Review: Travel back to the French Revolution with ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’

The seventh installment of the Assassin’s Creed franchise has arrived for the first time on the new generations of consoles (Playstation 4 and Xbox One). “Assassin’s Creed Unity” offers game players a beautiful open world, fun missions, improved mechanics, simple customization, and co-op play for the first time.

For those who are unfamiliar with the premise of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, each game takes place in a virtual simulation of an historical setting; each revolving around a conspiracy behind a conflict between two ancient factions, the Assassins and the Templars.

Most of the games have players take on a role of an assassin, hunting down Templars and trying to prevent their schemes from taking form. This time the series takes players into the brutal era of the French Revolution.

In “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” players take control of the French-Austrian assassin Arno Dorian. Feeling responsible for the death of his adoptive father, Arno joins the Assassins in order to go on a quest of self-redemption. On his journey, Arno encounters many of France’s historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte; Marquis de Sade; Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau; and many others.

While there are some great moments in the plot, a charming lead character to follow, and some other great characters, the story itself can only be described as somewhat mediocre. Arno’s tale of redemption itself is pretty average, but it feels like the developers could have taken some time to explain a few things and probably add a little bit more detail to the story. However, it is still a solid story that the players can get into.

There is still a lot more to the game then just the story, as Ubisoft Montreal is able to bring the city of an 18th century Paris to life. Ubisoft gives players the freedom to be able to roam across the beautiful city of Paris and visit some of Paris’s iconic structures, such as Notre Dame. The A.I. that inhabits the city help makes the city of Paris more vibrant, as it helps the city look alive and not as if it only revolves around your character.

Inside the city of Paris, there are plenty of fun missions that the player can participate in. While the main story is mediocre, the missions that you play in the story are certainly fun, especially the new black box missions because they give players more freedom on choosing how to assassinate their targets. Outside of the main campaign, there are plenty of other enjoyable missions to join.

Ubisoft Montreal has made improvement upon much of the franchise’s mechanics, including combat, stealth, and parkour. The game’s combat has been reverted back to its original combat mechanics, making it more challenging to battle than some of the more recent Assassin’s Creed games. There are changes to the stealth mechanic, but nothing really considered ground-breaking for the series.
Its greatest gameplay improvements go to the parkour mechanics. The game adds a “free-run up” and “free-run done” option for when you are parkouring, which helps make the player’s movement and navigation through the city much easier than previous titles.

Customization is a new option for players in the franchise, as you can customize your skills and gear between four different skill types: combat, stealth, range, and health. It is a cool new way for players to focus on their specific style of playing. If they are more focused on battle, then they may customize in favor of health and combat, or if they prefer to be sneaky and not be seen, then they may go for an improvement on stealth.

Using your skills and gear, the player can join others in missions with the brand new co-op feature. Depending on the co-op missions, between two to four players can participate in a mission. Co-op missions require the player to cooperate with their group of assassins, making them more challenging than regular missions.

Similar to the black box missions, co-op missions give the players different options in accomplishing their goal, such as having the group split up or stick together, or making a choice between reviving an injured teammate or to go on without him/her. Each mission is designed specifically for co-op play, as the mission can be to difficult for one assassin alone. It is a fun, unique feature and enjoyable for those who like working with others.

If you are a fan of action and adventure games with open worlds, or already a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, then give “Assassin’s Creed Unity” a go. While there are few things that you may not take from your experience playing, it is still a fun game to play with a gorgeous and immersive world to roam around in.

Our Grade: B
Rating: M
Genre: Action-Adventure
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
Publishers: Ubisoft