One Nation Under Assassins

August 18th, 2014 -

By now you know what Assassin’s Creed is – you are typically trained to be an Assassin, you fight against the Templars, and the game is set in an alternate timeline of history. Assassin’s Creed Unity will seemingly not change that concept, but with how successful the series is (it sells better each year it’s put out), why fix what isn’t broke? And if you want something different, play Assassin’s Creed Rogue, where you go from Assassin to Assassin Hunter.

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Of course, Ubisoft wouldn’t just re-skin the same game and call it something else without adding in new features to diversify the gameplay. The biggest draw with this entry is the multiplayer. Previous games have had multiplayer in a sense that there is the story of the game, and then there is the multiplayer. This entry takes the brotherhood of past games and allows it to be filled with your friends. The first video that showed this off had me chomping at the bit for the game. I would rebuy previous games if it meant this feature was in them. While I’m not the biggest fan of multiplayer games, something about this really excites me.

If you’re going to be playing with other Assassins, it’s important to diversify yourself. Luckily, another addition to the game is extensive restructuring of not only the look, but the skills you use while playing. Another neat addition is that upgrading your look will actually change the gameplay. Examples include enhanced eagle vision with the hood; decreasing fall damage or noise with legs; extra damage and Phantom blade capacity with arms; increased item capacity with the waist; increased defense and time it takes for a guard to recognize you with chest pieces, and as in previous games, the different pieces of gear have the opportunity to boost your health.

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In addition to the looks, as mentioned, skills and tool sets will vary from person to person as well. As you progress in the ways of an Assassin, you’ll gain new skills, weapons, and gear. What you choose to use will determine how you play the game. In that respect, the game has quite a bit of replay value. Do you go entirely stealth through each mission by yourself? Do you use ranged weapons or brute force? Are you the scout for a team of Assassins? You decide what you are most comfortable with, and what will benefit your team. The four classes available: Melee focuses on offense, Health is a defensive role, Range will be the tactician, and Stealth is… stealth. You are the night. You are… Arno.

Missions will now show off the difficulty level, as it would for the missions you’d send your colleagues on in previous titles. That of course wouldn’t mean a whole lot without knowing what you yourself are capable of, so they’ve come up with an algorithm that will determine what rank you are based on your gear and skills. While I’m sure you can still complete a mission you are under-prepared for, it’ll be significantly more difficult without that crossbow, or perhaps the lock-pick skill. You can no doubt alleviate that with another Assassin that is better equipped, or just specialized in a manner different than yourself.

Onto the setting of the game – we’re in 1789 this time around, during the French Revolution. You will be traversing seven districts of Paris, each very different from the next. I can’t speak to the scale of them, but considering the last entries in the series and the scale of their maps in general, I can’t imagine the districts being very small. They’re described as different cities within Paris. And as you may or may not remember, a while back Ubisoft got quite a bit of flak for not having a female Assassin in the game. Well, in response (or perhaps all along, but they didn’t want to show her off just yet) we get Elise, a Templar. Wait a second, we wanted an Assassin, not a bad guy. Well, Elise isn’t necessarily evil. The reveal trailer for her shows Arno saving her and standing back to back with her as they are surrounded by people wanting both of them dead. But why would an Assassin protect – SAVE – a Templar? Turns out they’re childhood friends, akin to Tod and Copper of Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. While Arno is on a quest for redemption, Elise seeks revenge.

Do you remember the amount of hype that surrounded the first Assassin’s Creed? Even Hideo Kojima praised it, and had a shot in MGS4 that alluded to it. I couldn’t wait to play the game back in 2007. Seven years later, I’m actually more excited for a new entry in a series that releases at least one game a year. Maybe it’s because I didn’t make it past chapter three in the last game (sailing is not my idea of fun), maybe it’s the potential that multiplayer has, or maybe it’s because it uses the new Anvil engine to make use of the new generation of consoles – all I know is I can’t wait to play it. Are you guys excited for it? Do you think the multiplayer is going to revitalize the series, or do you think it’ll be a free-for-all and the game will be ruined by it? Do you care about Assassin’s Creed anymore? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

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