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Why I'm Defending Unity

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Assassins Creed Unity completed. Time to give feedback on what my overall thoughts are.

So it has long been established Ubisoft cares more about milking the AC games for the most amount of money possible than the quality of them. Less than honorable, but that isn't what I'm discussing. This is about whether or not Unity is a worthy game or not.

Beginning- Started off with two scripted sequences. At first felt dread over no freedom, until it became clear it was mostly tutorials. When I finally acquired the assassins outfit and the world opened, things really started to shape up. And speaking of the outfit, even though customization has a point now I don't want to make any changes because I love the look of the blue robes so much!

Assassinations- The main thing I was hoping for. We saw the demo and heard comparisons with AC1. Then I finally did the first assassination mission. AND MY GOODNESS... ten entrances, one secret entrance, a unique kill. Thus was the most well designed assassination I have seen in an AC game. Notre Dame is a great place for the mission. Large area, enemies everywhere, many possibilities, freedom, it even says "create opportunities' on the screen for crying out loud.

And the other assassinations. Most are pretty good, one even better than the first. Hardly any are scripted, and even when there is scripting it makes sense that it would be. So much replay value.

Combat- Satisfyingly hard. For those who wanted a hard mode, don't upgrade health. I've died so many times it makes a room full of guards a challenge. And how they plunge their weapons into you for the killing move. The way it should have been from the start of the series.

Climbing- If you can look past the limited actions, Arno's parkour skills are angelic. The way he moves. Climbing, vaulting, climb leaps, dive descents. A definite upgrade.

Story- Murder, revenge, romance. It's all there. I admit the story is lacking, but at the same time if I was asked if I would want the plot sacrificed for great assassinations and quicker pacing I would have taken it no questions asked. Sure there are many things they could have elaborated on or even explained, but what we got is still better than good. Even some twists I would have never seen coming.

The way I think of it is what a remake or sequel to AC1 would be like, with everything already established so no more need for a lot of story or character development.

City- I waited for the day when a city or cities in an AC game are packed with buildings again. It has finally arrived. In fact it almost seems too much. Like when I try to get somewhere and an massive building is in the way, so the only options are climb or go all the way around. Great work, Ubisoft.

Arno- A little like Ezio, except he charms people by being a gentleman, as opposed to being a showoff or flirt. Follows the creed, but also has his own opinions. Not as much an assassin as Altair and Ezio, but more so than Edward and at least as much as Connor.

Modern Day- I'm glad they didn't try to put too much emphasis on modern day gameplay or I would have been more disappointed. After the previous games you were waiting for something that never happens. The helix rifts were a fun replacement.

Side Missions- Did a heist mission and it was a challenge to go through it all alive. The murder mysteries are great in that you use your brain more than your blade. For one I really had to look over the clues to see who they pointed to.

Overall- A great game. The first one since AC1 and AC2 worthy of being called a great Assassins Creed game. It is debatable whether Arno fully cares about being an assassin, but the game makes you feel like one through and through. Focusing on the things that matter unlike the past few games.

When I heard complaints about this game it halted my decision to make this topic. But I had no major issues and my opinions shouldn't be completely affected by others.

So now I can do something I have hoped to do for a while: "I declare Assassins Creed Unity cleansed from the impurities that affected the previous games." *sprinkles holy water*

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I agree with some things, like the movement and assassination mission designs, but I still gotta stick the the anti-Unity side. It's still glitchy, the stealth system is still useless, and I didn't really feel like an Assassin until someone in the story reminded me that I was. I actually forgot at some points. If that stealth was just copied and pasted from almost any other stealth game, they'd have won me over, honestly. I get detected more when I try sticking to walls than I do walking around like a jackass.

Again, I stress that this game has many great ideas. GREAT ideas! But altogether, personally, it's not what I hoped it would be. In one of the trailers shown before release, they included a spoiler. I saw it and thought, "Is this gonna happen?" Yes, it did. Not everyone caught that, but it decreased my enjoyment even further. I like being surprised, but everything was so cliched and obvious in the story. Yes, I would prefer better gameplay over story any day, but I'm into this series half for the story and half for the gameplay. I'm one of the few that wants to know what happens. If the story was amazing with meh gameplay, I'd still enjoy that part of it.

