Ubisoft once again got the gaming world in a flutter when it officially unveiled the first gameplay of Assassin’s Creed Unity back during its press conference at E3 2014. Since the first Assassin’s Creed game we’ve only seen incremental steps forward in gameplay and the world, but Unity is already looking like a leap ahead.
This time around the country-hopping series makes its way to Paris for yet another tale of murder, intrigue, and questionably placed hay bales. Following the tale of Arno Dorian and his attempt to unmask the powerful figures leading the French Revolution, Assassin’’s Creed Unity adds a stack of new additions to the series classic stealth-based gameplay...
Vive La Revolution
After a temporary foray over to the other side of Atlantic for the previous three Assassin’s Creed titles, Assassin’s Creed Unity brings Ubisoft’s sprawling series to France during the French Revolution. Paris to be precise. Ubisoft promises the world will be bigger and more detailed than anything previously seen in the series, with many of its most famous buildings recreated on a 1:1 scale.
Many of Paris’ most famous landmarks are set to be included, such as the infamous prison Bastille, the Catacombs of Paris, Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, and of course Notre Dame. Paris will be larger than the entirety of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s landmass combined, with more a quarter of the interiors now fully accessible and explorable.
The city itself is divided up into varied and distinct suburbs, while the French Revolution stretched from 1789 to 1799, during which Paris underwent huge changes. Perhaps most impressive of all though is the range of NPCs, with Ubisoft claiming there will be crowds of up to five thousand people on-screen at any one time, a massive increase from the 150 maximum seen in previous games.
Arno Dorian is a French-Austrian assassin born a peasant in 1768, and he’s made Paris and the French Revolution his playground when it comes to slicing and dicing. He’s an orphan who blames himself for the death of his adopted father, setting out on a personal crusade to find out who’s personally pulling the strings behind the Revolution, working his way through the ranks of the unions. Unlike other assassins in the series his lineage is unknown, as is any sort of connection with the previous assassins.
New to this instalment of Assassin’s Creed is a refined parkour system. Players will now be able to Parkour Up and Parkour Down using separate key presses. This has been introduced in an effort to make scaling buildings easier, while Arno will now be able to effortlessly climb down a building in the same manner as he would climbing up. This negates the use of piles of hay, which may be removed from the game almost entirely. Ubisoft claimed that it had previously noted many instances of the mechanics not quite working how players had intended, such as accidentally running up a jutting wall. This new mechanic is intended to reduce the number of mistakes the system makes, allowing the player to make the decision themselves.
For the first time in the series Assassin’s Creed Unity will feature seamless four-play cooperative multiplayer. During a play session players can enter any of the many Parisian taverns to meet up with other players and engage in co-op missions. In your game you will always appear as Arno, while the other players will appear as members of the brotherhood, and vice versa. All of the co-op missions will be similar to the experience you would have playing in single-player, albeit with the addition of up to three other players. Each is a single self-contained mission and is designed to be tackled in multiple ways.
For those of you who aren’t interested in the ways of multiplayer, all of the co-op missions will be playable solo, although you may find you’re in for a tougher experience. As a ballpark figure Ubisoft estimate the co-op content will comprise around 30% of Assassin’s Creed Unity’s total gameplay.
The Phantom Blade is Assassin’s Creed Unity’s evolution of the classic Hidden Blade, allow the user to fire projectiles from their wrist. So far there are two types of confirmed projectiles - lethal and berserk poison darts. Like previous titles poison darts kill, while the berserk darts send the recipient into a rage, killing all around them. We're expecting more uses for your phantom blades to crop up when Ubisoft begins to take the wraps of its title a little more.
Assassin's Creed Unity System Requirements
There’s no two ways about it, Assassin’s Creed Unity looks considerably better than any previous game in the series, while the improvements to AI and the massively increased NPC count means this could be a significantly more demanding experience than Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Unity does run on the same AnvilNext engine powering its predecessors, but the number of changes here means it could take its toll on lower end systems.
In all likelihood we would expect the Assassin’s Creed Unity minimum requirements to be on a similar level to Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’s recommended system requirements.