Assassin’s Creed Unity
I admit to being a little worried when Assassin’s Creed Unity was announced. 18th century France, the French Revolution, this didn’t seem like an exciting time for an assassin, especially seeing as your would be landlocked in Paris. The immense fun of being a Pirate and sailing the oceans would have to be nothing but a distant memory.
But by stripping back the game to it’s roots, Ubisoft have made a massive and engrossing game, where you feel more like the Assassin in the game’s title. The massive and visually stunning recreation of Paris on the verge of war is nothing short of amazing. But this huge open world, that is densely populated does come at a price. The frame rate occasionally drops and becomes choppy in places, and there are some places where you’ll notice the crowd rendering details as you walk towards them. It’s not a game breaker but it certainly breaks the mood when it happens. What’s more, the crowds are essentially zombies, who forget what they were doing if you bump into them.
But that’s minor when you look at what has been added, wander the streets long enough and you’ll soon stumble upon and event that you can help with, usually killing bullies or chasing down thieves. It’s not a huge deal, but adds a level to the immersive nature of the game. If the streets are not your thing, running across the rooftops has never been better, with the movement and animations having been based on the Parkour style of free running and gives the game a more realistic feel.
Gameplay is also quite different from the last couple of Assassin’s games, with the emphasis on customisation. Your character Arno has a wealth of unlock-able and purchasable items, from clothing, to weapons to skills. This essentially means that your version of Arno is going to be nothing like most other people’s versions. Whilst there are micro transactions available, most of what you NEED can be earned in game.
The approach to missions is also different, with Arno being encouraged to case the joint before going in. There are multiple approaches to completing each mission, depending on your play style and Assassin set up.
Combat has also be re-visited, and made harder, with the block move being replaced with a less effective move meaning that you’ll going to have to think a bit harder before committing to combat, and fight a lot more tactically. Enemies are varied, and some are harder to kill than others, and some will run your through with a sword before you know what happened! This will result in you having to replay some missions over and over, but it also makes it a far more engaging game.
The main storyline is great, and will take a fair bit of time to finish on it’s own, but like a true Assassin’s Creed game, Unity has plenty to do one the side, and it’s easy to get lost in Paris and forget you have a mission in life. Online multiplayer has gone, in favour of online co-op play. This sounds like a great idea, but as of writing this review, I’ve yet to catch up with some friends to try this feature out.
I began Unity with the worry that it wouldn’t live up to Black Flag, and after a week with the game, I’ve still got plenty to do before I finish the main storyline, but the overriding feeling is one of immense joy. I love being an Assassin, and without the distraction of the high seas, I’m having a blast as I slowly uncover the conspiracy that got my father killed in the games opening scenes.
Whilst it may not be perfect, Ubisoft have created the best Assassin’s Creed game to date.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R13 Violence.
Reviewed by: Jonathan