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ASSASSIN'S CREED UNITY REVIEW

joshuaboy
joshuaboy Members Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭✭

Another Stab


Assassin’s Creed Unity is a game of impossible peaks and disappointing valleys. Its highs of movement, customization options, and just the city of Paris itself pierce the sky like the spire of Notre Dame. On a purely technical level, Unity is a marvel to walk through and admire. But at the same time, a lot of my journey through the French Revolution felt as cold and heartless as the darkest depths of the catacombs. I was never given a real reason to care about new Assassin Arno, or the events that transpired. Instead, I had to find my own fun throughout my 30 hours in Unity, which was generally easy to do in its large sandbox assassination scenarios. However, it’s a bit disappointing to see how few of the long-standing problems with the series have been solved by the upgrade to the new generation of gaming hardware.
The new consoles’ graphical power is put to good use in Ubisoft’s recreation of 18th-century Paris, which is absolutely stunning. As we’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game, it’s sprawling, gorgeous, and absolutely packed with sights to see and things to do. Climbing to the top of Notre Dame, synchronizing with one of the series’ iconic viewpoints, and watching the camera pull back and show you the breadth of your universe is staggering.

Each of the various districts unfolds with its own sense of character and environmental storytelling, from the ornate palaces of the privileged, to back-alleys running with the blood of the

But what makes it really unique and distinct from past games is its citizens, who form some of the largest, most impressive crowds I've ever encountered. In particular, a late-game mission involving Louis XVI was populated with several thousand characters, and wading through the crowd was one of the most memorable moments of the campaign.
Despite being technologically impressive and adding a lot to the atmosphere of Paris as a living and thriving city, I found myself oftentimes swearing at the digital hoards that populated the streets when I simply wanted to make my way from one place to another. As the story progressed, I found that the masses of Parisians mostly got in the way, and spotting repeating character models was a crude reminder I was playing a video game.
The disgruntled masses make it even more of a necessity to scurry along rooftops instead of the streets, and thankfully, this mode of transportation does not disappoint. Most of the time, traversal in Unity feels better than ever thanks to fantastic animations, buildings with plenty of climbable paths, and a new downward parkour system that adds certain finesse to the act of shimming down a wall, resolving one of my big gripes with previous AC games. (Unless there was a haystack handy, I usually just lept off and hoped that I had enough health to survive.)


When it all worked perfectly, guiding my Arno up, down, and across the Parisian skyline brought me a great sense of satisfaction. The key phrase there was “when it all worked,” because the series-long frustration of your assassin not doing quite what you want him to do is still present here. I found myself quickly losing momentum and clumsily hopping about whenever I tried to enter a window and explore any of Unity’s huge array of interior spaces. It was also particularly frustrating in stealth sections, which Unity emphasizes heavily. Navigating between pieces of cover is finicky, and it was never clear whether or not I was even hidden.
Getting back on the story track, I found that Unity’s main Assassins-versus-Templars plot is relatively forgettable, and has none of the fun and levity of last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Arno is a one-dimensional character whose motivation is little more than the standard revenge tale. I never really found a reason to care about his Forrest Gump-style quest through the French Revolution, and an unfulfilling ending definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. (What’s more, the fact that everyone in Unity - including Napoleon Bonaparte himself - speaks with an English accent is completely inexplicable and immersion-breaking.)


It didn’t help that Arno doesn’t bring any distinctive new Assassin abilities to the table, making combat the same parry-heavy scenarios as in previous games. Enemies are definitely more aggressive this time around, but I found that cheesing the smoke bomb ability led to cheap victories in even the toughest battles. There’s also a sharp, jarring difficulty spike in the final Sequence, which led to a whole mess of annoying failures until I finally found a crude, unfulfilling way to just get past the mission and put it all behind me.
Thankfully, aside from that final Sequence, the missions themselves are generally pretty great. First off, there are almost no annoying tailing missions, which have always been a bane of the series. Instead, Unity is filled with a wide range of interesting activities. Side-quests filled with Parisian myths, legends, and tall-tales pepper the city. Gathering severed heads for Madame Tussaud, uncovering the mysteries of a catacombs-dwelling cult, and befriending the captivatingly weird Marquis de Sade all proved to be great little micro-stories.