I respect your views on the game and I think you make good points. I still advocate that we keep playing for the sake of co-op even though I have a poor opinion of the game. It's fun in a few areas, but I still think Ubisoft needs to buckle down and make everything more streamlined. This game could have been the next-gen AC1. I think we all wanted it to be.

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I, too, respect your opinion and can see that you make some decent points.

Combat is pretty fun, and I liked it a lot. It's still not perfect, but I did enjoy it much more than AC3 and 4's combat, at least. Haven't played Rogue but it's safe to say it has a combat system similar enough to AC3 and 4 to toss it in with them.

The parkour is pretty good once you get used to it.

Stealth is broken.

Cover is broken.

These two things dramatically reduced my enjoyment of Unity. Hidden Blade kills instantly revealing you regardless of Profile while being watched felt unnecessary to me, and I greatly disliked that.

The thing I can agree on with regards to your post is that Unity had a lot of great elements. But Assassin's Creed is supposed to be more than the sum of its parts, and sadly Unity did not achieve that for me. Like Watch_Dogs, it felt like a game with a lot of cool elements that never truly fit together.

I'd be able to find even more enjoyment in it if Ubisoft gave us multiple save files without the need for Profile switches (or at least, a way to restart on our current User like we could in AC1) but I sort of get why they didn't.

I'm excited for Dead Kings though! ^_^

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As the other have already said, you make some goods points and Unity probably isn't the disaster that some people claim it be, but while I did enjoy myself playing through it I am also on the critical side of Unity.

Unity is a decent (AC) game, if this would have been the first or second entry in the series then I might have considered it a great game but seeing as it is the SIXTH major installment in the series and it still does more things wrong then right (imo) then I have no choice but to be very critical of Ubisoft.

The parkour isn't terrible, but to me it still feels a little bit forced/restrictive, a good example of this is when you are hanging by a ledge and trying to slightly move to the left/right, the first 2/3 slides will be slight but 95% of the time Arno will then suddenly leap across the ledge. For me personally this is just very frustrating because it indicates that input isn't very important in the movement.

The story is meh, I thought it was interesting at first but then it became a bit cliché and rushed. On top of that it's also very short and has no payoff. Ubi should really take a gap year with ACto try and write some actually GOOD but alass that will never be.

The stealth/cover system is broken/flawed like DaZ already said, and as I already said in another thread I feel as if Ubisoft's idea of difficult stealth gameplay is to just throw as many guards into an area as possible.

Combat is good in this game, while still a bit simplistic (counter, stab, counter, dodge gun).

I have mixed feelings about the assassinations, I obviously love the way they have implemented them in this game with each assassination being it's own mission, no forced/cutscene kills, and the way the assassination is introduced, with the entrances and etc.
But I still feel as if besides the first assassination (it was in multiple demo's so ofcourse it would have gotten a lot of attention) they haven't really done their best to try and create an environment in which the target can be killed in fun/different ways.
For instance I really dislike the fact that 3 of the targets are "indoor" (excluding the first target since the notre dame is huge), this really limits the actions available imo. This is especially frustrating when the targets have mechanics that further limit the potential of creativity (Targets teleporting back to their position, not being affected by any gadgets/items).
Plus I'm not a fan of the fact that the target HAS to be killed by the hidden blade.

Overall I do enjoy playing it most of the time, though the experience can be particularly frustrating when the flawed mechanics ruin something I'm trying to do in a certain way.

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Oh yes the cover and stealth system. Really sucks you can't hide behind some objects or crouching doesn't guarantee the enemy doesn't see you behind the railing. The way I deal with it is by practicing. Of course that doesn't help when you're running through a mission for the first time just trying to progress.

I'm a bit biased about this because as an in-depth AC video maker I have hoped the last few games for good missions with many opportunities for creative vids.

RaccoonSandwich wrote:
Unity is a decent (AC) game, if this would have been the first or second entry in the series then I might have considered it a great game but seeing as it is the SIXTH major installment in the series and it still does more things wrong then right (imo) then I have no choice but to be very critical of Ubisoft.

Seventh actually.
1. AC1
2. AC2
3. ACB
4. ACR
5. AC3
6. AC4
7. ACU (so is this considered AC5?)

