Yesterday at Comic-Con, Ubisoft Montreal revealed one of the new multiplayer modes that would be debuting in Assassin’s Creed III; a cooperative “Horde-style” mode titled “Wolf Pack” that challenges players to work together in order to locate specific targets, assassinate them, and blend into the crowd before they are discovered.
While the basic premise sounds simple enough, the Ubisoft developers who were on hand to showcase the new mode were careful to reiterate that, as is the case in Assassin’s Creed’s competitive multiplayer, a careful balance of strategy, quick-thinking, coordination, and speed must be maintained in order to triumph in Wolf Pack.
Just like in the game’s standard multiplayer, players can choose one of several different characters to play as and outfit them with a variety of different outfits, perks, abilities, and weapons. Wolf Pack tasks players with identifying specific A.I. targets and coordinating their efforts in order to “sync” their kills and achieve the maximum possible score before moving on to the next target.
There are 25 targets or “sequences” to locate and assassinate in each map and a timer slowly ticks down between sequences, forcing players to keep an eye on the clock as they move on to the next sequence. Sometimes a special “quick-hit” target will appear in-between sequences; a successful quick-hit kill earning players additional time and points.
Judicious use of perks, abilities, and positioning will be required in order to stay in the game long enough to make it to the 25th sequence. The Ubisoft developers also pointed out that while Wolf Pack can be attempted solo, two or more assassins working in tandem will be ideal for the later sequences given the mode’s difficulty.
Some of the first-hand demos of the new mode demonstrated first-hand why teamwork and cooperation are the ideal tenets of Wolf Pack: one showcased a pair of players having to locate two different guards, one in a blue uniform, the other in orange, and each making sure their kill synced up with the other’s to avoid detection as they blended back into the crowd. None of the on-hand players managed to make it past sequence six or seven (though to be fair they were all working in pairs while the retail version of the mode will support up to four-person teams).
A handy “target cam” in the upper right corner of a player’s screen helps them pick out the exact target they must assassinate (since they’ll often be in close proximity of similarly dressed targets). Subtle wardrobe differences such as the target’s hat or weapon help differentiate them from their friends as the player moves in for the kill.
The Ubisoft developers were tight-lipped on the specific list of perks available to players in Wolf Pack but they did hint that perk-usage would be tied to their performance, indicating that perhaps specific score-thresholds would have to be surpassed before certain perks could be used.
With its revolutionary new take on co-op multiplayer, Assassin’s Creed III is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated games of 2012. You can judge for yourself when the game comes out for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on October 30th.