The Thrill Of The Kill

If the recent release of Assassins Creed: Brotherhood has proved anything, it’s this: to be a truly great assassin, you have to be calm, patient, and sometimes quite lucky. Well, no, what it’s actually taught people is that if you run into a wall, but you happen to be sprinting at the time, you instantly start climbing up it. And that whores don’t have sex with people anymore, they just sort of hang around, distracting people with large weapons (ahem).  And that… oh right, I’ll get to the point. The multiplayer has shown that if you run into things quickly, then you will not be rewarded greatly.

It’s kind of like a Chinese proverb really, although any actual Chinese proverb that dictates something along the lines of “if you stand in a crowd of people for long enough, eventually the person you want to kill will walk past” escapes me at this minute, so we’ll swiftly move on. If you join any game online, you will soon find yourself surrounded by people who think the way to victory is to run from rooftop to rooftop, tracking down their prey from above and eventually running up behind them and breaking their necks.  How wrong they are! Many a time have I been instructed to “RUN” in big red letters, just as some idiot jumps me from behind and scores a meagre 100 points, before inevitably meeting his or her own untimely demise at the hands of someone who just sauntered up behind them and broke their neck. Who is then killed by the butcher, who is then killed by the priest, and so on and so on.

These fools need to learn to appreciate the chase. Walking around slowly, following your compass, keeping your wits about you in case your own pursuer is around. Spotting your quarry from afar and sneaking into a crowd of people – preferably a large group of folks identical to yourself (in my case, courtesans. What? I like to look pretty when I kill people). Strolling up to them with a grin on your face and BAM, sock them in the neck so hard that the Grim Reaper is whisking them away before they realise they’re dead. That’s 400 points right there for being incognito, maybe 600 if you just popped out of a crowd. It’s happened all the time that I have been dead last, scored my first kill and jumped up to second place, sheerly because I did it far more stealthily than others.

And then there are those sweet, sweet moments when you decide to just wait in one spot, say, an open market area (Monteriggioni is perfect for this), and your target comes strolling down the centre. He thinks he’s been clever, but you noticed him jump off a ledge a little ways up, and you step out of the blend for just a few seconds to stop his life in one button press. And then someone comes up behinds you and snaps your neck.

Yet, somehow, you have to admire those crazed fools who kill for laughs and care not for their score. They climb rooftops – making them more obvious, sure – but also forcing you to climb after them and risk lowering your stealth meter to the point of it becoming, shock horror, nothing more than a “silent” kill.  They kill faster and harder, reducing their score but increasing the flow of more fools to find and stab. And, best of all, if they’re chasing YOU, they basically give you points.  Say, for example, that you’ve just killed your own prey, and have decided to stand outside a stall while the program assigns you a new target. Your bloodthirsty pursuer will inevitably run straight past your location, triggering a chase event which is instantly avoided by your current blending and, by the time they’ve realised their mistake, you’ve earned yourself 100 points for standing still.  Or they can kill random passers-by, netting you another 100 points and giving you a little more room to breathe as you lose one of your (no doubt) many pursuers.

Some folk just don't get it. No, I don't do 'extras'.

So what I guess I’m really saying here is, I don’t dislike the idiots who don’t take the game seriously enough. Maybe that’s a little offensive… how about “those who find fun in different ways to my own”?. You really can’t help but love them a little bit, as they wander through life, losing points and prey, and helping you to dominate the scoreboards. Just try and avoid being one of them; they may be adorable, but it’s far more fun crushing them than it is running with them.




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8 Comments

  1. Edward says:

    I have to admit, when I tried out the multiplayer for the game at the Eurogamer Expo I actually found myself seriously underwhelmed. I felt like the multiplayer was run on an engine that only really accommodated single player anyway, and the fact that nothing I did seemed to work was also a source of frustration. Trying to be stealthy I thought was too difficult because it was too easy for me to distinguish between human and computer players, and running after people was pointless unless you wanted to create a stupidly long chase sequence, complete with Benny Hill theme in the background.
    Saying that, I’ve found a lot of people actually really enjoy it and find a lot more subtlety to the proceedings than I probably bothered doing, and this article is proof positive of it.
    Great job, Ric :D

  2. Ste says:

    Oh Ed, stop being wrong! Brotherhood multiplayer is brilliant! By far the most original multiplayer mode that I have seen in years. Rich is absolutely right though there are plenty of tools running around not doing it properly but it all adds to fun if you ask me. I’m like Rich in his play style, its all about the quality of the kill rather than quantity. Aerial kills are over-rated, you can’t beat the buzz of being blended in a crowd to then stun a pursuer who is hacking at random civilians trying to find you and then in the same breath craftily poison your target before disappearing back into the crowd without a trace. Awesome.

    I got to level 36 before being forced to stop playing because of that annoying profile bug which reset all of your abilities and perks everytime you turned off your computer. Does anyone know if they have fixed that yet? I wanna get back out there and stab some fools!

    Great article Ric. I enjoyed that.

  3. Mr Swift says:

    Extra lil tip. Getting silent and discreet bonuses add up to your variety bouns. Could rip off lil quote from “the pacific”

    “Never run when you can walk”

  4. Mr Swift says:

    Oh and great article.

    STE that is fixed now I think!

  5. Ste says:

    Cheers Swifty me old mucker! It sure did take em long enough. Better get back to it then :D

  6. Rook says:

    I enjoyed a few games of this at the start but some of the levels I didn’t find well crafte; too much having to walk a long way round to get to the other side of the map. It was certainly a new take on a multiplayer experience however I wish they hadn’t added achievements to the multiplayer part.

  7. Lorna says:

    I haven’t delved into Brotherhood’s multiplayer as much as I would like, largely because the lobby is a nightmare and the one game I did get into, I got kicked/disconnected. I’m still at an impressive level 0. I have some serious work to do. The one time I played with people on my FL, I would often do the rooftop tactic and lurk out of the way, I admit. Reading this has made me more keen to jump back into the action though :D Really enjoyed this one, Ric.

  8. Samuel says:

    Wanting to look pretty as you kill made me chuckle. I entirely agree with you about playing the game stealthily. I do it in both the single and the mutliplayer modes, as I get far too involved in it, and immersed in things. I threatened to leap out of a first floor window and assassinate my postie after the time I spent reviewing the game. Or was it Assassin’s Creed II. I don’t remember which one now, but… yeah.

    A good tactic you didn’t mention is hiding in a haystack or a flower cart until your prey or hunter comes along. You can stealth attack both from inside one or the other, and it nets you a very respective number of points indeed. Won a few games that way.

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