‘Asassins Creed: Unity’ explores the French Revolution

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First Posted: 12/14/2014

One of my favorite series in the last generation of consoles has been “Assassins Creed”, now it is back and for the first time, it built from the ground up for the new generation of consoles. If you aren’t familiar with the series, each edition lets you explore a different time period and the new “Assassins Creed Unity” (AC:U) is set in Paris during the French Revolution. “AC:U” has the most dense and massive city yet, because of the size of the city and the large crowds in the streets “Unity” is the most technically ambitious game in the series.

In “Unity”, you play a brand new character name Arno as you explore the streets of Paris in 1789 at the height of the French Revolution. The streets are full of goings on. The people who live there are poor and hungry. However, the fire in their bellies crave change. Every where you go, huge crowds of people are rioting and making things difficult for the rich and powerful. The city is alive with activity it’s hard not to want to see everything. I have never seen so many characters on a screen at once. Arno’s loved ones were killed in an incursion, now he is out for revenge and redemption. The story isn’t about the revolution, but about Arno and his love, Elise.

“Unity” goes back to the roots of the first couple of games set in a big city. No wilderness or sea battles that people loved in last year’s “Black Flag” game. The developers took a lot of time researching, making everything have such pains-taking detail. This time you can travel inside buildings; roughly one out of four structures has an explorable inside. Everything notable in the city has been recreated in stunning detail; the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and much more. Crowds can be used to your advantage as you can blend into them to make escapes but sometimes, watch out, they might attack you. As you move through the crowd you can pick up side missions such as stopping muggings and even random assassination missions, there is always something to distract and the size of the open ended missions lead to whelming amounts to do and explore.

Unlike previous entries in the series there isn’t much story, most of it is told in just dialogue. Most of the game is spent as Arno in the past. It’s a shame nothing substantial happens in the future because I really liked those sections of the previous entries. Arno’s story is so good though, I don’t feel I am missing a ton of future scenes. One new story telling device they use to tell of the assassins struggle is the new “Rift Missions” they are fast and fun arcade style missions but I don’t want to spoil any of the twists they uncover.

The systems that govern the game are revamped. The controls and gameplay feel vastly different then previous entries. The free run is easier thanks to a button that grounds you, so if you bump into something you don’t automatically climb making chase missions easier. Stealth is harder. The guards are more aware and fighting takes more observation to get good. Everything you do helps unlock upgrades to weapons, armor and abilities.If you are having trouble early on, just level up some more.

One of the biggest additions is the four-player cooperative play. You and friends can tackle missions together. It is a really nice feature but can get buggy and confusing with multiple players. There are pretty cool co-op missions such as special story missions and heists that can’t be done alone so it is worth checking out this game mode.

Overall I love “Assassins Creed: Unity.” I am a diehard fan of the series and look forward to exploring new time periods and environments. The gameplay is incredible and the story can’t be missed. If you are a fan of this series, check it out. If you are new to the series, it’s a good jumping off point. “Unity” is a great edition to the series especially for history buffs that want to see what the French Revolution was like.