Requiescat In Pace, Thoughts On AC: Brotherhood's Multiplayer
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is the first game in the series to support online multiplayer matches using the in-game engine, and it does it well. Spin-offs of the series have dabbled in online play, like Facebook's point-and-click Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy and Twitter's AC game, which allow you to duel other members of the social networks based on your stats, or the iPhone's Assassin's Creed II Multiplayer (which I was never able to connect to).
Brotherhood's multiplayer component builds upon what AC II Multiplayer was trying to do, but does it right and does it with all the functionality of the console games.
The standard match is a 10 minute contract hunt: you're shown the picture of your target and have to find them in the crowds with the help of a compass and heavily relying on your own ability to spot them on screen. To mix things up, unlike a Halo Juggernaut mode that has everyone chasing one person, each of the up to eight players has their own contract, hidden from others. Some players may even be hunting the same person while multiple assassin's may be searching for you. So while you search for your plain clothes target who, if played smartly, is conforming to how the A.I. characters move in order to stay hidden, you must also keep an eye on your surroundings to see if you're being followed. You have to keep a keen eye, and know what the A.I. behavior's limits are and notice if someone in a crowd acts even slightly out of place (as if they may be controlled by a real person) and be careful to avoid them in case you're their target.
What makes Brotherhood different than the typical deathmatch is that you are rewarded for taking your time, and actually acquire less points by running up to your target and stabbing them in the face. You're awarded points for your stealth, surprise, and other such behaviors (like getting revenge), so being detected will minimize your bonuses. If you don't take your time you won't level up, and if you don't level up you will not gain special abilities like a timed super sprint, new weapons, or a temporary disguise. These are all necessary both for assassinating your opponents and for escaping them if you're seen.
It will take a few matches to get used to the idea of taking an online deathmatch slowly, but the rewards and satisfaction are great. There's nothing better to boost your confidence than to blend so well that your assailant runs right by you, only for you to stab them in the neck because, it turns out, while they had you as a target you also had them as yours.