With no pirates or open seas to be found, Ubisoft set off to create a brand new Assassin’s Creed game for those of us on PS4, Xbox One and PC. With flashy new graphics and crowds that number more than some small towns, will this be the game to win over doubters of the series? Let’s take a deeper look and find out.
When it comes down to how Unity hits me visually, I am of two minds. On one hand, the game is beautiful. The crowds are vast, landscapes go on for days and the atmosphere of a French Revolution-era city is sold when walking the streets. Just taking a quick look at the game, this game looks like it’s made a nice jump to a “current gen only” installment.
One of the biggest things that pull me out of Unity is the shaky frame rate. For those of you who are playing on the PlayStation 4, be ready for an unreliable roller coaster when it comes to how smooth the game runs. There were runs where I didn’t experience any and was having the time of my life, but then there were polar opposite moments when I hit sections where the game would hit hiccups that caused me to shake my head.
I’m not saying that the frame rate ruins Unity for me, but to say that it hasn’t pulled me out of the atmosphere and general feel of the game at times would be a complete lie. When I play a video game, I love getting lost in its world and when a title suffers from frame rate problems, it makes the process of getting lost a bit tough.
With that gripe out of the way, Unity’s presentation is rather nice. Like I alluded to before, the city scapes are great, the water looks damn good and the blood splatter flies up on walls and floors in a way we haven’t seen from an AC game before.
Again, I am of two minds in this category. When Unity’s controls work just right, I’m running around killing everything that stands in my way. Whether it be on the ground sword fighting or in the shadows stalking my prey, when the controls work, this game thrives.
The problem is that AC Unity’s controls aren’t as exact as they really should be. Things can feel floaty and in turn that makes some tasks that require some precision, a bit more tough, I’d even say sometimes downright frustrating. I’ve had numerous times where I wanted to let go of a ledge and no matter how many times I hit “drop” or “jump” or anything in between, Arno just won’t let go.
That being said, I do appreciate some things that were done in the movement department. Ubisoft brought in people who parkour to do some motion capture and it shows when controlling Arno. He doesn’t feel like all the other AC protagonists and even does cool flips and twists while traversing. Yes, these are small things, but they add up to make Arno a real individual and that’s something this series needed desperately.
When it comes to combat, you know what to expect. The timing based system has returned and it seems to be ratcheted up a few scales in the toughness category. Arno isn’t as strong as past front men in the AC series and a shot or two will leave him begging for mercy in the beginning of your journeys.
THE “IT” FACTOR
If there’s one thing that has surprised me about Unity, it’s the vast array of customizable accessories. From your hood, to your boots (and literally everything in between), you are handed multiple options when choosing what to wear. Each clothing item has values that change certain stats, so you may want to dress according to how you play the game.
It’s a lot of fun getting the colors and accessories just right and upgraded, while you climb the ranks as an assassin. This customization is something that I hope to see stick around in the series as it adds a nice new feel to the game and also makes you relate to Arno more than characters in the past few games.
All in all, this isn’t a game that’s going change the naysayers minds about the AC series, but if you enjoy the formula, you’re going to have a blast in Unity. I’m having a lot of fun running around outside of missions just killing guards and criminals, while I try my hand at the new traversal mechanics.
While others went in expecting the world, I’d advise going in with the right expectations. Unity isn’t a GOTY contender, but you will have fun with it if you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed formula.
This game is far from perfect and maybe even far from as good as Ubisfot made it sound, but it’s by no means an awful game. At times you’ll be feeling like a true assassin, after killing an area full of enemies without making a sound, whereas other times you’ll be throwing the controller across the room in a fit of rage. Just be sure to put away your hidden blade when doing the later.
Assassin’s Creed Unity gets a 7/10
AC Unity was reviewed on the PS4. We were not given a review copy of title by Ubisoft.