Tonight I finished the main story of Assassin’s Creed Unity. All in all, it was pretty good. Not my favorite AC game but still worth playing.
That said, it could have been REALLY good if the team had had more time for polish. Even with all the patching that they did post-launch, there were still more than the usual AC frustrations related to traversal. My favorite example was when I was chasing someone through the streets of Paris and got to close to a fountain and the game decided that what I really wanted to do was jump up on the lip of the fountain (maybe 2 feet high) and run in a circle around that while I frantically tried to get my character to jump off it.
This weird “sticking to random surfaces” thing is an issue in all AC games but it was really bad this time out. There were also more glitches than I like to see. Sometimes quests would get stuck and have to be restarted, and sometimes this kind of thing happened:
Otherwise my only real complaint was a personal one: the setting. I’m not a Francophile and the French Revolution isn’t really a time period that interests me very much. Oh! Almost forgot to mention the voice acting. I have no idea why but a lot of the denizens of Paris sounded very British. But not all of them. It was like they recycled canned ‘British background conversations’ or something.
Not that they didn’t do a great job with the design of Paris. It was pretty damned fabulous. The streets were packed with people going about their business (and there’s a day/night cycle that changes the kinds of things you see), buildings could be entered and rummaged around in and there was a TON of stuff to do. So much that, well, forget about ‘clearing’ the game. No one has time for that. But as I’ve discussed before, I like that. The types of side jobs I didn’t like, I ignored.
There’s also a much stronger RPG vibe in this game. You earn Skill Points by doing story missions and co-op missions and spend those to unlock your skills. I wish I could’ve unlocked them doing side missions too. I only did 2 co-op missions, one actually in co-op and the other solo, and I still had enough skills that I was a bad-ass by the end of the game, so I guess the system works. But if I could’ve earned more doing side missions I might have bought some skills that I skipped over, just to play around with them. For instance I never bothered to buy skills related to heavy weapons and instead specialized in 1-handed weapons, because I was worried about running out of skill points.
Additionally there were a lot of gear slots to upgrade. Arno (the protagonist) wears a hood, chest piece, leggings, belt and bracers, all of which can be upgraded. You buy new gear with gold and then can upgrade that gear via “Creed Points” that you earn by doing things like execution moves or eluding enemies.
I’ve talked a lot recently about how I enjoy progression so Unity scratched that itch pretty well.
Oddly your hidden blades are only used in automatic assassinations, and in general things like air assassinations seemed harder than they’ve been in early AC games; way too many times I dropped down onto enemies and just knocked them over. They’d get up and start fighting me and calling in friends.
There were no “out of the animus” bits here. In fact technically you’re not in an animus, you’re in a Helix which is the consumer version. You do get spoken to by “Bishop and Deacon” who are pretty definitely Rebecca Crane and Shawn Whatzit from the earlier games, but the whole ‘meta’ story is so flimsy I’ve already forgotten it and the credits are still rolling.
In fact in general the story was pretty meh. Arno, whose father was killed at the end of AC Rogue, is raised by a Templar who is murdered and basically the whole game is Arno and the Templar’s daughter Elise, (also your love interest, sortof) trying to get revenge. Along the way many people are killed, often then revealing that maybe they weren’t as bad as Arno had imagined.
As far as history, we meet the Marquis de Sade, Robespierre and Napolean Bonaparte who is really wedged in there in a way that makes no sense, but I’m pretty sure he nabbed a piece of eden at one point, the scoundrel.
So yeah, it was good. I’m not going to stick around for trophy hunting or anything, and I DO from time to time still fire up AC Rogue to whittle away at those Achievements, so I guess I have to say I preferred AC Rogue and Black Flag to this one. But I’m glad I played it.
And this is twice now I’ve been able to complete a post on an AC game while the credits were still rolling. SO MANY CREDITS.