When Ubisoft first revealed that there would be two Assassin’s Creed games coming out on the same day, I was worried that focus of the developers was going to be split and hurt both games. While Assassin’s Creed Rouge was somewhat of a let down, Ubisoft is getting a second chance to please fans that did not enjoy Rogue. Assassin’s Creed Unity is Ubisoft’s current generation offering in the Assassin’s Creed series. Unlike last years Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Unity is developed exclusively for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. How does the next generation of Assassin’s Creed fare? Keep reading to find out.
Assassin’s Creed Unity tells the story of Arno Dorian, an Assassin during the French Revolution in the heart of Paris. As a young boy, Arno’s father is murdered. Arno is taken in by a Templar and years later, the Templar who took Arno in, is murdered. Arno must navigate the French Revolution in a tale of revenge.
While the Revenge story is fairly basic, I found the story and it’s plot twists to be very enjoyable. The story of Unity feels like a return to older games in the franchise, like Assassin’s Creed II, while it still feels fresh.
Assassin’s Creed Unity’s gameplay comes down to three major mechanics. Players will use Combat, Stealth and parkour to experience the world that Unity puts in front of the player.
In terms of Combat, Ubisoft has stripped the combat down. Arno cannot disarm, or more importantly break through an enemies defensive stance. Arno can parry and dodge. The combat in Assassin’s Creed Unity can be incredibly difficult at times. Sometimes, enemies can kill you in one hit, so perfection is vital. At times, the combat was quite frustrating and was my least favorite part of Unity.
The stealth mechanic is new to the Assassin’s Creed series, which is odd considering how integral stealth has always been to the series. The stealth mechanic utilizes a new snap-to-cover mechanic which is a nice addition. however, the lack of the whistle ability from previous games makes stealth more slow paced than it should be, as you will have to wait for enemies to pass your hiding spot.
Ubisoft has attempted to improve the parkour aspect of the game by giving Arno the ability to climb downwards quickly. When it works, it is smooth and looks great. But there lies the problem, sometimes I just couldn’t get Arno to go where I wanted him to go, as things that should be simple like climbing through windows just didn’t work sometimes.
Players will be able to upgrade Arno’s abilities and even customize Arno’s appearance, using both in game and real currency (yes, sadly there are microtransactions in Unity.) Players can also use Creed Points which are gained by getting kills and more.
The mission design of Unity is phenomenal. The types of missions are more diverse and what is there, is much more exciting and epic than any previous Assassin’s Creed games. Even Assassination missions offer more of a “choose your path” style which makes you feel like an Assassin who is planning and hunting his target.
Assassin’s Creed Unity has done away with competitive multiplayer. However, they now offer a co-op mode. The mode has 2-4 assassin’s team up to complete very well designed missions that were incredibly fun to play through. The co-op mode was a lot of fun, and I deeply enjoyed the co-op. It was a great move to get rid of multiplayer in favor of this epic co-op mode.
I also really enjoyed how your Arno is the same across single layer and co-op, as no matter what I’m doing, I am making my Arno better.
Assassin’s Creed Unity is undoubtedly the best looking game in the series. In fact the game looks amazing by any standard. There were a few times where the frame rate dropped a bit, but Ubisoft has assured us a patch is on the way. Despite that, it very rarely for me happened, and when it did, it was probably due to how much is going on around Arno.
Speaking of which, Paris is an amazing city to go through. Unity does a fantastic job bringing Paris to life. The amount of people simply in the streets was impressive, which can be useful, but can also get in your way. Paris is a massive city and I had a blast navigating through it, especially with the fact that most houses can be traveled through and makes the game even more impressive.
Sound design was also really well done. I constantly heard the bustling city around me, with near conversations and distant rumbling making feel immersed in the world of Unity.
For the new generation of Assassin’s Creed, it feels like Ubisoft hit the reset button on the franchise. While I do miss some past gameplay mechanics, I was able to adapt and enjoy the game anyway. The game looks amazing and was a lot of fun to play, except for the combat which at times felt way too difficult and frustrating. That being said, a great story, awesome city to experience and a phenomenal co-op mode, makes this a great first attempt at a real next-gen Assassin’s Creed game.