Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed III Multiplayer Hands-On Preview - Domination
Written Thursday, October 04, 2012 By Lee Bradley
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A few years ago it seemed that everyone was slapping unnecessary multiplayer on traditionally single-player franchises. Frightened by the short life-spans and early trade-ins endured by campaign-only titles, nervous publishers ensured that a glut of games suddenly sprouted online play.

Assassin’s Creed was no exception, jumping on the multiplayer bandwagon for the first time with 2010’s Brotherhood. Upon announcement it was largely written off by commenters as an afterthought. Yet while games like Dead Space 2 could only manage multiplayer as limp as a dismembered Xenomorph tentacle, Brotherhood did a surprisingly good job.

A couple of years on and Assassin's Creed multiplayer has matured and a sizeable community has blossomed around it. Still a side issue to the campaign's main event, it has nevertheless grown in importance to become a fan favourite. And the reason for this is ideas. Assassin's Creed multiplayer has ideas.

At its best AC multiplayer succeeds by accentuating what is unique and fun about the series. It plays to its free-running, stealthy strengths. As a result even familiar modes – so uninspiring elsewhere – feel fresh and interesting.

All of which brings us to Domination, a new mode introduced in Assassin's Creed III alongside Wolf Pack (which you can read about here). Ostensibly it's a simple control point game in which two teams of four compete to capture and control three areas on a map, merely by occupying it. So far, so familiar. But there’s a twist.

While in the control point area the aim is to remain incognito for long enough to capture it. This is tough because the control points are really quite small and they are occupied, typically, by no more than 5 or 6 NPCs. It's your job to blend in as much as possible.

In this way Domination is a little like Manhunt in that remaining incognito is key. But because the area in which you are hoping to remain unnoticed is so small, Domination actually resembles a kind of AAA version of Chris Hecker's SpyParty.

SpyParty is a highly-regarded indie game that's been in development for donkey's years. It features two players; one must do his best to blend in with the NPCs during a dinner party, while the other has his sniper rifle trained on the group, waiting for the spy to reveal himself. One must survive, the other must kill.

Domination plays out in a similar way, yet there are rules as to when exactly you can be killed. If you’re controlling an area and you are stood within it, you can kill indiscriminately. If you’re not yet controlling an area then you can only stun.

In most cases stunning is a terrible idea as it merely reveals your presence. It blows your cover. Your enemy will just fall to the ground, roll around for a bit, then get up and kill you. However, if you use it correctly, it can be quite a handy tool.

Basically, it works like this. When you are in a control point, the clock will tick down for a set length of time until you capture it. If you are on your own, it ticks down slowly and if there’s a group of you it’ll tick down more quickly. Stunning an opponent can buy you time. 

If there’s just a few seconds left on the clock, you can stun your opponent safe in the knowledge that when they recover, you’ll be controlling the area. It takes correct timing and a little educated gambling, but done right it’s a handy little bonus.

What Domination really boils down to however, is your ability to blend in with the crowd and spot an enemy. With a range of character models to choose from (each team of four shares the same model), you can slink in and out of the NPCs stalking your prey. Act like an NPC, identify those that don’t, and you’re half way there.

Well, kinda. Layered on top of all of this are portrait signifiers in the top right hand corner of the screen, indicating whether an enemy is close and in plain sight. Learn to use these properly (fans will be familiar with ithe system from previous iterations) and you’ll have the edge. Meanwhile, your opponents will be feeling the edge of your blade.

If I’ve managed to make Domination sound overly complicated, then I apologise. It’s actually a massively entertaining and accessible mode that just so happens to have loads of little tricks and tactical ruffles. It’s fun, a brilliant addition to an increasingly entertaining multiplayer suite that - like the very best Assassin’s Creed MP modes - draws on the series’ strengths to make something that feels entirely fresh.

Whatever you’re looking for from Assassin’s Creed III, all the evidence suggests that you will not be let down. Online or offline, single-player or multiplayer, co-operative or competitive, it promises to be one hell of a game.

Assassin’s Creed III is out on October 30th in North America and October 31st in Europe.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 1634
Comment #1 by HugTheBear
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 03:19:30 PM
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Not a fan of MP in Assassins Creed games, but the team based domination could be fun.

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #2 by Godfather93a
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 03:29:54 PM
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Really really really looking forward to AC3.

Forum Posts: 73
Comment #3 by FuzzMan3000
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 03:42:22 PM
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I quite like the multiplayer aspect of AC, but "sizeable community"? I used to really struggle to get into games and thought the community was tiny!

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #4 by ToshiroPup
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 03:54:56 PM
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COD Creed.

Forum Posts: 233
Comment #5 by Cinderkin
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 04:14:31 PM
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I haven't played MP since brotherhood because it took forever to get into games. I'm sure they improved that, but waiting times is what killed the MP. Domination sounds like fun. But honestly AC MP only seems fun to me with a group of friends in a private setting.

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #6 by xGallade
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 04:40:53 PM
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Call of Assassins: Modern Warfare 3

Forum Posts: 255
Comment #7 by neo consumer
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 04:47:05 PM
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Call of Cunt.

Forum Posts: 129
Comment #8 by andy888101
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 05:13:11 PM
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why is there so much hate for the multiplayer for this game, I love the multiplayer and if you don't like it than don't play it.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #9 by daardu
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 05:27:41 PM
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For me, Assassin's Creed is a campaign prominent game.

