Assassin’s Creed Unity Won’t Have Competitive Multiplayer
As a franchise, Assassin’s Creed has featured multiplayer ever since Brotherhood, where a competitive mode let players stalk targets while avoiding their own assassin. The addition was praised by critics, and opened the door for the co-op mode that will define much of Assassin Creed Unity’s campaign. Unfortunately, while fans certainly seem excited to give co-operative gameplay a shot, it comes at the cost of Assassin’s Creed’s competitive mode, which is being dropped for Unity.
“We made choices on the game early on that we’re going for the shared experience,” Assassin’s Creed level designer Bruno St-André told GamingBolt. “This meant that we developed core mechanics more on cooperation instead of confrontation. So we put a-lot of effort into redefining the fights so that multiple players can actually engage in them and have a better strategy against the AI, which reacts differently each time. Same thing for navigation and same thing for the stealth. All of our effort and our decisions were based on this topic. We really wanted to be focused on that.”
With new Assassin’s Creed titles coming out every year, perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that certain features can’t be included. One might imagine it would be easy enough to drop in an established gameplay mode, but according to Ubisoft, crafting a co-op system is already a massive undertaking.
“Assassin’s Creed was always a single-player game to begin with,” senior producer Vincent Pontbriand explained to CVG. “It took us three games to introduce PvP (player versus player). It was in the same universe but you were playing as a Templar avatar in a very separate game mode. In Unity, we set out to unify all these game modes into a single experience. That’s when we decided that co-op should be the next main focus but in order to do that we had to rebuild all of our systems to allow them to be replicated over a network and working online. So it took years of development to reproduce and redraft all of our sandbox features for a shared online experience.”
Given the circumstances, focusing on a single gameplay mode is preferable as long as it doesn’t undercut the single-player experience. Perhaps 2015′s Assassin’s Creed release will feature both co-op and competitive gameplay modes, assuming Ubisoft gets the resources to add everything fans want.