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aurllcooljay wrote:
Oh yes the cover and stealth system. Really sucks you can't hide behind some objects or crouching doesn't guarantee the enemy doesn't see you behind the railing. The way I deal with it is by practicing. Of course that doesn't help when you're running through a mission for the first time just trying to progress.

I'm a bit biased about this because as an in-depth AC video maker I have hoped the last few games for good missions with many opportunities for creative vids.

RaccoonSandwich wrote:
Unity is a decent (AC) game, if this would have been the first or second entry in the series then I might have considered it a great game but seeing as it is the SIXTH major installment in the series and it still does more things wrong then right (imo) then I have no choice but to be very critical of Ubisoft.

Seventh actually.
1. AC1
2. AC2
3. ACB
4. ACR
5. AC3
6. AC4
7. ACU (so is this considered AC5?)

Rouge (and maybe Liberations HD) is just as much a full game as Revelations...

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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Yeah, this would probably be entry number 8.
I've yet to play Rogue but I really want to. Will buy it soon.

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
Yeah, this would probably be entry number 8.
I've yet to play Rogue but I really want to. Will buy it soon.

5 words: Black Flag in the snow.

If you liked Black Flag, you'll probably like Rogue. If you didn't, you probably won't. I still love the deep snow navigation mechanics first seen in AC3 and am glad they are back.

Present day gives you the Templar/Abstergo side of things while Unity (I'm early in the game, so this may not be accurate) tells you what the Assassins are up to, sort of.

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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Great post!

I too enjoyed Unity more than most on here. But that just shows that we all like different things in this series.

Addressing a few general complaints in this thread:

buggy/glitchy

It wasn't that bad. Let's be fair – Unity is no more or less glitchy than pretty much any of the previous AC games.

I've played games in a far, far worse state on launch day. And this is Ubisoft after all. For more than a decade they have been notorious for releasing games in an unpolished state.

The earlier games had plenty of issues all on their own that we've adapted to and now ignore. It's easy to overlook glitches when you are used to them, but if you watch a gamer today go and pick up AC1 or AC2 for the very first time and play it, they'll point out all sorts of bugs and glitches that you've 'forgotten' about.

Unity is no better or worse in this area than any other AC. And at least Unity is getting patches. How many patches did the previous games get, and how many things did those patches fix? Unity is already the leader in this area and it's not even a month old.


stealth/cover system is broken

This statement puzzles me. The stealth/cover system does have some bugs (which could easily be patched out) but it's nowhere near "broken" the way it is. It still works far more often than not if you're using common sense and act the way you would if it were real life.

On the streets, you have to move past red guards quickly or you get discovered, even while "blended" (which works in a strange way in this game, mechanically). I can accept this since even in a crowd, every Assassin in this series has stood out like a sore thumb. Becoming 100% invisible while standing beside a few other people is silly, to say the least. This part works fine as it is.

In zones you're not supposed to be in (blue or red on the map), stealth is required unless you plan to fight everyone. Which, sadly, you can do once you've upgraded yourself enough... But that's an issue with the combat system itself (which I hate) rather than the stealth. It isn't difficult to proceed through an entire interior section without ever being seen and leave a nice trail of bodies behind you. That is both fun and satisfying. But the key is patience. Unlike most modern stealth games, this one takes timing into account – if you don't wait for a good opportunity, your stealth was for naught. Which is how it would work in real life. If that is the source of anybody's frustration with the stealth in this game, they're complaining for the wrong reason IMO.

While there were times where guards saw me through walls and the cover controls were stickier than they should have been, the stealth mostly worked just fine in my experience. If they would fix up the bugs, it would easily be better than most games that feature stealth mechanics.


Honestly, my opinion is that the only two things Ubisoft truly did wrong with Unity were the combat and the lack of advancement in the free-running/parkour.

Sure, parkour looks a bit fancier now, once in a while, but it's still the same outdated system that debuted in 2007. Time for a full re-work, IMO.

And the combat, don't even get me started on that ugly mess. I don't know what kind of games you guys have been playing to say that Unity's combat system is fun, but you seriously need to get out and play better games! The combat system in Unity feels like programmer amateur hour...

