The Assassin's Creed franchise has gone through some massive changes since it first appeared in 2007 and one of the biggest changes came with the last iteration, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. This change was the addition of the multiplayer component, which integrated seamlessly with the rest of the Assassin's Creed universe. Assassin's Creed: Revelations will see this multiplayer component return, but Ubisoft Montreal aren't going to be rocking the boat - it will only be receiving some refinements.
For those who didn't play Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, here's a brief rundown of how the multiplayer works. You square off against other would-be assassins in either a free-for-all or team fight and the objective is to hunt down and kill the opposition. As a basic premise, it's no different to any other competitive multiplayer experience. But where Assassin's Creed's multiplayer differs almost instantly, is that you can only kill specific people. You're given a target and you will only get points for killing that target.
It gets even more complicated though, as you get differing amounts of points based on how the kill was performed. If you do certain things, you will give yourself away to your target; the more things you do, the less points you'll get. So, you're given choices. You can either go hell for leather, hunt your target down and kill them at the end of a messy chase sequence, or you can take your time, and subtly hunt them down securing a nice clean kill without alerting anyone.
Both the defensive and the offensive sides also have little tricks they can use. For example, on the defensive side, you can morph NPCs to look like your character. On the offensive side, you can use Eagle Vision to hunt down your target irrespective of what they look like.
As mentioned, the changes for Revelations aren't revelations by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, they're just refinements. Some of the elements from the single-player campaign will be brought into play, such as customisable bombs, but they will work in a similar way to bombs in Brotherhood. The hookblade will also become available allowing for quick-travel around levels.
From the play session we had, everything seemed rather similar - if you played a lot of Brotherhood's multiplayer, then you will feel right at home with Revelations' multiplayer. There are some new little tricks thrown in there and there are bound to be some new modes to keep people occupied, but Ubisoft Montreal are certainly not looking to rock the boat with this.
We'll be able to find out a bit more when the game ships during November on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Hopefully the multiplayer component becomes much more integral to the story.