Interestingly, Unity has the least amount of outside-the-Animus meta-story of any Assassin’s Creed game – which I’m actually thankful for. The few moments where you do leave 18th-century Paris unfold as surprising set-pieces that I wouldn’t want to spoil for you, but were each extremely entertaining. These sections definitely rely heavily on scripted events, but each one proved to be an exciting break from the main story.
The best missions in Unity, though, are the sandbox assassinations that usually conclude each Sequence, and which consistently left me thrilled. Each one is a puzzle with a ton of different solutions. For instance, your target is inside a heavily fortified cathedral. Do you want to steal a key and creep in through a side door, climb up to the top of the church and shimmy in through an open window, slink through the catacombs and come up from underneath, or simply throw caution into the wind and go in swords-a-blazing?


Comments

  • joshuaboy
    joshuaboy Members Posts: 10,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All of these are possible, and experimentation is encouraged thanks to Creed Points (their term, not mine) that reward interesting decisions with currency that can be spent to upgrade your weapons and armor. This new depth of character customization is one of Unity’s best contributions to the series. Money and Creed Points are relatively scarce, and I always found myself agonizing over which weapon to purchase, which pieces of armor to upgrade, and which skills to unlock. The decision between lock picking or poison bombs, or between armor that improves combat or stealth, would change the way I approached encounters throughout the campaign in meaningful ways.
    While Arno’s 15-hour story arc is one that can only be experienced alone, there are a ton of side missions in Unity that encourage, require, and reward drop-in cooperative gameplay. Two-player Heists demand constant communication, with a single misstep usually resulting in a chaotic mess of steel, bullets, and failure. Playing with a buddy was always entertaining, despite the fact that most missions boiled down to us trying to be stealthy, getting spotted, and then proceeding to just murder every living thing within the city limits. Practice might eventually make perfect.


    Once four players team up for a mission, a terrific blend of competitive cooperation forms. If one person dies, the entire team loses, so it’s in your best interest to keep your friends alive. At the same time, your rewards at the end of the mission are dependent on how well you played individually, creating situations where you aren’t sure whether you should hop in and help a buddy in need, or remain hidden and grow your own potential reward.
    I really appreciate that single-player and multiplayer all feeds into the same central economy. No matter what I was doing in Unity, I was always progressing my character a bit forward down the path of becoming a master assassin.

    THE VERDICT

    Assassin’s Creed Unity leverages the new-generation consoles to add spectacular new sights and successful co-op multiplayer, but in doing so, it’s created some substantial new problems instead of solving the series’ most persistent ones. The scope is stunning, the customization is satisfying, and the multiplayer touches upon some really ambitious ideas. But the lack of a strong main character or interesting take on the Assassin’s Creed universe costs it momentum and excitement, and the persistent control problems are still a thorn in its side. The first truly new-gen Assassin’s Creed game is a gorgeous, entertaining, and successful proof of concept for what lies ahead for the series, though it isn’t what I’d call revolutionary.

    7.8

    GOOD
    Assassin's Creed Unity is a gorgeous and entertaining game of impossible peaks and disappointing valleys.
  • StoneColdMikey
    StoneColdMikey mikeyismod CHITOWN THE BEST TOWNMembers, Moderators Posts: 33,543 Regulator
    I read this game getting bad reviews
  • PSN-Canibuss
    PSN-Canibuss Members Posts: 2,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Read the same and some microtransactions are $100!!
  • StoneColdMikey
    StoneColdMikey mikeyismod CHITOWN THE BEST TOWNMembers, Moderators Posts: 33,543 Regulator
    Yup and what's 🤬 up that those same 🤬 was free in other games
  • PSN-Canibuss
    PSN-Canibuss Members Posts: 2,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2014
    Don't get this 🤬 ... I haven't bought an Assassins Creed since revelations

