Things AC Unity Did Better Than Any Other Game in the Series

Assassin’s Creed games completed

AC1, AC2, AC Brotherhood, AC Bloodlines, AC3, AC Liberation, AC Unity, AC Syndicate

Assassins Creed games played:

AC: BF

 

Assassin’s Creed Unity came out in 2014 with an abysmal launch. Bugs rendered the game almost unplayable, and who could forget the no face glitch that ran rampant throughout the internet. I don’t blame anyone for walking away from the game if they experienced those day-one woes. However, the game holds up as one of the best in the series in its current state; here are major reasons why:

SCALE

The scale of this game is absolutely insane. Ditching the naval combat (which I personally enjoyed), the team painstakingly recreated late 18th century Paris to a one to one scale, and you can feel it while in game. It has always been fun to run around Assassin’s Creed open worlds, but none capture the feeling of walking down a congested puddle-filled Paris street with buildings towering on either side and the Notre Dame standing high in the distance. Traversing the world as Arno, you feel small, which adds to the assassin feel of swooping in and out of vision or the recklessness of sprinting after an enemy to stab them with your hidden blade.

GRAPHICS

While Ubisoft did their best to resolve the framiness of AC Unity, it still does not run buttery smooth. However, past Assassin’s Creed games are known to have their fair share of hiccups as well. Ubisoft more than compensates for this by providing us the most technically impressive entry to date. The detail in the rundown buildings both inside and outside as well as the extravagance of the fancy buildings take your breath away, especially after stepping away from the game for a while only to return and experience it again. Making this game take advantage of the next-gen systems was a priority over at Ubisoft; subsequent entries just do not impress in the same way.

CUSTOMIZATION

Unfortunately, Ubisoft took away hidden blade combat and fist fighting from Unity. However, the amount of customization we get in exchange goes above and beyond. There is a plethora of different hood, top, and pants combinations that you have access to, not to mention the ability to change the color of your garments. In addition to that, this was the first game in introduce the ability choose which weapon to fight with. These included swords (1H and 2H), polearms, and rifles. With the Dead Kings DLC, you also received the guillotine gun.

SIDE QUESTS

Unity is often criticized for having a map excessively filled with icons indicating points of interest. However, there is some real fun to be had with many of them. Carrying out building renovations, missions given to you by re-imagined historical figures, riddles, and even elaborate murder mysteries. There was a lot of love and care put into the game’s side activities to coincide with the game’s non-intricate, but fun plot.

STEALTH

AC Unity introduced a stealth button, allowing Arno to crouch and maneuver behind cover. You could actually latch on to both waist-high and regular cover without it being contextual. Sure, the transition from cover to cover is not very smooth and the AI’s simplicity can take you out of the experience from time to time, but the inclusion of this feature was a huge win for the series.

COMBAT OVERHAUL

AC Unity changed the series’ tendency to allow the player to become a casual mass murderer just by killing one person and then furiously pressing square or X to kill everyone else. While Unity still revolves around a parry system, it feels much more awesome to mix in heavy attacks, find ways to interrupt gunners other than using someone as a meat shield (which they didn’t include in the game) and dodging to unleash your own flurry of attacks. While some may prefer Origins’ combat, I find a unique charm with Unity’s diverse and nimble combat animations.

CONTROLLED DESCENT

It was always a pain getting down buildings in previous AC games. You either had to find a bale of hay or take falling damage if you wanted to get down quickly. Not so when AC Unity rolled onto the scene. The game introduced controlled descent, which allowed the player to maneuver down a building with even more grace than going up. The addition was perfect, further adding to the fantasy of being an assassin.

CO-OP

You get to free-roam and play select missions with your friends! If only they improved upon the system in future games, it could have been something even more special than what it was.

Those are a few things that set Assassin’s Creed Unity apart from other entries in the series. If you have any others or would just like to share your opinion, please comment below. Stay tuned for impressions of gameplay footage from AC Odyssey.

 

Image by Ubisoft Montreal

https://www.igdb.com/games/assassin-s-creed-unity/presskit

 

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