For those who saw the new multiplayer trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity, it’s clear that the game has a whole new side to it. But there’s still an entire single player story, and plenty of new innovations for this established franchise.
During my E3 demo time, the guys played the same sequence that we saw in the trailer, although they did take some different approaches. Players are encouraged to split up, finding alternative routes and taking out guards or aggressors along the way to help each other out. Players can coordinate with a countdown timer – you don’t need a headset to decide when to go on the offensive, you can send a clear message to take out a group of guards at the same time when the clock runs out.
There are two main types of missions in Assassin’s Creed Unity – brotherhood missions for the assassin’s, as well as personal redemption missions to advance the player’s character. Another new addition for side missions are murder mysteries – revolutionary France was a dangerous place, but families of victims still want to know why and how their loved ones were killed and it’s up to you to give them closure.
Contrary to what I thought watching the videos during the press conferences, the combat system has been overhauled. Gone are the days of easy combat – the AI has been beefed up and fights are way more difficult. However, if you are badass enough, you can actually scare off extra aggressors who will no longer want to fight you because they know that they don’t stand a chance.
Another innovation for the Assassin’s Creed franchise is Stealth Mode. It’s essentially just a crouch, but it allows players to use cover and move more quietly, manoeuvring through locales without being detected. Speaking of locations, it is truly seamless for players to enter and exit buildings, taking full advantage of a much more realistic world.
Realism is extended to parkour as well. Players can now use controlled descent – they aren’t just reduced to diving off of buildings into haystacks, now they can actually parkour down as well. Getting high up has new advantages – once you reach a certain height, icons appear showing activities, missions and other points of interest. The higher you get, the more icons you can see.
As in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, there is singing in this iteration in the franchise. Instead of shanties, these are authentic French songs to be sung in the taverns. I like these types of collectibles – you want to get them to hear new songs, and it adds to the variety and immersion in gameplay.
Finally, the realism is brought to its pinnacle when it comes to the crowds. In Assassin’s Creed Unity, the crowds can be as large as 5 000 people, each with their own AI. Crowds react to anarchy and can be used to your advantage (or turn into a disadvantage). Gone are the crowds of three people, these groups of people feel authentic and realistic – as an assassin you can truly become the knife in the crowd.
Last Updated: June 11, 2014