    Crazy glitches in Unity

  • ZydecoShawty
    ZydecoShawty Members Posts: 2,936 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Game has frame rate problems and inconsistencies in control responsiveness. Enemies are definitely more difficult and not easy to deal with when surrounded. The importance of smoke bombs is definitely felt in this game unlike previous editions when you could just counter 🤬 an entire Army of soldiers. Best looking AC to date though without question.
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2014
    I fell out the map twice lol and the frame rate dips when there's a huge crowd....wtf is the point of all those people tho smh...remove 30% of those people in those huge crowds which aren't needed and the frame rate should fix
  • LEMZIMUS_RAMSEY
    LEMZIMUS_RAMSEY SHAPE YOUR REALITY INSIDE WHICH YOU THRIVE Members, Writer Posts: 17,670 ✭✭✭✭✭
    so its Worth the buy or nah?

    im hesitating between LORDS OF THE FALLEN AND AC UNITY
  • ZydecoShawty
    ZydecoShawty Members Posts: 2,936 ✭✭✭✭✭
    so its Worth the buy or nah?

    im hesitating between LORDS OF THE FALLEN AND AC UNITY

    It all depends on if you a fan of the series. The combat gameplay is way different from previous versions and you not gonna cut down entire army of soldiers by counter killing them when they surround you like in the past.
  • satyrone
    satyrone Members Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭✭✭
    game is pretty good so far. havent seen alot of glitches but the load times are 🤬 terrible. kinda want to see what the co-op is like.
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2014
    co op is fun and the combat is better...but honestly they just brought it back to how assassins creed 2 was, surprised people havent noticed it...and all the features that you could normally do they took it out and made you earn them with points....basically they took out their multiplayer but kept its features lol
  • iron man1
    iron man1 Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist Avengers TowerMembers Posts: 29,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    co op is fun and the combat is better...but honestly they just brought it back to how assassins creed 2 was, surprised people havent noticed it...and all the features that you could normally do they took it out and made you earn them with points....basically they took out their multiplayer but kept its features lol

    What features were removed if you could name some of them?
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2014
    iron man1 wrote: »
    co op is fun and the combat is better...but honestly they just brought it back to how assassins creed 2 was, surprised people havent noticed it...and all the features that you could normally do they took it out and made you earn them with points....basically they took out their multiplayer but kept its features lol

    What features were removed if you could name some of them?

    basically you have to earn double air assassinations, regular double assassinations...when you jump from a high place you have to press b to roll when you land to reduce damage, you have to unlock the money pouch to cause distractions like if it was multiplayer thats all i can think of right now but im pretty sure theres a few more


    they did what wb Montreal did with batman origins, the features that were there that you didnt really kno they highlighted them and masked it like new gameplay...like in BAC their level up system BAO showed you the same thing but in "stats/grades" for their skill tree...in ACU regular 🤬 you did like air assassinations, hidden and blend kills etc they give you points to "upgrade your customization" of the character after you earned enough to buy them.....i welcome it tho it gives you more incentive and feels fresh from something you already kno.....they also give you rankings and im ranked advanced champion cuz all i do is run around looking for fast lifts and air assassinating enemies lol
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    the multiplayer features i was referring to was they have sections of your armor and alot of options that can decrease a certain perk or increases it depending on what you buy...so you can mix and match on how you like to play.....i like it
  • satyrone
    satyrone Members Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have got real deep into the arm our stuff yet bet I like it so far. I like how you can upgrade different pieces and
  • iron man1
    iron man1 Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist Avengers TowerMembers Posts: 29,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @IamNumberOne‌ I noticed they took out the ability to pick up bodies that was a wack suttle move Ubisoft did.
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    iron man1 wrote: »
    @IamNumberOne‌ I noticed they took out the ability to pick up bodies that was a wack suttle move Ubisoft did.

    Yea you can't pick up dropped weapons either I guess it's so you can choose your own weapons and mess with the customization options...I like it tho cuz npcs will snitch and call authorities on you and when the enemies see a body on the floor they start looking for you...I guess it was their way to emphasize the stealth aspect of the game
  • Karl.
    Karl. Members Posts: 8,015 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is it as bad as they say?
  • IamNumberOne
    IamNumberOne Members Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think so
  • LEMZIMUS_RAMSEY
    LEMZIMUS_RAMSEY SHAPE YOUR REALITY INSIDE WHICH YOU THRIVE Members, Writer Posts: 17,670 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow the game is marvellous.
    Damn the beauty of Paris only will prevent me from selling it.