Anyway, that's enough bitching for one week. I'm done. Smile

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Aside from AC (which tries very hard) I basically only play Stealth games as of maybe a year or two ago, so I'd like to think I have a decent basis of comparison for whether or not ACU stealth is fun.

And for the most part, at least until now, ACU stealth has not actually been that fun.

I've started to have much more fun with it now that I have to grind Heist missions for money (since, other than Full Syncing the Tournament and getting the remaining Artifacts and Trophies, there's not much left for me to do until Dead Kings).

Heists are really cool if you want to be stealthy because they force you to, and give you tangible penalty for being detected. My favorite Heist is the last one - the one that takes place in the Palais de Jardins du Luxembourg or wherever - y'know, the place shown in the first Co Op demo seen at E3.

It gives me 70,000 Livres if I get 0 Detects, which is a decent chunk of money. Do that three times and you can pretty much buy one of the most expensive weapons in Unity. (I think there are three, and each costs 200,000). Heists are a much better source of pure money than just waiting for your Chest to fill up, or Looting dudes.

What Asaic says about the combat system made me take a step back and think about it - and on second thought, he might actually be right. The combat system in Unity is functional, yes, but it's not all that fancy or anything. There's very little you can do, very few options you have - and there's no real sense of fluidity to it. AC Unity may be the least fluid combat system the series has ever had - with Brotherhood/Revelations being the most fluid in my opinion.

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saw this discussion: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=953275

and wondered what you all think about it. Is simply not upgrading your gear basically the same as enabling a higher difficulty setting?

Re: combat, I still think AC3 had the most interesting and fluid combat in the series.

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Here's my view:

If you want a hard game, don't upgrade your gear and don't use exploits. Unity is PLENTY hard if played this way.

This has been the case since AC2... hard games have always come from the players (and not the game) in the way of challenges and self imposed restrictions.

As a casual gamer, I'm fine with that. Sometimes I want a challenge, sometimes I just want the game to be an "interactive movie" and not worry about dying (ie, use top gear)... just see where the story leads.

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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You can ALWAYS make a game harder if you want to if you use your imagination. Keep yourself from using certain items, doing certain things (e.g. only using the hidden blade in AC1). I understand that some people would want an option to change difficulty setting, though. To me, it seems like what they really want is a 'legit' and 'explicit' difficulty setting, something that was meant to do just that, built by the developers. I think self-imposed restrictions are a perfectly fine method of adding difficulty and challenge to a game, but some people think that such a way is not how it's supposed to be done, because the game doesn't give you notifications saying: 'Want an extra challenge? Remove your armor before starting a mission!' or something similar. Self-imposed restrictions seem like {using a mechanic {to serve a purpose {other than the purpose it was meant to be serving}}} to them and they think that's wrong.

I hope that last sentence made sense and my meaning came across. I added {} to give it some structure.

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What purpose does upgrading gear serve except to make it easier to accomplish things?

To me, that is EXACTLY what should be done. Don't want it to be too easy, don't upgrade your gear. The difficulty in the story ramps up as you run into bigger guards... your gear doesn't have to.

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Why I'm defending Unity:

Because I've had a blast with the game.
I've experienced no major glitches (that you wouldn't see in any other AC title - clipping for example).
Co-op is fun as hell even if it's just running around.

One thing I wish was more clear: moving from cover to cover. Sometimes the icon shows up on the new cover spot and it's very clear. Often it doesn't.

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
One thing I wish was more clear: moving from cover to cover. Sometimes the icon shows up on the new cover spot and it's very clear. Often it doesn't.

You have an icon that shows you where you're going? I sure as hell don't. Even before I turned off most of my HUD elements.

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Not sure if you're being facetious or not... but the way it's SUPPOSED to work is...

PS3 cross button cover > Analog stick to point to next cover, circle with X in it on the ground at your next cover (at least I think that's the symbol) > PS3 cross button to move to next cover

It works maybe 5-10% of the time for me. Other times, the input is screwed up and I leave the cover with Analog stick direction. If they want this cover system to work, it needs to be stickier ... as in you NEED to hit PS3 cross button (or maybe High profile trigger )to exit cover every single time

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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I actually just haven't seen that prompt. Arno just moves if there's a parallel cover spot across from him. I saw it in some E3 demos but that's it. I was wondering what happened to it.

