An (r)evolution for Ubisoft

BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT:  The buildings in Assassin's Creed: Unity are extremely detailed, including the interiors, thanks to the series' long overdue upgrade in graphics. (Photo: Ubisoft)
BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT: The buildings in Assassin’s Creed: Unity are extremely detailed, including the interiors, thanks to the series’ long overdue upgrade in graphics. (Photo: Ubisoft)

When Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag came to an end, I think the first question that popped into my head was: “How will Ubisoft ever top drunken sailor-assassin Edward Kenway who sailed the gorgeous Caribbean?” Well, Ubisoft answered by taking us to the stirring pandemonium of the French Revolution in Paris.

In November last year, Ubisoft launched its seventh major instalment in the Assassin’s Creed series with Assassin’s Creed: Unity. You play as the amiable Arno Dorian who shares Assassin’s Creed 2’s Ezio Auditore’s sense of humour and wit. Unity follows Arno Dorian’s quest for vengeance with the help of an ally who opens Arno’s eyes to the brotherhood of hidden blades and stealthy hoods.

However, just like every Assassin’s Creed storyline you have to go against a few Templars. Ubisoft yet again cleverly weaves in the historical event of the French Revolution where the Assassins and Templars fight for control of Paris. In this case, the Assassins fight for the freedom of the people and wish to overthrow the French monarchy.

Technical wise, Ubisoft added a few upgrades. For one, you now get the opportunity to play co-operative multi-player with up to four players. Yes, that means no more fighting over the game controller when your friends come over to play Assassin’s Creed! But, the lone wolf players need not worry – the co- operative missions are just optional. You still can play the whole game as a single player.

One thing that has never failed to amaze me in the Assassin’s Creed series is how picturesque the maps of the game are. However, Unity goes to another level when they take on Paris in their gameplay. Ubisoft allows you to enter each building’s interior which is carefully crafted and, frankly, gorgeous. Once in the game, I came across this church that left me in awe of the extravagant and detailed patterns and colours adorning the walls, pillars and ceiling. It truly felt like I was standing in a real cathedral. The sight is nothing less than breath taking.

Overall, Unity’s gameplay is almost refreshing because Arno’s journey is more character-focused, unlike past Assassin’s Creed games that focused on historical events. However, if I compared drunken sailor Edward Kenway to charming and witty Arno, Arno is a let-down. Arno’s personality shares too much similarity to Ezio Auditore from the three other instalments of Assassin’s Creed. Even his character backstory is similar to Ezio’s, which is rather unfortunate as I feel that Ubisoft is capable of creating a unique character than a re-used one.

I do applaud many of Ubisoft’s upgrades of the game even though there were many complaints of glitches (which I did not face). Also, the fact that you now get to play with your friends becomes a bigger plus for me. However, even if I was not an avid fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, I would play Unity just to admire the French architecture or even to learn the history of the French Revolution which Ubisoft depicted magnificently.

I would give Assassin’s Creed: Unity an 8.5 out of 10 for its breathtaking graphics and multiplayer options. However, if Arno’s character and motivation were more unique and not so alike to past assassin characters – I would have given it a 10/10.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is now available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can purchase the game at any electronic store such as Challenger and Ubisoft’s Website where you can get special edition packages on sale with Assassin’s Creed merchandise.