How fast a year (well 11 months) goes by, it feels like only yesterday that I was settling down in the dark cold months to play Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag in what was a return to form for the series after some slight miss-steps. Now I look and we are just over a month away from the next big title in the series (Rogue is on a personal back-burner) and our chance to explore the streets of revolutionary Paris. Do you want some hints of what might be occurring in Unity? I’ve gathered some trailers after the break and shared some thoughts on the how the game is shaping up.
Above is the new story trailer for Unity. It is all very detailed with Napoleon making an appearance, Arno’s initiation into the Brotherhood and his love interest/best friend, Elise also showing her face. It looks fun and all…but that isn’t what is going to sell me on the game. What made me really start to pay attention to Unity was the that first E3 cinematic. More recently, I was able to watch a gameplay demonstration at EGX. It is only now that I realise what I saw in London is the exact same gameplay demo that was first revealed back in August.
That gameplay slice is what interest me more about Unity than the lore of the Brotherhood or Arno’s tale. While the video above is the same as the action I saw at EGX, it is filled with more opportunities to approach the objective than what I am used to from Assassin’s Creed. This is something the series has needed for quite a while, as however much fun the naval combat was in Black Flag, there were still numerous occasions where you had to follow a prescribed ‘follow this chap without being spotted’ path before being in a position to get on with any assassinating.
It is a slight shame though that the AI seems as dim-witted as ever. Around the 4-minute mark in the above video, Arno is stalking a couple of no-gooders in a graveyard. After listening in on what they have to say, Arno throws a smoke bomb, kills one of them, and then continues to calmly walk past two guards. Surely if they saw a smoke bomb suddenly go off, and someone they don’t recognise walk through the smoke, they would stop to question him? Slightly infuriating, but I am hoping that the overhauled approach to missions plays off.
We are in 2014 now, so of course there are some co-operative missions that you can take part in, as demonstrated above. It looks like a well produced mission which will surely appeal to many…but what about for someone like myself who isn’t a massive fan of co-operative missions? When the narrator talks about being able to upgrade Arno from the rewards of this mission, I feel saddened. Can’t the developers create an AI ally to let you take part in these missions without missing out on all of the perks? Regardless, it is sure to be something that a lot of people find rewarding to play through.
I’ve saved my favourite video for last, it might be the E3 reveal, but it is the trailer that speaks to me most.
It is a slice of action that depicts Paris at war with itself, a moment of history that I haven’t really explored in any detail. My studies through college and University were focused on events in Europe after the French Revolution, and I am interested in seeing how the game depicts characters such as Napoleon and Robespierre. In all honesty, my understanding of the events in France at the tail end of the 18th Century are limited to Les Misérables (the book, not the show) and I can’t wait for the chance to walk the streets of Paris at this time. I loved Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood for their glorious depictions of numerous Italian cities, so for the series to return to its roots with a city so full of cultural monuments is what excites me.