In my last Assassin’s Creed Revelations abilities set guide, I discussed the Deathmatch game mode and how the right balance of offense and defense went a long way towards pulling off a win.
Deathmatch is a very deliberate mode that requires a good deal of patience and timing, usually leading to Silent and Incognito kills.
Assassinate is a whole ‘nother ballgame. And I’m not going to pull any punches here: the entire mode is pretty much bullshit.
Ability set context overview – Assassinate
If you haven’t played Assassinate yet, you can’t really appreciate just how different it is than every other mode. There are no contracts whatsoever; you can target and kill any persona you wish at any time. The only exception is someone who has targeted you first; that person becomes your pursuer, but only insofar as they don’t lock onto another target. Due to this ad hoc structure, the radar shows you where every enemy player is, allowing you to find and slay as many as you see fit.
Since players have no incentive to chase down hard-to-reach targets, spending a large portion of the match on the roof is quite normal. This is bolstered by the fact that if a player can correctly identify his/her pursuer, that pursuer is “exposed” and loses all detection meter, guaranteeing a chase if the target flees. While gamers in Brotherhood had to guess if they had successfully spotted their would-be killers, Revelations kind of fucked things up by telling you “Pursuer Exposed” once you’ve found the right guy. From there it’s easy to flee, or Mute/Smoke/Knives for the stun, focus, chain, grounded, poison kill.
The most common high level strategies appear to be either preying on the idiocy of noobs, or being the most opportunistic vulture possible in a sky full of bloodthirsty buzzards. Playing in high profile is both highly risky (since anyone can target you) but highly rewarding because it can lure out other players or trigger chases that end in point avalanches. Well, enough melodrama, let’s get to the abilities.
Ability #1 choice: Smoke Bomb
Didn’t see that coming, did ya? Smoke Bomb is still the best skill in the game, and in a game mode where you’re constantly switching between offense and defense, almost nothing can compete.
There’s an additional value for giving enemies lung cancer, other than the typical immobilization.* In Assassinate, the player who gets the lock-on first is automatically the pursuer, with the runner-up quickly becoming the runner-for-your-life. Sounds simple, but you’ll often round a corner directly into a foe and lock on instantly. In the 3/4 of a second before the lock takes, though, you don’t know if you really got the lock first. What if your opponent was faster? You might run up to him, only to have handed your life to him on a platter.
Smoke Bomb solves that problem with a big fat who the fuck cares? If you round the corner into another player, just Smoke Bomb. Whether you’re the pursuer or the person of interest, you have a guaranteed uncontested kill or stun, with an easy Focus bonus to boot. Sound lame and unfun? Pretty much!
Ability #2 choice: Hidden Gun
“Woah woah woah, what the fuck, WiNG?” I hear you say. “The Hidden Gun is bullshit noskill noobsauce that gives you no points!”
Allow me to explain. You see, Smoke Bomb is a great skill. So is Mute, Charge… all that jazz. But ultimately, there are two kinds of players you won’t be able to kill in Assassinate without degenerating the game into complete idiocy. First are players with Smoke Bomb/Mute who are running around in high profile just waiting for you to lock them so they can score 1000 points off your chase, stun, etc. Second are the players who stand on ledges and roofs waiting to drop on you the second you make yourself known. What do both these types of people have in common?
Neither of them can outsmart bullet.
Whenever people whine about getting shot, I tell them what the counter to the Hidden Gun is: not being conspicuous in the first place. You want to run around the map like an endangered spider monkey? Turns out I have a great recipe for sauteed Ateles marginatus.
Now that there are two bonuses for lead-based murder (for running targets and jumping targets), it’s not unheard of to generate variety bonuses with your hand cannon. Additionally, I don’t plan to get silent kills in Assassinate, so I’ll take the +100 points. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Perk #1: Overall Cooldowns
I shouldn’t really have to explain this one, but here goes: Overall Cooldowns is still the best perk in Assassin’s Creed Revelations multiplayer. There’s no downside to it at all, and it gives you more opportunities to earn more points every single match. The end.
Perk #2: Kill Buffer
Kill Buffer allows you to preserve your Kill Streak between deaths, with a penalty of negative one. So, if you’re at eight assassinations and drooling over the prospect of that sweet Animus Hack, you won’t be set back to square one when I shoot you with the Hidden Gun. Instead, you’ll respawn with seven kills’ worth of momentum. I haven’t found many other streaks to be particularly useful (though I’ll discuss those below a bit more), and Kill Buffer lets me carry the higher-scoring streaks that are oh-so rewarding.
Win Streak: +550 7-streak
This wasn’t a particularly hard choice, though if you highly value your second perk slot, I’d suggest dropping this to the +250 5-streak bonus. But between gunnings, stunnings, and well-timed runnings, it’s not hard to build a seven-item itinerary of violence. Kill Buffer ensures you’re rarely robbed of your precious points, and this streak gives makes each of your brutal acts worth about 80 points more than normal. In a game with ten to twenty kills, that’s often enough to secure a higher podium spot.
Loss Streak: Score x2
I’m still a sucker for the score-doubling loss streak, even more so in Assassinate. Why? Because with so much possibility for chains, revenge, focus, grounded, and other bonuses, a single kill under Score x2 is almost guaranteed to hit 2,000 or 2,5000 on a regular basis. Will any other loss streak give you that many points? I don’t think so.
I know a lot of players run Poison, but I find that’s only because they’re playing against low-level competition. Yes, Poison gives you much more points than Hidden Gun every 65 to 90 seconds, but at risk of exposing oneself to enemies and losing a killing streak. Additionally, it’s not unheard of to get Poached by nearby foes who witnessed your venomous intentions. Then what?
Many players run double defensive skills (Smoke/Mute, Mute/Charge, Smoke/Knives), and I don’t fault them. I’ve used these builds as well, many times. Ultimately I find that these players have no solution for enemies on roofs, which are quite common in Assassinate. Throwing knives can work, but often require very specific positioning.
I can understand dropping Kill Buffer for Silent Hunt or Resistance/Resilience. There’s so much running in Assassinate, Silent Hunt can easily pay for itself in points, assuming you haven’t been exposed. And escaping stuns or Smoke Bombs faster denies enemies points (and may even save your life). There are probably decent uses for Easy Chase Breaker and Sentry as well.
What do you use in Assassinate, and why? How does it fare against players who know what you’re trying to do to them, and how do you adjust to anyone that tries to counter your gameplan?
* And possibility they’ll cook meth for you afterwards.