Review: Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Release date: 2014
Version played: Xbox One in 2014

+ France harkens back to the tight building cluster of Italy and Constantinople, particularly enjoyable is the ability to enter many houses instantly.
+ The next-gen climbing system is fluid and generally looks nice (not coincidentally, it is back to dual-button) including the ‘controlled descent’
+ Changes to combat make for a more difficult, but more rewarding experience
+ Special challenges in main assassinations are a good addition
+ new take on items such as the lockpick and cherry bomb, and medicine makes a return

– Characters are not in the right spot when animations begin, or character pick up books half a metre from the book, but the book still floats etc. In one mission, my target just stood on top of a roof and didn’t move at all.
– Very long loading and saving times
– There are no French accents! Even the French language option doesn’t sound right
– Only able to open some chests if you have a companion mobile app seems greedy
– Arno himself seems like a cheap imitation of Ezio, and was obviously an attempt to replicate the latter’s success.
– Some climbing is impossible, even by game standards, such as jumps that seems much too far, or vertical leaps several metres at a time.
– Small animation omissions, such as no ‘gentle push’ when walking through crowds, or looking back for ‘wall ejects’ (Wall ejects only seem to work half the time, anyway)
– The ragdolls for defeated enemies have gone backwards; they don’t even fall off roofs, anymore, even if they are half over the edge and just writhing in pain.
– Very little world interaction; you cannot kill civilians, or even pet the animals.
– Everything is so expensive, and there is just no money around (maybe I was just spoiled by the excess of coin in Rogue)
– Forced multiplayer (or at least, missions that are near impossible without multiplayer)

> My favourite thing in the series, holding down ‘B’ to loot multiple fallen enemies, has been removed
> I feel the game couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. It contained mechanics from Assassin’s Creed, the Batman Arkham games, the Hitman series and even another Ubisoft franchise, Splinter Cell, which results in a garbled mess.

Should you play this game: No. At least, not yet. Technical issues aside, the game is just not very much fun.

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