More Reviews
REVIEWS Dokuro (PC) Review
Dokuro makes the jump from handheld to PC, but does it help or hinder this unusual platformer?

About Love, Hate, and the other Review
Simple feelings. Complex puzzles.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 01/14/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Black Friday 2014 Video Game Deals Buyer's Guide
Looking to score the most bang for your buck the day after Thanksgiving? Well look no further! Our Black Friday guide is just the tool you need.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Preview

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
06/18/13
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action/Adventure 
PLAYERS 1- 8 
PUBLISHER Ubisoft 
DEVELOPER Ubisoft Montreal 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
M Contains Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

No rum for me, it's stabbing time.

While I like to think that I've become a master at online assassinations on friends and foes alike, Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Annecy don't want newcomers to feel the sting of experienced hidden blades like mine, at least not without the opportunity to feel successful themselves. During my guided tour of Ubisoft's E3 booth, I got an opportunity get hands-on with Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag's multiplayer component well ahead of release.

You probably already know that AC multiplayer revolves around careful, measured play. Pursuing targets too aggressively might give you away to anyone assigned to end your own life, and higher point values are assigned to stealthy and stylish kills. Since Brotherhood, I've been hooked on the idea that killing more than your competition doesn't guarantee a 1st-place finish, and that aerial assassinations or poisoning your target without them knowing can rocket you to the top of the leader board. Thankfully, the team that won the Bischoff Award for Multiplayer Excellence (which I totally just made up) hopes to push the formula forward and meet the needs of a growing player base with Game Lab.

Game Lab allows users to completely customize the way an AC multiplayer match plays out. You can change the rules or combine game types to create your own personal flavor. If you want the teams of Manhunt, but not the strict hide-vs-seek discrete rounds, you can do that. One match type created by the development team only awarded points for gun kills, making for a deliberate third-person shooting experience. If you want to completely eliminate the kill-specific scoring, you can do that too. A 1200-point hidden-poison kill can now equal 1 single point, forcing players to completely rethink their strategies to meet each match type.

That's what I was met with when I finally went hands-on. Generally, I prefer stalking my prey, playing patiently and going for high-scoring assassinations above anything else. The standard Wanted mode eventually pushes players like me to move and react faster, especially when three or four players have all been assigned to kill the guy in the lead. Still, my reluctance with this new custom mode put me at a huge deficit.

An Ubi developer leading the match knew how to react to the new rule set and immediately began sprinting around, alerting other players to his position. At first I thought this was an odd choice, but when you strip AC multiplayer of different point values, it doesn't matter if another player can spot you as human out of all the AI doubles—it only matters if you strike fast and frequently. In this particular match, players were awarded one point for every stun, every ground finish, and every kill, while contesting a kill meant that neither player received a point.

I started to get to the hang of this mode's rhythm and betrayed my silent-stalker sensibilities to climb to higher vantage points. From the few rooftops in the Caribbean map, I could spot my target and see aggressive attackers headed my way. As they scaled the walls, I was able to jump off and pursue my own victim, losing my own tail in the process. Game Lab was already making a meaningful impact on the way I played AC multiplayer.

By forcing experienced assassins like me to step out of their comfort zones, Ubisoft Annecy will keep the frantic circle-stabbing at a level that welcomes new players and challenges old-hands. Properly implemented with the rest of AC's community and competitive features, Game Lab will reinvigorate the experience and drive players to continue hunting with creative new game types and challenges. I ducked out of Assassin's Creed III's multiplayer earlier than I had expected, but Game Lab takes the basic blocks that made me fall in love way back in Brotherhood and twists them to create meaningful new competitive rulesets.

Assassin's Creed IV is set to release on October 29, 2013 in North America for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC, and will be available for PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in Q4 2013.

More GR previews for this game:
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag preview posted on 02/27/13.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag preview posted on 02/27/13.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag preview posted on 08/31/13.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag preview posted on 09/30/13.
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag