Nearly a year ago, I played and reviewed Assassin’s Creed Unity, scoring it a 7 out of 10 due to all the bugs, long load times and technical issues in the game. I assumed that if everything were fixed, I would probably rate higher. With all the patches done and dusted for the game and the newest installment of the franchise launching this week, it seemed like a good opportunity to jump back into Paris and see if it’s better or worse than I remember.
Certain things were certain to stay the same – Arno as a character is still less than memorable and the story in general leaves quite a bit to be desired. What I found rather strange was just how much of the map I had yet to explore from my original play through. Sure, the Paris that Ubisoft created was stunning with detail and I loved the crowds of people, but when I played the game last year, I managed to complete the entire story without setting foot in a bunch of the areas on the map. While I’m always happy to hear about games with massive maps and tons to do, it ended up feeling like padding rather than expansive gameplay to have so many areas in the game that were hardly differentiated from each other.
The gameplay is still much of the same although I found myself doing less assassinating than I would have wanted considering the game is called Assassin’s Creed. My favourite aspect of the game is still the emergent gameplay thanks to crowd events. Sure, there are the typical “catch that thief” chase and tackle moments, but I adore stopping the random criminals from bullying innocent people on the street by casually walking past and killing them. Peace is found at the end of a hidden blade, it seems.
Most notable for me was the fact that the bugs all seem to be gone. Obviously, I didn’t play through the entire game again, and there might still be areas where the game is glitchy and frame rates slow to a crawl, but in running around the city and getting up to sandbox shenanigans, I didn’t experience any of the issues that I did last year.
So, while the bugs seem to be gone, the weird animations during parkour and the clunky combat still feel alien. Added to that is the fact that most of the sandbox activities simply aren’t interesting enough to make me want to explore every nook and cranny of the city to see what I might find. Instead, I found myself mopping up a few smaller missions, opening the odd chest, encountering a bunch that couldn’t be opened without doing something on the companion app or via the Initiates system (despite the need for that actually being patched out in February,) and losing interest.
Even taking over the various regions simply didn’t hold my attention, mostly because I’d forgotten it essentially meant renovating a building and then doing a less-than-inspired mission.
So, with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate almost upon us, Assassin’s Creed Unity should see a major price drop. You’ll probably be able to pick it up for a bargain, and it will certainly offer you plenty of hours of gameplay, some of which is still truly fun – the fact that you can’t desynchronize in the same way during missions really does make it feel like players have free reign to play their own way.
However, this wasn’t the glorious Assassin’s Creed experience that we were all promised, and with most people moving on to bigger and better titles, I’ll wager that you’ll struggle to find any co-op partners to play with. Still, if you can pick the game up for cheap and go in with relatively low expectations, you might find a rather fun game. That said, of the two Assassin’s Creed games released last year, I still think you’ll have a better time just playing Assassin’s Creed Rogue instead.
Last Updated: October 21, 2015