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JoeyFogey wrote:
I actually just haven't seen that prompt. Arno just moves if there's a parallel cover spot across from him. I saw it in some E3 demos but that's it. I was wondering what happened to it.

Redo the mission in S1 or S2 where Arno sneaks into the party to meet up with Elise (the Stealth tutorial mission): here are the prompts you should have seen and the mechanics introduced...
Room 1 - sneak past 2 guards
Room 2 - use cover to get behind the couch
Room 3 - use cover to avoid guy in dark room, transfer from cover spot to cover spot to the left to move around to the open window

In room 3 this cover system is introduced to move from cover to cover.

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JoeyFogey wrote:
I actually just haven't seen that prompt. Arno just moves if there's a parallel cover spot across from him. I saw it in some E3 demos but that's it. I was wondering what happened to it.

Same here, actually. I've never seen that prompt a single time, and I'm at 99% Total Sync for Unity right now.

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I think the prompt doesn't appear right away.

On my first playthrough it was very hard because I didn't buy anything new except for weapons, which I didn't even upgrade. With only five health bars, a high level enemy can kill you in two hits. Trig's nuke

Skills and upgrades help a lot in this game. In one particular fight, I had trouble surviving when I ran out of medicine, but after getting better stuff and replaying, it was a noob fight.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The assassination in sequence 7.

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I personally don't think that using low level gear solves the problems Unity has about there being a ton of easy ways to unskillfully deal with all obstacles.

I'd prefer a much flatter power curve and enemies that stay the same through the whole game but simply increase in numbers or introduce new classes. I'd also like different kinds of gear to have stricter tradeoffs and less or no shared bonuses.

Unity is nothing like the kind of "stealth, movement, combat" setup I'd imagined. it has so many wishy washy classes of armor that blend types of bonuses the simplest ones have, and they don't even visually justify it. Feels so unbearably mechanical.

I also dislike the increasing ornateness of the outfits as they approach legendary. I know that the whole Assassin MO is about theatricality and obfuscation, but when everything is gilded and poofed out and etched with impossibly intricate symbols, it starts to go too far. I want the difference between a high level outfit and low level to be about practicality and efficient design. it can look sleek and new and everything, and a good example of that is Arno's first assassin outfit.

I have always wanted to play as a novice with an outfit that feels truly improvised, not so perfectly tailored as most of our protagonists have received. The idea of a guy just going out and buying a sturdy coat, then stitching a lopsided hood onto it. a fitting rite of passage, a more personal statement, and somewhere to go up from.

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Calvar The Blade wrote:
I'd prefer a much flatter power curve and enemies that stay the same through the whole game but simply increase in numbers or introduce new classes. I'd also like different kinds of gear to have stricter tradeoffs and less or no shared bonuses.

Unity is nothing like the kind of "stealth, movement, combat" setup I'd imagined. it has so many wishy washy classes of armor that blend types of bonuses the simplest ones have, and they don't even visually justify it. Feels so unbearably mechanical.

This echoes my feelings on the matter perfectly. I know people tell me not to get excited about things inordinately, but the thing is - I never get excited for things that aren't there. I only ever get excited for things that have been shown or spoken about. Unity was not a good expansion of what was shown or spoken about.

Alex Amancio gave me the impression that Assassin's Creed Unity would be significantly more RPG-Like than the former entries in the series. This was something I was excited for, because it freshens up the experience and gives players new challenges to deal with. It's the same reason I'm excited about the fact that Final Fantasy XV has an Assassin's Creed-like Combat System. (Watch, they'll do it better too, I bet you.)

Here's the thing, it was not only stated, but also stressed repeatedly that AC Unity's customization is not merely cosmetic, and that it actually has purpose. AC Unity's customization does not feel like customization, it merely feels like progression. Why would I bother with trading off Ranged vs Stealth when the Cloak I can unlock in two missions gives me MORE of BOTH of those things than the current two choices give me of EITHER? Customization implies Choice. Progression implies nothing but that - relatively linear Growth. And for all its talk of "customization is not merely cosmetic" most of what I go to "Character Customization" for NOW is merely cosmetics. Seriously. Arno's original coat + Legendary Phantom Hood = sexy as hell. The Military Coats also look gross. Super gross. I'm aware that's likely just my opinion, but an Assassin is not a freaking KNIGHT.

