Multiplayer is an area of video games that sees the most parody and similarity. It is not too often when a developer or publisher delivers a truly original multiplayer experience. Ubisoft has gone to great lengths to create the most innovative and original multiplayer experiences so far this generation.

First and foremost is the example of For Honor. The upcoming melee action game takes players and throws them into deadly blade-to-blade combat. The new IP’s multiplayer experience presents gamers with a variety of modes to choose from.

Duel is perhaps the most defining mode in For Honor‘s multiplayer. It is a simple one-on-one matchup between foes in a best of five series. The first person to score three kills wins the matchup. The feelings and emotions a player feels while in a Duel are things never before seen in a game. Each match is a trial to feel out your opponent’s tendencies and not fall victim to your own.

Elimination is another mode in For Honor that clamors for attention. This four versus four setup asks each team to kill all four players on the other team. Reviving is a key ingredient that can quickly force a match into a stalemate. It is up to the attacking team to know where slain players are. This mode forces teammates to communicate and strategize as one. Fights that involve multiple players from each team are also intense encounters that can shift the tides quickly.

This game is not the only one that is doing things differently in multiplayer. Another game that is distinctly different is Assassin’s Creed, both on last-generation and this generation. The sixth main iteration, Black Flag, features the innovative mode, “Wanted,” which provides a breath of fresh air from shooters. While the experience has not been in an Assassin’s Creed since Black Flag, it is still worth mentioning.

From the mode "Wanted" in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Courtesy of Ubisoft).
From the mode “Wanted” in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Courtesy of Ubisoft).

This mode allows gamers to implement any number of unique play styles. There isn’t just one way to play in order to be successful. You can play possum with the Disguise ability and then Smoke Bomb an incoming attacker. This lets you net quick points for completing a Stun. A player can sprint around the map, not worrying about achieving an incognito bonus, and simply going for kill streaks. Additionally, a player can also stalk its targets and earn an incognito, focus and aerial kill bonus all at once.

“Wanted” may have not netted the player counts Ubisoft wanted in order to bring it back. However, it is by far one of the most unique and innovative multiplayers, if for nothing else than its ability to embrace different styles of play and allow each to coexist at the same time.

Next up is the hacking in Watch Dogs 2. It too carries notes of the multiplayer experience found in “Wanted,” with the prey versus predator structure. However, what makes this distinctly different is how hacking another player forces one to stay close to their target as they’re attacking them.

When you begin hacking another player, you must stay within a given proximity in order to carry out the hack. The key is you cannot leave that area or the hack will terminate. This challenges your creativity and responsiveness in tight spaces. Where and when you choose to hack another player is key as a wide open space will surely leave you vulnerable. Choosing a space with objects, corners and verticality is far more beneficial. All of this results in heart-pumping thrills, particularly when you complete a hack.

Finally, the last example is more of a peripheral one in the form of The Division. I understand that it is a shooter and PvP wasn’t exactly redefined with its experience. However, the wrinkle of going rogue is a wonderfully new ingredient to PvP in a shooter.

The unpredictability of the Dark Zone is a note absent in other shooters. Will your teammate betray you? How can you read their behavior, particularly when coming across loot? It is a small way to shake up the shooter PvP experience, but it is a very refreshing difference.

You might not love all of the Ubisoft multiplayer experiences I covered here. These may not be the technically best multiplayer experiences either. However, what they are is innovative and original, something that is rarely found in a space that has become so repetitive. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video game.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.