Forum Posts: 54
Comment #10 by Legend Xz
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 05:39:38 PM
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what the hell is with all the call of duty references ???? You do know other games besides call of duty have online multiplayer right ???

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #11 by Samba1228
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 05:45:57 PM
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Call of I'm a single minded a@*hole who hates on anything that doesn't include killstreaks and helicopters: Old/Modern/Future/Any era as-long as it looks a bit different Warfare 26

Forum Posts: 11573
Comment #12 by BiggD
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 06:06:23 PM
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get the fuck out of here with that Call of Duty nonsense.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by asilent boom
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 06:25:11 PM
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@9 And how is AC not a campaign prominent game anymore? You don't have to play the MP, and there's multiple development studios working on the game, so the MP's not taking away resources from the SP game.

Forum Posts: 112
Comment #14 by ox bigboss xo
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 07:54:34 PM
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i allways liked ac mp, lets see this one

Forum Posts: 419
Comment #15 by tunaleg
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 07:57:07 PM
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Multiplayer was awesome in Revelations, much better than its joke of a campaign

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #16 by Hurricane Of 87
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 08:35:48 PM
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I'll probably give this the Max Payne treatment by finishing the campaign and sticking around on the multiplayer for longer than necessary.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #17 by ATOMICKILA3000
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 08:40:20 PM
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IMO, the multiplayer for AC is fantastic. The only downside to it are the players. I know that there isn't a pre determined way on how you're supposed to play a game, but many players make the online boring and look stupid. Many players don't PTFO and just run around on rooftops looking for kills. It makes them easy to spot and kill. I hope that with this game, the players have grown some sense and have gotten smarter.

Forum Posts: 105
Comment #18 by Battletick
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 09:08:35 PM
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Hope this is better then Revelations MP, MP in Brotherhood was pretty fantastic, then suddenly this Deathmatch shit. Who's idea was that again? Also in Revelations, it's fantastic when you're given a target, but they have so much customization unlocked they look nothing like their portrait. It was "great fun" being stunned by my target every time because they had a pirate hat and all kinds of other things completely different then portrait showed.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #19 by Latias_On_Vox
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 01:49:33 AM
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"I don't wanna die on this watch."

"The enemy is controlling all of the objectives, what the fuck are we going to do about this guys?"

"Alright, maintain, maintain, we have captured all of the objectives."

"The objective has been neutralized, over."

"We have lost all of the objectives, get your shit together for fucks sake!"

This mode sounds enticing. I'll be glad to hear a different voice over for a change.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by ATOMICKILA3000
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 06:05:55 AM
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@19 Dude im pretty sure we won't hear any of that in this game. They say those things in CoD not AC.

Forum Posts: 92
Comment #21 by PluralAces
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 09:56:35 AM
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nice review...but...can you play on the same team as your friends????

Forum Posts: 291
Comment #22 by ViNyLek
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 12:50:52 PM
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Am I missing something or was this already in last AC game? I remember hiding all over while trying to capture one of 2 (or 3) points on the map to avoid being killed bfore time runs out. Or is it just a slightly take on it?

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #23 by Agent00047
Saturday, October 06, 2012 @ 05:41:11 AM
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@15 Campaign was a bit of a let down. But that sure didn't make the multiplayer Good!!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #24 by GrnEaglePhreak
Saturday, October 06, 2012 @ 10:35:27 AM
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Forum Posts: 632
Comment #25 by Samigi
Sunday, October 07, 2012 @ 12:00:13 PM
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I only enjoyed Simple Deathmatch on revelations and maybe, the other game modes were pretty pointless.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #26 by aim of kronic
Sunday, October 07, 2012 @ 01:02:20 PM
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hopefully they let parties stick together.. i tried to play with my brother and we were usually on diff teams :(

Forum Posts: 141
Comment #27 by Rastaman20
Sunday, October 07, 2012 @ 10:37:52 PM
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my only complaint about the MP in AC is players who treat it like CoD or any other FPS where they think the way to win is to run balls first at mach 5 and stab you and get the most kills makes you the best, well guess what you can kill me 5-7 times in " Reckless High-profile mode " while i will shit incognito with a booby trap near me so when u try to get me it booms, i turn around and kill you for double the points with 1 kill for what your 7 kills got you and im in the lead ( i hope i worded that right to make sense lol )

i would like the MP to be not so cat and mouse though, like instead of stunning i could throw a knife and say slow my hunter then while he cant move either blast him with my hidden gun or run up and slit his throat and see " Counter-Kill " with a said point value i think that may draw a bit more attention to the games MP but all in all the MP is not bad just need more work and ideas

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #28 by Sali B
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 06:48:35 PM
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I don't mind that multiplayer is in this it does work didn't think it would to be honest as for the single it is how sequels should be done and not like crackdown 2.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #29 by iFR3SH69
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 @ 06:23:58 PM
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Follow me on Twitter @Evil_XmasTree I summarize all the news a give it to you quickly. News on all the latest games including AC3, screen shots etc. EVERYTHING from sales on the Microsoft Point sales to Reviews! Thanks!

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Game Info
Ubisoft Montreal


US October 30, 2012
Europe October 31, 2012

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