VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Assassin’s Creed Unity

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Whether you know it or not we’re in the heart of the fall video game release schedule. And the latest game to drop is Assassin’s Creed Unity, published and developed by Ubisoft and available to play on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Not including Xbox 360 and PS3, to me, is a surprising departure from the norm.

You need to work on moving stealthily to get through certain missions. (Photo credit: gin.com)

You need to work on moving stealthily to get through certain missions. (Photo credit: ign.com)

I do want to note that those of you who haven’t upgraded yet can still play a new game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Rogue. It’s only available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. That game bridges the story between Assassin’s Creed 3 and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, which completes the North American campaign.

If you’re unaware of the premise of the series, Assassin’s Creed takes place in the not so distant future where a private company named Abstergo has created a virtual reality machine that allows its user to relive their ancestor’s memories. Through the series you eventually find out that Abstergo is a company formed by the Knights Templar, who are trying to rule the world but are held in check by a group of assassins.

Abstergo has been trying to get unknowing volunteers to access their memories and look for items called Pieces of Eden that their ancestors might have come into contact with. They’re objects left to us by aliens who visited us long ago and have great power, like the power to control and/or influence others or the power to reflect metal objects away from you.

As you play through your ancestor’s memories you learn their abilities through what’s called the bleeding effect. So not only do you get to relive your ancestor’s hijinks but you also learn how to become an assassin!

The setting of your Parisian adventure. (Photo credit: gamespot.com)

The setting of your Parisian adventure. (Photo credit: gamespot.com)

AC Unity takes place during the French Revolution and features, as always, many notable historical figures including Napoleon and Robespierre.

The game begins with a commercial for Helix, which is the commercial name for the Animus. After a short presentation you get to play as a Templar who must save an item before the invading assassins destroy it on the eve of the Templar’s arrest and ultimate destruction in 1307.  After this the game really takes off, Sacré bleu!

Gameplay has been overhauled for AC Unity. The fighting style is now closer to fencing than to Captain Kenway’s pirate style or Ezio’s Italian duel style of fighting. Also upgraded are the mechanics of scaling buildings. Climbing the sides of buildings looks more natural and the mechanics feels more fluid. With his moves it appears as if Arno could be a contestant on American Ninja.

Being a fan of history I love these fictional historical games. While not necessarily being factually accurate, it can show what life was like and maybe why history is the way it is. To some, watching others play the game say that it feels like watching a movie.

The thing I love about this game is the graphics. You can tell that Ubisoft really worked on a lot of little details like if you cut somebody with your sword with your strikes and slashes you will leave blood splatter on the wall.

You can see blood spatter when you cut your opponent. (Photo credit: games radar.com)

You can see blood spatter when you cut your opponent. (Photo credit: games radar.com)

This game does have a few drawbacks and complaints. For one, it’s glitchy as all hell! It feels like Ubisoft was rushing to put this game out and didn’t get everything succinct.

In my limited amount of playing time I’ve seen my character fall and phase through buildings, watched people walking down the street and begin to sink, and the jumping and landing that seems a little off. The oddest thing about the game would have to be the British accents of the characters even though it’s set in France.

I rank games based on the following five areas: graphics, plot, music, gameplay and replayability.

As I said earlier the graphics are great. Ubisoft seems to have tried to focus on textures of objects throughout the game, like skin and wood. Another area they seemed to focus on was the character’s hair. You can actually see strands of hairs move when players are moving in cut scenes and/or during the game. You really get the Je ne sais quoi of Paris.

While I haven’t completed the game yet I can’t judge the plot in its totality. But from what I have played it is fun and interesting break off from the previous games, which were primarily focused in North America. As always it’s a fun game to play.

To me the music is ok, nothing spectacular here. The same goes with the game sounds. There’s nothing that would leave you wanting more. The only saving grace here would be the database song files which let’s you hear the songs that were created at that time.

The controls of the game are very basic and easy to learn with tutorials whenever you need. The gameplay itself is fun, climbing up buildings and jumping off into piles of hay. Now I know that may not sound like fun, but boy is it!

The problem with this game for me is that it’s not really that replayable. Once you beat the game you beat the game. There isn’t much else to do other than try and beat all of the mini-missions but that can be redundant. There will be additional downloadable content that you can play, but you have to pay extra for it.

Your assassin has a variety of weapons. (Photo credit: ubi.com)

Your assassin has a variety of weapons. (Photo credit: ubi.com)

While being fun I have found several glitches and added with the limited replayability I’d give this game a generous four out of five luchador masks! So from the aerial views of the city to the ever-widening story of the assassins and the Templars I’d say pick up the game and let me know how you like it. I just wouldn’t expect a happy ending seeing the time period it was set it, but hey you know the saying, C’est la vie!

 

(Slider credit: dualshockers.com)

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Creator and host of the podcast Beer, Bros & BS, teller of stories, drinker of beers, reader of (comic) books, watcher of sports, devourer of food, mostly entertaining. From Miami. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @thebiglibrarian.

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