Assassin's Creed: Unity - Vive la révolution!

The only AC game I couldn’t stomach enough to finish.

Same. I’ve played and finished every other main line game. Except Rogue, but maybe I’ll get back to that. And currently playing Origins. I barely made it 10 hours in Unity before abandoning it.

So far (sequence 5) the differences that generated the most conversation like changes to the combat system and little changes to the mechanics don’t really sway me one way or the other. It absolutely has more in common with every iteration that came before it than it has differences.

So personally, it’s not particularly better or worse than previous versions, it just brings up all the same frustrations I’ve always had.

Actually, to it’s credit, it is a lot better looking, that shouldn’t be overlooked. Really, a gorgeous game (playing on PS4), I’m particularly impressed with the faces and their animation.

I liked Unity, been thinking of going back and solving some of the mysteries I didn’t finish. Those are fun.

Since this post I haven’t made a lot of progress in the main story, just completed sequence 5.

The rest of my time was spent unlocking and then completely upgrading the cafe, and then trying to work out how the co-op missions work and ultimately soloing one of them enough to learn, complete, and then re-complete it two more times for all the rewards.

There’s definitely still that element of trial and error that gets under my skin, especially in the main missions. You never know what’s going to change at each checkpoint. Should you rush recklessly to the next objective because alert states will be reset, or should you very carefully eliminate guards or take slower, stealthier route because your progress will persist into the next phase? You never know, so sometimes you do one and then immediately regret not doing the other.

That said, the game is growing on me, and I like a lot of the changes. The combat seems like an improvement, you can still counter and feel like a badass, even outnumbered, but if you really make everyone mad, there’s definitely danger to being swarmed now. You can’t just lazily counter everything and casually “human-shield” when gunshots are imminent.

I didn’t realize exactly that my power level (whatever you call those diamonds) was entirely derived from equipment, which I’d been neglecting. So some of those later cafe missions were kind of rough when I was still a one-diamond assassin. Realizing that, and now having the income from the cafe to spend, it feels great to suddenly have a lot more consumables and durability as I continue.

So yeah, in a roundabout way, this is better than I expected so far.

If you’re lucky they’ll listen to you for the next one after Unity :)

There are a few factors that make AC: Unity difficult to compare to my experience with the previous AC games.

First of all, other than stopping to do all the cafe missions as soon as they were available (to maximize cash income as I kept playing), I just went straight through all the story missions, ignoring all side missions and other activities unless it was something like a crowd even happening as I was running by or a treasure chest I was tripping over on my way to the next mission.

Typically I go back and forth, trying to play the story missions until the world opens up, then doing side missions/activities and getting collectibles for a while until I get too bored or progress is gated by advancing the story again. In both AC3 and Black Flag I was very close to 100% sync when I finished the final story mission, so this was a very different experience but it was based on my choice, not necessarily a difference in the game.

The story

So all that said, the story felt the least important in this game, in every way. There wasn’t much that was restricted by the story. I think you could pretty much go anywhere and do anything without advancing the story far at all. Most meaningful abilities were tied to equipment which you could save up and buy at any point, the specific “skills” you needed the main or co-op missions to unlock felt unnecessary, and when you did unlock something it was up to you what order to pursue your upgrades.

And the story was also pretty light-weight and unimportant narratively. Arno joins the Assassins to right a wrong, has his loyalties tested and questioned because he loves a Templar, he ends up choosing her over the Assassins and they pursue their vengeance together. The enemy is another Sage, who’s made himself a problem for the Assassins and the Templars, and he’s potentially a threat to the world via the normal aspirations of these characters to destabilize or disrupt society and governments from the shadows but he’s not about to grab a magic macguffin and end the world right there in 18th century Paris. It’s low stakes compared to the other games. And the modern world narrative is simply that they need to see Arno’s life played out because they want to know where the Sage’s body ended up, but you never experience the modern world in anything more than some transmissions into your game.

I think I prefer this.

The “Co-op”

I think you could have a party of friends or strangers and just run around doin’ assassin stuff with your assassin friends, but I’ve only worked specifically on the designated co-op missions and co-op heists. I really like that you can do both of these entirely solo. They’re long missions compared to the normal story and side missions—I guess they have to be since they’re built for up to four people to work on simultaneously—but that works well when you want a single player sort of sandbox experience for putting all your assassin skills to work. It has objectives, but fewer restrictions than regular missions. Those complaints I had earlier about never being quite sure what the rules are of the story missions—when should I be super sneaky and cautious, when should I just rush in violently—don’t really apply because in my experience both options are equally valid here, and there’s ample opportunity for both. I dig it.

