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Assassin's Creed: Unity Review


I've never really been a big fan of history, it's always been the sort of subject that would send me to sleep with boredom. Be it the First or Second World War, the French Revolution or the American War of Independence, as interesting and important as these event may be to how we live today, when the subject comes up my brain just switches off. Luckily then, I have video games to show me the error of my ways and the Assassin's Creed series in particular, which is so steeped in interesting history that it makes me wish Ubisoft where making these games while I was at school, maybe then I'd have paid more attention.

The latest game in Ubisoft's hit franchise is Assassin's Creed: Unity and having spent time completing the main campaign, I have to say that I've very impressed. Given what I've said above you can probably guess that it wouldn't be my first choice of titles to play if I had a choice, but I'm so glad that I was able to experience this game. 



Set in Paris, on the eve of the French Revolution, you take control of Arno Dorian a native Frenchman who was born in Versailles to an Assassin father. Soon into the game Arno is adopted, after his father is killed and sets out on a revenge mission, which as you would expect leads him to becoming an Assassin's, rising through the ranks along the way. Arno also has a love interest in Elise De LaSerre who is also out to find answers about her own father death and from there, the plot thickens.

What's interesting about Unity is that you follow Arno through his journey. So while he starts off as a little boy, watching his father be murdered, soon he'll grow and eventually become an Assassin and you'll go through this with him, watching as he goes through the rituals and training he needs in order to become a skilled silent killer. Skills are earned as you work your way through the game, allowing you to customise Arno into the type of Assassin you want him to be. Whether you want to improve Melee, Stealth, Health or your Ranged Weapon attacks, all of the options are there.

Of course Arno wouldn't be much without weapons and there are plenty to choose from. Interestingly I played through and completed the game mainly using a shotgun instead of a sword. I was actually taking part in melee combat by bashing the enemy with the gun before finishing them off with a knife and looting them for good measure. It all made me think that this game is a bit violent and it certainly is that. Anyway, like I say, there's plenty of weapons and equipment to choose from, all of which are upgradable using points you accumulate throughout the game, so whether you want to sneak around in a stealthy manner using smoke bombs or ranged attacks or simply storm in leaving devastation in your wake, the options are all there.

I have to admit to not being a huge fan of the combat and controls in previous games, which means it took me a while to get to grips with this latest title. I have to say that while I still feel that getting around could be easier, I enjoyed the combat a lot more in Unity. Dodging, parrying and attacking the enemy feels much more refined and easy to get to grips with. The game does guide you through it at first, which helps, and once you get used to dodging heavy attacks and rolling from gun fire it'll become second nature.

Assassin's Creed: Unity has always given you the ability to take to the rooftops and now staying on the ground is just as important. Getting out of sticky situations always used to involve climbing to a higher place, but now you can make just as good a getaway on ground level by running away, sliding under tables, doorways and the like and leaping over obstacles, all while staying rooted to the ground. It's a great new addition to the game and certainly makes getting away from pursuing enemies all the more exciting.

While Assassin's Creed: Unity is all about the story, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty more to do. You can explore the large open world, completing missions in order to learn more about this period of time, there really is lots to do even when you are finished with the main story. In fact one side mission I completed was for none other than Madame Tussaud - we all know who she is right?

There are plenty of twists in Assassin's Creed: Unity which I'm not going to spoil. Most of these twists involve portals and going to a different period of time, but that's all I'm going to say as I'd rather you spent time exploring the game for yourself - but just prepare for a surprise.



Of course the game is called Unity for a reason and that's because it includes plenty of co-op missions for you to get your teeth into. Joining up with up to three other friends to take part in specific events should be a lot of fun, as should the heists and various other gameplay aspects which are available. Unfortunately I was unable to test this for myself as the servers where down when I tried, however it's yet another option to keep you busy once you have completed the full game.

As for the presentation, well it's pretty good. I have to admit that I thought it would be up there with the most impressive looking titles released so far, such as Advanced Warfare, however it's not quite at that level, most likely due to it being open world. Saying that though, there is a lot to be impressed about. The city streets are packed and the buildings and surrounding environments are all very impressive and highly detailed. I captured the screens seen in the review myself to give you an idea of what to expect and I'm guessing you will not be disappointed.

Assassin's Creed: Unity is definitely my favourite title in the series so far. The story started slow but once it got going it had me gripped. I love the new additions to the combat and movement and I enjoyed the twists which appear frequently throughout the game. Fans of the series will not be disappointed and anyone joining the series for the first time certainly won't regret their time spent with the game. Now if only we could have an Assassin's Creed set in the future.

Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/Xbox LIVE: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)

Pros

+ Looks great
+ Fantastic story
+ Great additions to movement
+ Combat refined and improved

Cons

- Controls are still quite awkward

* There has been a lot of comments regarding pop-in, framerate issues and other glitches. I can only speak for myself, but having completed the main story I didn't encounter any noticeable issues.
 

Edited On 11 Nov, 2014

Comments
( 14 )
Cheeky Monkey's avatar
Cheeky Monkey 2 years ago
I have one word which all developers of online/multiplayer titles should treat as the single most important aspect of their game nowadays: 'SERVERS'
Cheeky Monkey's avatar
Cheeky Monkey 2 years ago
I can see the whole Driveclub debacle happening all over again with this game too. Remember you read it here first.
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 2 years ago
Yeah I still can't connect online. I would have thought with the U.S launch today I would have been able too. Halo having issues online too.
listerdaleo's avatar
listerdaleo 2 years ago
Positive feed back to me. never really had a problem with controls myself in any of them. Is there a review coming for AC:Rouge?
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 2 years ago
We may have a review for Rogue, trying to get a copy sent from work.
listerdaleo's avatar
listerdaleo 2 years ago
Thats good to hear joe ^^. Interested to hear which one you prefer out the 2 :P
Anonymous user's avatar
Neil 2 years ago
Only con is the still awkward controls? Good for me I never found them awkward! Apart from running up the odd wall or 2 when I didn't want to, but that was early days. If this is your fav in the series I'm really looking forward to it, although I think hard to top black flag....
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
So many people complaining about this over on PCGamer and the steam forums - saying it doesn't run very well on their PC - Wasn't the specs for this on PC really high? Surely if you don't meet those then you have to expect some kind of performance reduction. I think this game looks great and plays great. I wish they would turn back on ACInitiates website though - I liked doing the in-game challenges on it - made the game last longer
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 2 years ago
Turnip it was a terrible port. All ubisoft games are terrible PC ports. Ubisoft don't care about the Pc as a gaming platform.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
The specs are only high cos they are just throwing power at it, look at Evil Within
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
I've never had an issue on any AC games on my PC. At leas they have AC - I have to wait til Friday for mine to arrive :(
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
Heard the game has a $100 microtransaction, and that parts of the game are locked unless you use a mobile/tablet app.. Ubisoft really do take the piss.
udoh's avatar
udoh 2 years ago
Did you experience any of the frame rate issues whilst playing? That is the biggest concern for me. I can cope with the gliches.
Anonymous user's avatar
Andrea 2 years ago
i noticed some issues such as glitches and frame rate

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