third installment in the series -- maintains its high production values, a coherent story and themes across titles, and refines the gameplay mechanics that worked well in the first two console titles.

And the multiplayer? A first for the franchise, think of that "assassin" game you maybe got to play in college, married to action stealth, having a tryst with a refined perks / streaks / customization mechanics system (a la Modern Warfare).

There are some core game modes for being killed by your friends, and all are points based. "Wanted" is an individual slayer mode, but more cat-n-mouse(ish) -- up to eight players are trying to kill their own assigned mark, and avoid getting killed. Killing the wrong mark (an NPC lookalike) loses the "contract", delays you getting a new one, and puts you at risk of getting killed yourself. You can't kill (but you can stun) your would-be assassin.

"Alliance" pits three separate two-person teams against each other (think an Assassin's Creed version of the Gears of War "Wingman" multiplayer mode).

Both "Wanted" and "Alliance" have "Advanced" versions of the gametypes, removing or nerfing regular gaming staples like height indicators, text cues, and the like (think Left 4 Dead's "Realism" mode", but not taken as far).

The final game mode (so far), is "Manhunt", with two opposing teams (assassin's and victims). Hunters score with assassinations, and the huntees get the same for staying anonymous ("incognito"), escaping or stunning their attackers. I don't think there's an Advanced mode for this.

That's what I have so far. These are just the first (positive) impressions so far -- not a review -- and I'll hopefully circle back when I've finished the single player game, and spent more time with the multiplayer.