Comment by my friend;

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Why Unity may be the way it is, could be because of this theory I've been having: "Genre-Bleeding."
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that CoD has indisputably changed the FPS genre and some of it's essence bleeds into every FPS game (the hard-core, fast revive, fast kill, killstreak system). [By the same principle] AC's "essence" is being tainted with some other aspect of RPG's Staple Roles, as you mentioned Warrior/Knight.
We can see there are;
Ranger (Musketeer Outfits + Weapons).
Heavy (Medieval Outfits + Huge Health gain to give role of heavy hitter / heavy tank)

This might explain why the combat system in Unity is the way it is, to reflect on these RPG roles which takes away from AC's essence "being a true assassin" Whatever that means to Ubisoft.

I agree with my friend entirely. I want Assassin's Creed to have interesting progression/growth or customization elements, but you don't have to make a game a fully Role-Customizable RPG for it to have the elements thereof. We don't need to be a Knight. We don't need to be a Mage or in some regards even a Ranger. We need to be an Assassin. There is only one RPG class Assassin's Creed should ever be concerned with; Rogue.

Calvar The Blade wrote:
I also dislike the increasing ornateness of the outfits as they approach legendary. I know that the whole Assassin MO is about theatricality and obfuscation, but when everything is gilded and poofed out and etched with impossibly intricate symbols, it starts to go too far. I want the difference between a high level outfit and low level to be about practicality and efficient design. it can look sleek and new and everything, and a good example of that is Arno's first assassin outfit.

This is a good example of just how much in Assassin's Creed's recent installments is about superficial enlargement of the game, stuffing it full of inconsequential and unnecessary things. While I enjoy RPG elements, if they're not done correctly they can feel exactly like that. All of the outfits, all of the Equips in AC Unity feel like they don't converge toward fulfilling a specific purpose. In Assassin's Creed, every single ability and piece of equipment that Altair attained felt empowering and significant. It all converged up to him being a well-equipped Assassin. AC1 never gave you anything you didn't need. AC Unity is full of things that you don't need, and will almost never use.

It's not enough to say that these Items allow the player to "make their own fun" because AC Unity is not a sandbox, it's only an open world. A sandbox is a game with elements peppered throughout the game world that you can manipulate and play tricks with, or play tricks ON, to feel almost like a mischievous Loki-like trickster. AC Unity rarely delivers this feeling. So nothing is streamlined towards giving you just what you need, and a large quantity (I'd wager over 70%) of the usable items and abilities in this game are purposeless, pointless since "sneaking, climbing, fighting and stabbing" are the only four meaningful ways to interact with the environment. Even Watch_Dogs had more NPC interaction than Assassin's Creed Unity does, and Watch_Dogs was... I'm not gonna talk about Watch_Dogs...

Practicality and Pragmatism is yet another huge thing to consider. Assassin's Creed claims to be a game in which Stealth is of great importance, whereas The Last of Us as a good example claims no such thing. The Last of Us merely claims that survival is of utmost importance. So why is it so much easier to go Rambo in Assassin's Creed than in The Last of Us? You see, Stealth in TLoU has absolutely nothing to do with Morality. Even though it feels sickening and visceral every time you murder someone in that game, it's not about, "Is it wrong or right to kill these people?" It's never about that. It's actually about, "If I don't sneak past these people, if they pick a fight with me, ARE THEY GOING TO KILL ME?" It's not about morality. It's about practicality. As someone who recently cleared TLoU on Grounded+ difficulty, that's something that's echoed throughout my experience repeatedly.

Calvar The Blade wrote:
I have always wanted to play as a novice with an outfit that feels truly improvised, not so perfectly tailored as most of our protagonists have received. The idea of a guy just going out and buying a sturdy coat, then stitching a lopsided hood onto it. a fitting rite of passage, a more personal statement, and somewhere to go up from.

