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Release Date: November 11th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity

Overview -

Ubisoft’s 'Assassin’s Creed' series began as an odd little freerunning historical murder simulator in 2007. Each title has (at least) two stories running simultaneously. Most of the playtime is spent as an Assassin, a member of a secret society, while they carry out shady dealings throughout history in the defense of human self-determination. There is also an overarching metacampaign set in the present, where modern-day Assassins fight against their nemeses the Templars by diving through the genetic memories of their ancestors. All the while, a race of long-dead aliens is influencing everything and trying to control both factions. It’s kind of like a hodgepodge of 'Ancient Aliens', Dan Brown, and history textbooks.

'Assassin’s Creed: Unity' is the first game in the series to be released solely on next-gen consoles (last fall’s 'Black Flag' appeared in both generations). Its hero, Arno Dorian, comes into the ranks of the Assassin Brotherhood at the height of the French Revolution, an extremely bloody conflict that raged in France for the better part of a decade at the end of the eighteenth century.

OVERALL:
For Fans Only
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
November 11th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

As discussed above, there are some visual flaws here. Some of them are minor annoyances, like weapons not rendering exactly in Arno’s hands or costumes that clip the wrong way. Some of them completely borked my game or abruptly killed Arno. Aside from these issues, 'Unity' manages to look very good on the Xbox One. The lighting in particular is beautiful, as I first noticed when I was climbing Notre-Dame and the stained glass windows perfectly reflected the sunlight. The draw distance has been expanded, demonstrated most effectively when synchronizing an acrophobia-inducing waypoint and the camera zooms out to an obscene degree. The modern-day cutscenes utilize motion capture to the point that it looked less like a video game and more like a TV show, almost reaching the "uncanny valley" level of mimicry.

Audio Review

Ranking:

'Unity' is no slouch when it comes to the sound. Ubisoft’s production value is evident here, and the voice acting, score, and sound effects come together to solidify the experience. The soundtrack imparts the heat of the revolution, and most of the sound mercifully avoids the bugs that plague other parts of the game.

Final Thoughts

'Assassin's Creed Unity' is a conundrum. Some of its components have been put together well, like the visual quality of Paris and the co-op. Other parts are a bit uglier and have still made it into the final product, the glaring dearth of proper bug testing foremost among them. Ultimately, the latter outweigh the former, and this game can safely be passed over by all but the most loyal fans. The Assassins have seen better days.