ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY REVIEW

And here we go, another AC game.

This series pulls at my heartstrings, because they either knock it out the park – or they dump you on the first date. Consistency definitely isn’t this franchise’s strong suit.  I’ve said it once and I’ve said it again – stick to EVEN numbers when playing these games. AC2 and AC4 are in my top games of all time, but AC1, AC3, and AC5 have been all but lost in my video game fog. Don’t get me wrong, this game does have its moments, but at the end of the day it just feels like work.  And nobody wants that – that’s what our day jobs are for.

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The game takes place during the French Revolution in the city of Paris. Now if you have read my AC4 review you know how much I raved about the graphics on the PS4, and this game seems to take that even further. Assassin’s Creed Unity is a true art form; every building is perfectly rendered, and the characters are unique and highly realistic. The game just seems to glow on screen. Now it may not be the most interesting game, or have a very unique character, but it sure is nice to look at.

In this game, you play as “Arno Dorian”, a somewhat suave Frenchman born in Versailles. In the beginning of the game you get to play as “kid Arno”, but it’s nothing like kid Link, he just runs around and plays tag with his future girlfriend. He doesn’t even have any cool gadgets or abilities (he’s just an average kid, but I guess I can’t judge him for that). After an assassin murders his father, Arno is adopted into a Templar family – unbeknownst to him until he reaches adulthood. He grows to love his new father, who is also murdered (wow bad luck much?) and this inspires Arno to go on a hunt for revenge.  He finds the Templars who betrayed his family, and eventually joins their order in order to gain information. Sounds pretty similar to the story lines of Altair and Ezio from past games when you think about it. Now Arno is a decent fighter, and has fantastic hair – but that’s pretty much it. It’s the Connor-syndrome of AC3 – he’s flat as a pancake, which makes this game, while visually stunning, a disappointment to players looking for an intriguing storyline & protagonist.

Now we may have been let down on storyline and protagonist, but gameplay is a big plus here. The main character has always had the ability to “fast-run” up buildings, to different platforms and ropes, etc. It’s basically parkour on crack.  Now this has been upgraded with the ability to fast run DOWN a building, along with the ability to traverse right through structures and into various rooms. In old games, if you accidentally jumped off a super tall structure, you fell to your death and felt like a damn fool. However with this new feature it makes it super easy to get around using pure stealth. I was pleasantly surprised with this new version of gameplay, and I hope Ubisoft incorporates it into more games.

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Music is usually really good in Assassin’s Creed games, I mean even the boring ones have a great soundtrack. Thinking back on this game, I can’t even remember the music, something I take to be a bad sign. It basically matches my reaction to the character, just “meh”.

Overall this game is stunning in terms of graphics and some improved gameplay, but a bland protagonist and a somewhat confusing & flat storyline take this to the lower end of the AC lineup. I think for the next AC game they need to somehow reincorporate Desmond from AC1-AC3, he was that awesome time traveling bartender.  It seems like the franchise is running out of ideas, and may be in serious trouble of simply fizzling out. Time will tell I suppose.

Felt like homework, and this is coming from a history buff.

5/10