E3 2014: Assassin’s Creed: Unity First Impressions
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is yet another adventure in the franchise where you embark on the memories of a new epic anti-hero. Arno Dorian is fueled by redemption as Paris is partitioned by multiple factions during the French Revolution in which he sides with the People of Paris. Unlike Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Unity is built entirely on next-gen consoles; in our quick impressions it shows.
In my 1 on 1 hands-off impressions of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Arno begins eagle-seated above a huge Notre Dame square filled with tons of activists. Next-gen consoles have allowed for even more AI crowd models to be rendered creating a very rowdy atmosphere. An immediate improvement to the AC franchise’s controls begin in this early segment where vertical scaling and descaling of buildings are presented. Typically, in Assassin’s Creed you must approach all platforming at 90 degree angles which can get very tedious at times. Holding A or B respectively will allow you to go up or down buildings quicker than you would traditionally. This is great for traversal during chase/fetch missions.
As you progress through the level you’ll encounter the Aggressors who are either at conflict with you directly, or your People of Paris allies. Conveniently if the People of Paris are around during your personal confrontation with the Aggressors they’ll step in to help; talk about the bros for life. Unity is a much bigger world, and it shows. Rather than use ridiculous metaphors to emphasize the scale of the game we’re keeping it much simple here. Many more key locations such as churches and residential buildings can be explored inviting you to embark on side missions of murder redemption where crime scenes have occurred, or just additional freedom when navigating the large environment. No loading required. Multiplayer has been integrated into the campaign thanks to the wealth of technology that has allowed AC: Unity to be created. To discover available multiplayer missions players can scale large buildings in a new feature that provides a HUD full of options appearing in the horizon as beacons of light, including those that invite your pals to assist.
There’s plenty of returning elements in Unity that Assassin’s Creed fans will be familiar with including Eagle Vision and parry within combat. Parry has been slightly tweaked this time around; perfectly timed parries leave your opponents vulnerable to fatal blows. I get the feeling that Ubisoft isn’t necessarily looking to reinvent the franchise, but rather add to the atmosphere with gaming’s technological advances. Although most of the plot elements of Unity have yet to be revealed, this hands-off demo presented to me has you assassinating Captain Xavier ironically as he executes a civilian with hundreds of thrilled onlookers. Probably the most interesting aspect of the demo was the closing confrontation where user controlled assassin’s appeared by your side ready for battle against Xavier’s military bodyguards as indicated by their respective colored Assassin’s Creed icons.
Yes. We are excited for Assassin’s Creed: Unity. No, we didn’t play the game but it looks very interesting. It’s fair to say AC: Unity will be the game, at a technical level, that Ubisoft wanted to create during the transition to the next-gen consoles. We’ll have to wait to find out more in regards to the story element of Assassin’s Creed: Unity.