My Year of Gaming: Assassin’s Creed Unity
At the beginning of 2017, I purchased a Playstation 4, and it was the first time I have had a console since 2011. Needless to say, I have quite the backlog of games. I played through 23 titles in my first year getting hardcore back into gaming, and still have a long way to go. Now that we’re halfway through 2018, I figured I would share what I have been playing since the beginning of the year.
Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) transports players into the heart of the French Revolution where you assume control of Arno Dorian, a young man who follows in the footsteps of his father to become an Assassin. Things grow complicated as Arno unravels the truth behind the murder of his father and “adoptive” father, eventually leading him to the real reason France is in a state of unrest.
I really enjoyed Unity, and it is within my top five favorite Assassin’s Creed games. Before playing it this year, all I knew about it is how much fans hated it. There are a number of bugs because Ubisoft was working hard to pump out the game and didn’t get a chance to make sure their overhauled system was as perfect as can be. At one point, I was shot by a guard while trying to climb a ladder, causing me to fall off, but the game glitched and I was stuck, flailing, in mid-air. So yes, the game does have some issues, but the redesigned combat and free-running system are really good. These carry into and are improved upon in the next game in the franchise, Syndicate. The reason I enjoyed this game so much is because I really liked Arno and his story. There was a lot of emotion and the final showdown was really dramatic and hit you upside the head with feels.
My favorite part of Unity was a new feature that had Arno analyze his surroundings before he moved in for a high-profile assassination (also something that carried into Syndicate). By completing certain tasks, you make it easier to take out your target. For example, you are to assassinate a noblewoman during a gala at her estate. Trying to get into the building is hard, but then actually finding and killing her without raising the alarm is near impossible. Your analysis reveals revolutionaries being held prisoner and a man delivering fireworks to the party. Releasing the prisoners distracts the guards, allowing you into the manor unnoticed, and defending the delivery man from thugs means the fireworks are shot off once you reach the second floor of the manor. The guests, and target, flock to the window to watch the fireworks and you can easily dispose of the noblewoman. These exploits were fun and made things so much easier (trust me, I tried three times to do it without helping the prisoners/delivery man).
Unity focused a lot on multiplayer, but since I don’t have that capability, I can’t talk about the system. All I can say is that not having access to multiplayer shot me in the foot (kinda) down the line. Upon completing main story missions, you get skill points which you can spend to make game play easier. That’s nothing new to Assassin’s Creed. However, you can only gain these points in the main story and in multiplayer. You can successfully beat the game with what you earn through the solo campaign, but if you’re a trophy hunter, like me, there are a number of trophies you can’t get unless you have multiplayer to get the points necessary to unlock every skill. It really isn’t that big of a deal if you can’t unlock everything, but I would’ve made some different decisions if I had known you couldn’t get skill points after beating the main game.
There’s a lot of good that comes out of Unity so I definitely suggest playing it despite all the negative publicity. The good news is that Ubisoft realized how bad things were and offered the DLC for free to make up for the buggy system. Arno is a great main character and within my top five favorite Assassins. His personal story is one of my absolute favorites and this game really makes you question what it means to be an Assassin.