As you might have seen from the games I covered so far, I am a huge fan of this series and I wanted to quickly talk about this game in particular, as I have only played it this year (you know, the pandemic and quarantine and all) and I am glad I waited this long. I think a lot more games need a second review, once it is remastered, simply because a lot of people worked on giving you a fantastic experience (and just because executives jump the process and want to ship games early to cash in on various seasons and gaming conventions), they should not be forgotten. Aside from a good time away from reality, I do want to write about this game to thank all the people behind it because this is a great game out there that deserved a second look, and as far as I could tell from comments under the original score on youtube, a lot more people agree with me.
Assassin's Creed Unity (2014)
The story: From the first minute of the game, you as a gamer are destroyed to your core, you minute you realize that the assassin you killed at the end of AC Rogue, was the father of the main character of this game. Knowing then the weight of your actions, you head in to deal with the trauma you cause our young hero. I wanted to point out the beginning because I found it genius. We then meet young-adult Arno Dorian, who was brought up by the father of his childhood best friend, Elise. In his story, he decides to seek out the people who set him up for the murder of the man who raised him. The latter was a Templar, while in Arno boils the blood of the Assassins. They take him in and give him the tools to stop a larger plot by the Templars, which included finding the murderer he was seeking, however, his revenge comes at a much larger cost.
The Boss Fight: After being tricked it was really satisfying to get this bad guy and destroy his legacy. The only thing that made me mad was that he was using the sword we saw at the very beginning of the game, but time wise, the opening was soooo far from the rest of the story, that I needed a minute to remember why that sword (a piece of Eden) was important to begin with. And once you get it... well, there were better weapons in the game. Nonetheless, the stage is constructed perfectly for you to succeed at killing the main bad guy, so it was more of a puzzle that needed solving rather than a big fight. But with the pace of the game, I did not mind that at all.
DLC "Dead King": This was the chapter that was most reminiscent of the AC storyline, as it included the motherf*ckin' Apple of Eden. I'll be honest here, I liked that it was not forced into the main story, but it was not forgotten. The reason the Templars need you to play with the assassins through the Helix is to find the Apple, so it is fitting that it was added, but the DLC was really its own chapter and it was a beautifully done chapter. The misty felling of the Franciade with the ruins of the cathedral and the windmill on a slight hill... pure beauty. I did shit my pants in the catacombs because once you are down there it is very hard to get out, so you need to make sure you use your collectibles very smartly. I did find myself going through a lot of dead bodies to make sure that I get through the catacombs alright. But I really loved the hidden items, not to mention that since it was Sequence 13, you already have the skills to make it through successfully through the stage.
Side missions: This game came with a lot of extra content, it was the first of its kind within the franchise, I also like that each AC game had something different (from boats, to renovations, to assassin missions and so on). So I appreciated a bit of nuance, especially because the murder investigations were not only made with a lot of historical accuracy (my favorite thing about the game), but it also fit with Arno's persona. You are, on the one hand, from the beginning, just a good guy stranded between a family that showed him love and compassion, but were Templars. On the other hand, the assassin's took him in no question, simply because his father belonged to the brotherhood. Arno, despite losing father figures, was accepted with open arms into any of the two orders, but forged his own path. As a result, the story allowed for the investigations, for assassin missions and also helping people on the street (which was really my favorite thing!). And then finally we have you Player, the one controlling Arno through the Helix from the comfort of your own home. Abstergo has now managed to get literally anyone to get them information, but a group of assassin's are guiding you. Well... the Helix side missions were one of the best things in this game. You can tell that the makers of the game asked themselves: What do you think of when you think of Paris? Notre Dame, Eiffel tower? OK, but how to include both if the story is set at the time of the French Revolution? Well, through mistakes in the Helix. I think it was genius and running from Nazis on the Eiffel tower was the biggest excitement I had all year.
What worked? First, the story. I wanted to get the killer, I wanted to clear my name, I wanted to become a better assassin. I liked that there were outfits you could collect, but putting together your own assassin hood, hidden blade, chest and boots was a very smart idea. Especially the belt had a bunch of functions that came in handy at different stages of the game. And then the collectibles: I wanted to get all the chests (I liked that there were a lot of items that were hidden to me) and I had to really go looking and exploring Paris, not just go to a certain place on the map. I loved the different difficulties in the districts (which up until now only defined the Templar bases you had to get back). I also loved that Arno was a separate story, just like Shay. They can't all be Desmond's ancestors, and there is no need for it either. I was thinking about what else I could bring up, but I don't want to talk about it more, I want people to play it! Of course, this was also the first to offer a real co-op option that adds to the story, without it the game can reach a maximum of 55% completion. It is hard to find people who still play this, but not impossible, so let's help each other complete the game!
Make sure you check it out, because it is terribly underrated. And if you like playing co-op games, you will not be disappointed.
Until the next item on my list!