I’ve played a few hours of the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations beta, and so now that I am comfortably with the game, it’s time for some QUICK beta impressions.
Right off the bat, I’m not a huge fan of the new Contested Kill/Honorable Death bonus. This occurs when a pursuer goes to stun you but fails; they’ll still hit you before you kill them, and they’ll get an Honorable Death while it’ll come up that you got a Contested Kill. You get a hundred points for basically failing to successfully stun someone. It also knocks down the score of the person who got the Contested Kill down to a measly 150.
I don’t hate the concept entirely, with some tweaks it could be a good thing. I for one hated when I would hit the stun button in Brotherhood, start the animation for it, and still get killed. But this new feature does away with some of stealth aspect of being a target who has been spotted. Instead of trying to escape, the targets will now come right at you, spam the stun button, and get 100 points for it. That really sucks when you’ve taken your time and worked up an incognito approach status, only to see it negated to 150 points. If you’re running around being notorious, I can see it. But when you’re walking by other NPC’s and you’re incognito, the pursuer should not be able to attempt to stun you.
Another thing I don’t like, that has carried over from Brotherhood, and apparently only happens to me, is when I spawn I always spawn completely on the other side of the map away from my target (in Wanted), and yet my pursuer is always within a few seconds of me. I literally can’t walk more than seven seconds after spawning without hearing whispers, and yet my compass still has my target listed a long ways off. I assume that’s just bad luck, since it obviously doesn’t happen to everyone. And of course, to make matters worse, once I finally do make it to my target, I do so just in time to watch another Templar kill him/her. At least this time I can get a hundred point bonus in the form of a Ground Finish for kicking my target after he’s been killed… yet another 100 point bonus for failing.
All of that aside, and they are to me minor complaints, I have really been enjoying the beta. I didn’t get to participate in the beta for Brotherhood, so I can’t compare it to that one. But I have been really impressed with how solid it is. It’s a very polished product at this stage. I’ve experienced one freeze, some lag (nothing extreme), and the occasional framerate drop, but that’s really about it. I haven’t seen any bugs or glitches myself, although I have heard of people saying that they weren’t being assigned a target and weren’t being targeted, but that hasn’t happened to me.
One thing I do like quite a bit is the new interface within the game. You can now change your abilities set right before you respawn without having to leave the game screen to do so. It’s just a little box down in the lower left side of the screen.
In Brotherhood, my favorite game mode was Wanted. In fact, it was the only one I ever really played. In Revelations, I actually like Manhunt and the new Deathmatch mode. Deathmatch pits the players in a very small map and you can’t see any NPC’s that look like you and there is no compass. There are still whispers and the detection bar around your target’s picture will turn blue when he/she is in sight, but when you’re trying to hide in a group you better hope that there is a NPC lookout on your target’s screen hiding in the group with you. Otherwise, you are a sitting duck unless you spot your pursuer and can stun him (usually though, you’ll just piss the guy by getting an Honorable Death). I have enjoyed Wanted in Revelations, but I do prefer Deathmatch over it.
The beta has been a ton of fun so far, and I will definitely be spending A LOT more time with it over the coming days. As I said in the beginning, I’ll be posting a much more detailed and complete beta impressions article once the beta concludes (September 11th, but the full impressions will come a little bit after that). If you’re not a Playstation Plus member, or a Uplay member (and even then you could have been one of the many, myself included, that got screwed out of a Uplay beta code despite meeting the requirements), you will get a chance to play the beta for a few days yourself (at least PS3 players anyway). The beta is opening up to all PS3 users on September 8th.