What if Altair's knight-punching and eagle-diving across the ancient Middle East wasn't a solitary affair? As Assassin's Creed III Mission Director Phillippe Bergeron tells OXM , a "huge" drop-in co-op mode was planned for the first entry in the stalk-and-drop franchise, but the creation of modern-day Animus-warmer Desmond Miles sunk a spring-loaded blade into the idea.
“Co-op was one of those big things at the beginning that just didn't make sense in the end,” Bergeron says. “For us, it was really part of the single-player experience to have in-and-out co-op, and in the end we never thought it made sense in the storyline that we had for the Animus. It just became too hard to do: the engine couldn't support it, and then the metaphor we had above it didn't support it.”
Bergeron also points out the glaring paradox of tracking a secondary player's branching storyline within the ancestral memories of their partner. "There was no way to reconcile having multiplayer or co-op in an ancestor's memories," Bergeron says. "Your ancestor lived his life in a certain way, so assuming you had branching storylines, it creates a snag. It didn't fit."
It's a little strange to hear that Ubisoft rejected co-op on the basis that it wouldn't jive with the plot, considering the ridiculousness of the game's premise (human DNA stores picture-perfect recollections of face-stabbing ancient warriors). Multiplayer Creed does live on in the cat-and-mouse versus modes that first appeared in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Read what we think of its current incarnation, Assassin's Creed III.