I’ve got more I could ramble on about, and probably will eventually, but this is already a lot and I know no one’s exactly dying to hear more impressions of AC:Unity in 2018.

True, I’m too far behind to be interested in Unity in 2018. I’d estimate by 2020 I’ll be more interested in hearing Unity impressions, and in 2021 I’ll try it out for myself.

Thanks for the write up. That was interesting. At first I wasn’t sure if i wanted to read the potential spoilers, but then I kept reading, and you kept the outlines pretty broad, so I don’t think they’re real spoilers. It was fascinating to find out the overall story structure. Knowing that this is a love story at its base makes me want to play it more. The AC games I’ve played so far (AC, AC2, AC:B, AC:R - 1st half) were not love stories.

It’s not a love story I got very invested in, but that kind of fit with the weird way in which the sort of downplayed significance of it all was a probably-unintended strength of the game.

It’s kind of neat having all these AC games to look forward to, honestly. So much better than looking forward to them before release. Like, the new one in Ancient Greece? Who knows if that one will be any good. But going through 1750s Boston these days, on and off, is a lot of fun, even if Boston from those days was pretty butt ugly. After that, I’m really looking forward to seeing all those Caribbean Islands in AC4. It’ll be like Sid Meier’s Pirates, but with an over-the-shoulder camera! And then Paris in Unity. And then London in… I always forget the name of that one. And then maybe Liberation and Rogue, not sure on whether I want to play those. And then Roman Era Egypt in Origins. And then maybe the new one in Ancient Greece, which will have been out for a long time by then. It’s just so cool that a series I love has games out that I’m going to love to play through. So much better than some nebulous idea of a game that might or might not be released some day in the future, and it might or might not live up to my expectations when it does come out.

Going from Boston to the Caribbean was delightful. I liked AC3, but splitting my playthrough up over more than a year killed my investment in that story, and the look of the game always disappointed me. Obviously it was hardware from a generation ago, so there are the limits of resolution, detail, and density of the environments, but on top of that everything just felt sort of washed out and brownish gray. It seems like it should’ve been possible to add some vibrance to the world even with the older tech.

So going from that to Black Flag was amazing. The oceans were a brilliant blue, but even running around the towns and jungles on larger islands it was richer and more colorful.

And then Unity—played years after the fact with the benefit of most of the problems patched out and a PS4 Pro to improve frame rate beyond what was possible on consoles at launch—was another extraordinary leap forward. Unity has some of the most beautifully rendered and animated characters I’ve seen. I don’t really care a lot what they’re talking about, but I enjoyed every cut scene just marveling at the lifelike movements and striking lighting and detail.

It’s a lot of fun watching the series advance. I doubt I’ll ever play Rogue, because it would’ve fit best after I played Black Flag but I wasn’t in the mood for another sailing adventure—fun as that was. I was ready to switch it up and get back into a big city and Paris is just what I needed. But now that I’ve made the generational leap, I’m not sure I could go back to Rogue. Same for Liberation.

They released an HD remaster of Rogue on the new consoles though. Didn’t that improve it enough, you think?

Haven’t seen it in person, but I assume that brings it to something close to Black Flag on current-gen levels (since that also straddled generations). So I doubt it looks bad, and would fit well right after Black Flag.

But the leap to Unity really is significant, both graphically and with changes to the gameplay: reworked fighting system, slight changes to the climbing/free-running, switch to health that doesn’t regenerate, etc. A bunch of little things but it would make it hard to go “backward” for me.

It’s really not though.

I will admit, I have no clue what AC4 is actually like. I’ve been avoiding coverage so I’ll be surprised by it.

I have no clue what Sid Meier’s Pirates is like! So forget that @divedivedive guy, they’re probably exactly the same!

All right, you guys want to get your hopes up, that’s no business of mine. I’ll just be over here. Doing my nails.

Rogue is (IMO) worth it, as it makes a nice overall story transition b/t AC3 and Unity. You can easily skip Liberation.

Forgive the cross-post from the Notre Dame thread, but this is pretty cool of them.

Yes. Very fricking cool.

In light of the devastating fire at the Notre Dame de Paris, Ubisoft wants to give all gamers the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of the cathedral through Assassins Creed Unity on PC.

From April 17th at 04:00 pm to April 25th at 09:00 am (your local time). you can download Assassins Creed Unity on PC for free here, and you’ll own it forever in your Uplay games library.

We encourage all of you who want to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Cathedral to join Ubisoft in donating.