Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series is one of the biggest success stories of the last generation and while we felt the series was stagnating a bit last years Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was a breath of fresh air. While this new game loses the pirate setting this game is exciting for several reasons - the focus on co-op gameplay and the fact this game has been built for the newest consoles, and won't be released on last-gen hardware. Finally we will see what the new consoles can really do.
Paris, 1789. The French Revolution turns a once-magnificent city into a place of terror and chaos. Its cobblestoned streets run red with the blood of commoners who dare to rise up against an oppressive aristocracy. Yet as the nation tears itself apart, a young man named Arno Dorian will embark upon an extraordinary journey to expose the true powers behind the Revolution. His pursuit will throw him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation, and transform him into a true Master Assassin.
Paris is stunningly recreated in Assassin's Creed: Unity.
Assassin's Creed: Unity is a third person open-world game in which you play as Arno. Of course with any new character, and with a change in time period, there are new weapons on offer. One such weapon is the Phantom Blade which is a hidden blade with crossbow capabilities. It will also be possible to customise your character with weapons, gear, outfits and skills with hundreds of combinations.
Gameplay has been reworked with improved parkour movements for climbing up and down city walls and buildings - in fact the game now has a "parkour up" and "parkour down" button for accuracy of movement, an improved melee fighting system (which is great news as it has always been one of the weakest aspects of the series), and enhanced stealth and cover systems.
Stealth remains a major part of the game.
One of the biggest changes to this PS4 game from last-generation titles in the franchise is the addition of the 4-player Co-Op mode. It's possible to join three friends to pull off ambitious heists and take part in unique narrative driven missions designed exclusively for cooperative play. Sabotage an execution. Protect an emperor. Assassinate a Templar agent. But victory won't be easy; you and your lethal band must rely on communication, coordination, and diverse skills to accomplish your mission, then vanish into the shadows.
After the game was unveiled, and in particular the co-op mode, it came to light that there were no playable female characters. Ubisoft claimed it creates too much work as the female characters need different models, different animations and voices, but in our opinion that's a cop out. With 8 development teams working on this release surely a handful of people could have been thrown at resolving this short sighted mistake.
Assassin's Creed: Unity includes 4-player co-op.
Using Ubisoft's own Unity engine there is no doubt that this is a stunning looking game. The additional power provided by the Playstation 4 (and XBox One) has allowed the developers to push the title even further with up to 1,000 NPC's viewable on-screen at once. Not only does the city have a life to it, but unlike previous games a large number of buildings can now be entered and be used as a method of chasing or hiding from enemies.
With a release set for mid-November gamers only have two months to wait before getting their hands on this title. Everything is looking very sharp with gorgeous visuals, and the inclusion of 4-player Co-op for the main campaign could provide a defining moment for the franchise. Still, the inclusion of water based ship combat was one of the most exciting aspects of last years game so Assassin's Creed: Unity will need to be pretty impressive to maintain that level of excitement. We'll know soon enough...
Below is the Gamescom 2014 Commented Solo Demo of Assassin's Creed: Unity which gives a great overview of the game.