Story is something that’s become increasingly important to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and if nothing else, it’s certainly given us a lot of stories to follow. So far, we’ve had the dueling central narratives about Altair, Ezio and Desmond; the strange hints about the mythical First Civilization; and the idea that history has quietly been manipulated by two warring secret societies, the Templars and the Assassins, for centuries. When it releases this November, however, Assassin’s Creed Revelations will give us have one more story to chase down, and this time it’s tied to the multiplayer.
As players level up, their characters will rise through the ranks of Abstergo, the shadowy modern face of the Templars. And while that once again means they’ll earn access to new abilities and other unlockables, it also means they’ll be drawn further into Abstergo’s – and the Templars’ – inner circle, with plenty of interesting revelations about the ancient order and its long secret war with the Assassins along the way.
Written by the central development team at Ubisoft Montreal and implemented by the multiplayer team at Ubisoft Annecy, the secondary storyline will take the shape of cutscenes involving villainous scientist Warren Vidic, as well as Glyph-puzzle-style “historical” documents. According to the game’s multiplayer director, Damien Kieken, it “won’t follow everything on the single-player path. … The idea is, you’re on the Abstergo side, so it’s set more in the present.”
“You will unveil a lot of stuff on Abstergo, but also on the First Civilization… maybe on the other subjects, or the Animus and things like that,” Kieken said. “Of course, by just doing the single-player, you will get everything” needed to understand the story, Kieken said. “But if you want all of the big picture, you’ll also have to play the multiplayer.”
While Kieken and Ubisoft aren’t giving up too many specifics about what direction the plotline will take, we did get to see one cutscene, which featured Vidic leering down at us, presumably as the player character lay in the Animus.
Above: Remember this jerk? Soon he will be your mentor
“You’ve served Abstergo well,” Vidic said. “Your skills in the Animus continue to impress. I do not use that term lightly. If you continue at this rate, it is a foregone conclusion that you will be the one to enter our inner chambers and learn our most trusted secrets. Once you cross that threshold, your eyes will be opened, and you will see this world for what it truly is.”
“Don’t muck this up,” Vidic added. “Abstergo is counting on you.”
So far, there’s nothing to indicate the storyline will be a particularly active one, or that we’ll play as a clearly defined character, or that we’ll go hunting after Desmond and crew. Still, the promise of learning new secrets about the series and its alternate-history backstory has been catnip to fans so far, and it’ll likely to give all but the most online-phobic ones a strong incentive to get hooked on the multiplayer – or at least run through its first 50 levels.
If that sounds like a daunting hurdle, take heart. “The first loop of reaching the last level is not that hard, and it’s not that grinding,” Kieken said. “We want all the players to be able to unveil all the story stuff, because we know that we have big fans that really prefer playing single-player to multiplayer.”
Aug 2, 2011