One of the great franchises of last console generation hits the new console generation for the first time. A game of ancient cityscapes and historical characters and settings is taking a trip to the city of love, but with violence on its mind. It’s the French revolution, the people demand justice… and murder. Good thing that’s your stock and trade, and now with friends! It’s revolution, it’s next gen, its co-op, it’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity is published and developed by Ubisoft
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Genre: Open-world, Stealth, Action-adventure
There’s Strength in Unity
You’d think that once you’ve created a smash hit game franchise beloved around the world, that you’d pretty much be good to go. Sadly one of the biggest pratfalls of a great gaming franchise is its success. Churning out a title every year or two to feed the clamoring noise of the howling masses doesn’t give a ton of time for innovation, particularly if you don’t want to ‘rock the boat’. These are evergreen titles after all, people want that ‘Assassin’s Creed’ experience, you can’t go too crazy and change the texture of the thing. Well, with over 20 titles to date (8 main series, 13 ‘other’) Assassin’s Creed was in serious need of the hardware boost. The trailers sure look fantastic, and I don’t think I’ve been this excited by an Assassin’s Creed title since Black Flag (which, while not long ago has been the only truly interesting one in awhile), so is there strength in Unity?
Yes, that was a bad pun, but those are my very favorite! It’s also apt, because the name of the game this time around is Co-op. It makes logical sense, really, who doesn’t want to assassinate despotic nobles in a coordinated effort with friends? All cheek aside, it’s a brilliant step that does make a lot of sense for the property, giving fans all the excuse they need to dive right back in (this would be an excellent place for a ‘pile of hay/leaves’ joke that only Assassin’s Creed fans would understand, but, I’m restraining myself)
The City of Love (and War)
Now, cooperative play is just the start, the city of Paris looks fantastic, not only graphically, but in terms of potential. A thriving hub with moving pieces that aren’t waiting around purely for your benefit, but actual dynamic moving pieces that a player may, or may not interact with. That creates a tangible sense of life which has been an illusive goal in game development. It’s also an organic source of gameplay that will help shape an experience unique to each player. Theres a pickpocket, do you chase after him? A scream in the window of a nearbye building, but oh, look, theres a brawl on the street corner, pick one? Or are you on urgent business?
Weaponry has been expanded (of course) with an increase emphasis on customization to player preference, and combat redone from the ground up (I wouldn’t expect any less) making the most of the extra muscle the hardware brings to animation. Navigation, a long standing highlight of the series has, by this point, grown a bit tired, and this too has received some love. Previously, getting up stuff was lots of fun, but, getting down sorta looked like letting gravity work for you, punctuated by grabbing onto something. More animations and better physics means that your Assassination parkour skills will be even more buttery smooth than ever, and thats going up and down. Extra hardware means better everything, and now your sassy Assassins are navigating through crowds that might be as good as we’ve gotten in games to date.
You and me Bro
It would be cheeky not to talk a bit about multiplayer, since it’s definitely the biggest hook with Assassin’s Creed: Unity. 2-4 player coop, an increased emphasis on tailored experience through skill sets means the folks at Ubisoft are creating a sort of pseudo squad based gameplay, where each player will take a sort of roll, and with coordination, use their skills to pull off a successful mission. Whether it works that elegantly all the time, or if it’s just stabbing the patriarchy with your pals, I think it’s safe to say, it’ll be a blast.
A historical fantasy, an ongoing underdog tale, and some of the best vistas in gaming, Assassin’s Creed has taken to the new hardware, and given us the chance to run a beautiful Parisian skyline with our pals, when we’re not taking down the man, that is. I can’t imagine there are many of you who haven’t had a taste of this Assassin simulator, so if you want its most impressive looking version to date, AAssassin’s Creed: Unity awaits.