We’ve seen a lot of changes to Assassin’s Creed throughout the years and Assassin’s Creed Unity is no different bringing changes both good and bad to arguably Ubisoft’s biggest series.
In Unity you play as Arno Victor Dorian in 18th century France during the french revolution. Arno is much like Ezio in the sense he has a vendetta against those who came between him and his family, he is however more reckless, making decisions without the former approval of the Creed breaking one of the tenants, ‘Stay Your Blade From The Flesh Of The Innocent’ but he does it with very good intentions.
Your journey around 18th century Paris is certainly one to remember. I found myself walking around the city more often than running, not only to make the missions last a bit longer but to see the city come alive. Sites around the city might include robberies, murders, protests, excessive drinking or scenes of romance. Around every corner is a new site for you to witness, making every playthrough feel unique. Just as in Assassin’s Creed III, you can pass through the buildings to escape pursuers, only Arno can stay and look around and root through chests conveniently placed inside.
The game seems to go deeper than before and really ties all the mythology of the Assassin’s franchise into itself. The game’s storyline is similar to that of 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, where you the player are working for Abstergo Entertainment on a home entertainment system known as Helix. The Helix, through technology inspired by the Animus, allows users to see history through the eyes of the assassin’s like Arno, Ezio and of course Altair. Strands of their DNA have been preserved and are now carefully being looked in to by the Templars, although of course that’s not all. You’re befriended by a hacker who gives to you a strand of DNA that isn’t already being looked into, and thus the rabbit hole goes far, far deeper than anyone could have ever imagined. The storyline, as with every Assassin’s Creed title comes complete with plot twists, romance, back-stabbing (physical and metaphorical) and treachery. It’s got a great storyline and unlike the AC titles from the previous couple of years, actually feels as though it gives the Assassin’s Creed universe a bit of progressive narrative again. It feel as though we’re actually going somewhere again!
This beautiful city and compelling storyline come fantastically packaged with the latest addition of co-op story play. Multiplayer is not all new to the AC games, however we’ve never seen it as a storyline feature. Traversing across the rooftops of 18th century Paris alongside three buddies adds a brilliant new direction to gameplay and works surprisingly well. It was fair to say I was a little skeptical when four player co-op was announced, I was worried that my immersive storyline was about to be ruined by loudmouthed thirteen-year-old mic-warriors. However, I’ll take my hat off to Ubisoft as they’ve done quite frankly an amazing job with the matchmaking system.
Of course, the review wouldn’t be complete with out mentioning at least once, the glitches. I’ve personally not witnessed many, however fellow gamers have been noted as seeing things like; NPCs spawning right next to you right out of thin air, NPCs spawning with their torsos half stuck in the ground, hauntingly chilling scenes of NPCs walking straight through walls as if they weren’t there and of course the gruesome yet famous NPCs with no face syndrome. It’s a little embarrassing on Ubi’s part here however, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair. Ubisoft have done themselves proud to make a game so big and beautiful and only have a handful of minor glitches. At the end of the day, the plot is still intact and the game still plays well. People will always argue and complain that the game was not ready before launch, and how they paid so much of their well earned money for a game, that they shouldn’t have to put up with this. I on the other hand disagree. I disagree fully! Paris is a huge place and with the functions, mechanics and general features in a game like Unity, yes of course there are going to be hiccups. I say, get over yourselves! Stop with the narrow-visioned, closed-minded vanity and enjoy the game for what it is, not what it isn’t. This is an extremely well built game and the development team have put an amazing effort into creating what I feel is one of the best virtual cities to date.
Unity brings many past mythologies from the AC franchise together, rewarding us with a new era, setting and character. It felt quite like a sample of all the best bits of the previous AC games, thrown in one. I honestly feel that even a new comer to the series could jump into this game and get to grips with it all, hopefully then spurring them on to then play the previous titles.