I have the utmost respect for the people at Ubisoft. They’re involved with some of my favorite game franchises going, and their work glows with thoughtfulness and care. However, even I can admit that they’ve made some really dumb decisions. Like the fact that they release PC versions of their games months after the console versions. Like their ultra-restrictive DRM. Like the smoke bomb.
After the jump: Ka-pow! Ka-pow! Ka-pow!
Like most competitive games, Revelations is a careful balance of power. Running speeds, ability cooldowns, distances, space. All tuned to create varied, fun, and fair encounters. The smoke bomb undoes all that. It’s bringing a gun to a knife fight, or a lightsaber to a gun fight, or Ryan Gosling to a hot fight (that’s a thing). In every game mode, in every role, in every situation, the smoke bomb is the answer.
Smoke bomb is an active ability that, when triggered, unleashes a cloud of smoke that stuns and disorients other players caught in the blast. You can even fire it after an assassination animation has begun playing to dodge the hit. Nothing infuriates me more than stalking my target for the better part of a minute, finally going for the kill at the perfect moment, only for him to interrupt the attack with a smoke bomb and then stun me. I literally scream with rage when this happens. I’ve had to explain things to the neighbors.
It’s been a problem.
In Revelations, Ubisoft decided that players should be able to throw abilities, which means the smoke bomb is an offensive tool as well as a defensive one. See your target on the other side of the plaza? No need to actually sneak over there. Just throw the smoke bomb from thirty feet away and walk over at your leisure.
In the latest patch, Ubisoft altered the sound of the smoke bomb — who knows why — to a much more annoying one. Because the smoke bomb is in constant use, the new ka-pow! ka-pow! ka-pow! is always echoing through the ancient cities you’re traipsing around in. It kind of sounds like there’s an old Pinto backfiring up the street. Maybe it’s an animus ancestor reverse-memory echo or something.
Revelations multiplayer is fun, unique, and endlessly thrilling, but I can’t lie to you. People abuse the smoke bomb. Fortunately, when the smoke bomb spam becomes too much, I’m glad there’s a small mode called simple deathmatch. It’s the deathmatch mode, but with all the advanced abilities stripped out. I just stalk, hide, run and kill. Like the name says, it’s simple. It’s pure. After a few rounds, I’ve dulled my rage and I’m ready for the full range of options again. There’s just nothing else like it.
Hopefully, I’ve encouraged some of you to check the game out for yourself. Maybe I’ll see you there. You won’t see me, of course. But maybe I’ll see you.
Click here for the previous entry.
Giaddon has been a fan of Assassin’s Creed since the very first trailer. While everyone was cheering the Assassin’s Creed 3 E3 video that showed Ratonhnhake:ton blow up an entire British fort to kill one guy, he was scouring Youtube for floor videos of people playing the multiplayer.