• 19, January, 2015

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

Genre Publisher Release date Release O.S Available on
Adventure Ubisoft 14/11/2014 PS4, PC, Xbox One Ubisoft Store

With a now seven year battle against the Templar’s, the Assassin’s Creed universe has taken us around the world from Jerusalem to Rome to Constantinople, from the American Frontier and  to the Caribbean,  giving us a taste of history like no other. We’ve spanned centuries playing the ‘good’ guys with swords, poisoning and plundering our way through crusades, revolutionaries and power struggles. We’ve climbed some of the most famous buildings in the world, bumped into some familiar faces and looted plenty of chests.

So now we find ourselves, back in a big city once again, just in time to get our hands dirty and do our part for the French Revolution.  And oh boy 15th century Paris has never looked so good.

Can one of the most anticipated and hyped up games of 2014 live up to our much loved predecessors. Now we’re back in Europe, how does our new hero Arno live up to his legendary hooded brothers? No pressure or anything…

If you’ve played an Assassins Creed game before you’ll know that they are pretty big games. Like all open world adventure games they come packed full with a whole host of side missions, collectables, chests and places to spend all that hard earned cash. I feel like with each new game Ubisoft reach a new level of scope, and Unity is no exception. There is so much to do in this game I am worried I will never finish it. After completing the campaign I still have a map full of icons I am yet to tackle. Even though there is what seems endless hours of play time, the missions do tend to reach that same peak with all Assassins Creed games, and eventually become repetitive and too easy, offering next to no reward for your hard efforts.

Having said that it’s not all assassination contracts or protect the guy with the funny hat for 1000 florins, like we’ve seen in previous games. The diversity seems wider this time around with the introduction of murder mysteries to solve, social club missions, and one of my favourite, yet somewhat distracting, Crowd Events. For the first time ever we actually get to help the innocent citizens of Paris instead of just running into them, pushing them over and stealing from their pockets. These pop up randomly as you’re leaping, running or walking throughout Paris, so yes they can be a little annoying especially if, like me, you feel compelled to help every single person out. However they do liven up the city, giving life to the hordes of people roaming the streets, whether it’s throwing down some coins for beggars, scaring away bullies or preventing bloodshed in the streets.

Along with all these side missions comes collectables - collect as many cockades as you can to unlock colour schemes for Arnos attire, lock pick chests for money and complete challenges for Creed Points, allowing you to upgrade you’re equipment and make you unstoppable. Solving riddles throughout Paris as part of the Nostradamus Enigma almost act as a great tourist guide and history lesson all in one. By completing these riddles I now know more about Paris than any other city from the Assassin’s Creed world.

The customization in game is huge and for the first time ever you can pick and choose what you want to wear from your hood to your breeches. There is also a wide range of weapons - by far the biggest selection of any Assassin’s Creed game to date. The only annoying thing is that weapons need to be unlocked by playing in and winning club competitions, which isn’t easy. The whole club and points system is a little confusing and takes some time to get used to. You can also unlock weapons by playing online in co-op missions, which as you might expect works best if you’ve got a group of friends at hand.

When it comes to the campaign Unity doesn’t fail on its predecessors and delivers one of the most riveting and compelling stories we have seen for a long time within the Assassin’s Creed universe. The same goes for the latest recruit to the brotherhood, Arno Victor Dorian . His character is very similar to Ezio’s (from Assassin’s Creed 2) not only in terms of personal experiences but also demeanour.  Arno, like Ezio is head strong and has a cocky, charismatic manner, and as with Ezio it all feels very personal.

The freedom within the story is so refreshing, you now have to find your own way to go about completing missions be they campaign or optional. This makes you feel in control and also, if you do the extra work, feel like an A grade student.

As well as a fresh faced Assassin, Unity brings us new combat controls including new animations for when you perform an assassination,  enemies will even learn your favourite moves and give you quite a run for your money. Fighting isn’t as easy as previous Assassin’s Creed games, but this isn’t a bad thing since it makes things more challenging and realistic. As well as new combat controls there are also swanky additions to the free running, with the ability to climb almost anything, run in through buildings and control your descent, instead of dropping aimlessly to the ground. This all feels smooth, even if it isn’t flawless. The developers have taken the main things in all the Assassin’s Creed games and made them feel fresh without changing too much.

Unfortunately the cockney, and upper class British accents really put a damper on the Parisian atmosphere which comes from the sound of people singing and guns blazing in the streets. I would of loved a French accent, but it still doesn’t ruin the story.

The biggest problem with Unity was its release…which is kind of a big deal. It faced some major problems from the word go, rendering the game unplayable for lots of players. I frankly had no major problems with the game in this area beside the odd group of people disappearing in front of me, goats that were falling from the sky and some missions glitching out. On the whole though, the game was playable and it just felt like a few minor bugs every game faces (I know this wasn’t the case for everyone). With a bunch of patches rolling in since its release the majority of this stuff has been cleared up and to be honest it doesn’t effect the important parts of the game, the story, the characters, and the epic views from atop buildings like Notre Dame. However when you spend this much on a game you expect it to be working and when it feels more like a beta its natural to get upset. This was the game’s biggest let down, without all those problems I feel Assassins Creed Unity could of been one of the best from the series and lived up to the hype.

This game is big and full with things to keep you busy well beyond finishing the main story.

It’s fun, fresh and one heck of a good looking game. Plus if you were to get it now you’d have missed out on all of the problems it faced on its release. For that reason I think it’s well worth playing (if you’re not too bothered about the odd goat falling from the sky). With a huge map, spanning the entire city of Paris and Versailles, it’s easy to get lost within its tall churches and maze like catacombs and so easily distracted with its beauty and splendour.

The main question that remains… Is there ever going to be an end to this complicated, bloodthirsty power battle between the dastardly Templar’s and the goody two shoes Assassins? How long can Ubisoft keep this series alive for?

  • Beautiful, big city to lose yourself in
  • Strong story
  • So much to see and do
  • Lots of customization
  • Still a few bugs
  • Confusing interface and point system
  • (Rather dodgy) British accents
Assassin’s Creed Unity Review Rebekah Cooper
Gameplay
Story
Presentation
Value

Summary: Ubisoft's latest may not be the greatest the series has seen but it still manages to offer a fun (if buggy) adventure and a good foundation for the next generation consoles to build on.

4

Great

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