This is one of the ideas I can get behind hardcore; the other one being, someone who is in the Assassin's Creed universe, who at the beginning is neither Assassin nor Templar, but isn't a ruthless dick with a disregard for the lives of others (like Edward Kenway, who as "kind" and "good" as he is, fits this archetype and only sees his crew as a resource). Someone who gets embroiled in this conflict and for all intents and purposes, tries not to function like an idiot. Looking back on Black Flag, it was a jolly romp. And a jolly romp is not what I want from a tense, oppressive world of blades and corporations. I'd like an AC protagonist who tries to the best of their ability to act wisely and stay alive. They'd have less resources than Templars, less resources than Assassins, but somehow get contacted and keep surviving.

The idea of getting a sturdy coat and sewing a hood onto it makes it feel more personal for sure, and it feels like things aren't just given to you. As annoying as it is, if done right this next suggestion could also feel amazing; the Hidden Blade shouldn't be something we start the game with, but it should feel incredibly useful when we do get it. In The Last of Us, Joel takes six whole seconds to Stealth Takedown someone by hand. That's a long time in which an enemy patrolling could detect you by turning a corner or even walking down the hallway nearby. With Shivs, Takedowns take 2 seconds, give or take. Unlike Shivs in TLoU, the protagonist's Hidden Blade would never break, and it would greatly decrease the time of your stealth takedown. I don't know. I may be ripping too much from TLoU but that game succeeded in seeding a tension in me the likes of which I haven't felt since Assassin's Creed 1. I do think AC needs to be slowed down a bit, but not in the Combat (which TLoU actually plays quite fast in), rather in the Stealth.

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I also didn't understand how A shiny golden mask under a bedazzled hood with 80 dyed feathers was supposed to be an "Assassin hood". It would be neat to add on those little bits for fun aesthetic, but if you want the stats included with the most flamboyant clothing you'll ever see in your short life, you're stuck with looking like a jester.

I actually highly prefer Arno's basic-looking hoods over practically everything else. Things like the knight armor seemed insanely out of place in a game that supposedly stressed the importance of stealth. Also, the stats with some items are ridiculous. Only a few hidden blades you can buy give you more Phantom/Berserk blades, and they're usually the lamest-looking ones (in my opinion). I want that badass black leather one with the golden Assassin symbol on it. I'd forgive Ubisoft of we were given the option to wear the items we bought, but chose what appearances each item had.

Example: I'd buy and equip the hood that gives me a Hey Arnold football-shaped head with 400 feathers with amazing Eagle Sense bonuses, but I'll equip the look of Arno's tailored hood so I look f*cking practical.

Better customization and better stealth would save this game. Or, give us Club Competitions so I can win that Master Prowler Coat I so desperately want!

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I don't have a problem with outfits that don't make you look like an assassin, as long as the tradeoffs take that into account.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that an assassin who preferred a less subtle approach would put on some serious heavy armor, or one who wished to infiltrate a fancy party would wear a mask and elaborate outfit. But if both those visual designs are represented by the game's mechanics as being just as viable in the exact same ways as the traditional assassin style is, that's where there's a problem.

If they don't want to model appropriate tradeoffs, they shouldn't bother with such wildly divergent designs.

The example we've been given in Victory sounds like it has a simpler approach: the normal outfit is traditional Assassin, but you can alter it on the fly to a "civillian" configuration. As long as that means the other outfits will be built around that principle rather than excessively themed in either direction, that seems fine to me.

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
Alex Amancio gave me the impression that Assassin's Creed Unity would be significantly more RPG-Like than the former entries in the series. This was something I was excited for, because it freshens up the experience and gives players new challenges to deal with.

...

Here's the thing, it was not only stated, but also stressed repeatedly that AC Unity's customization is not merely cosmetic, and that it actually has purpose. AC Unity's customization does not feel like customization, it merely feels like progression.

While I agree with some points, I am VERY happy that AC is NOT more RPG-like. To me, AC is an Action-Adventure genre, and still is. I don't want it to become full RPG. I made this point several times.

To be clear: I don't mind INITIAL choice, but I don't want to be pigeon-holed at the end of the game and have to start a new character if I want to replay one mission as a tank instead of a stealthy assassin. This is EXACTLY what Unity offers... initial choice to determine your play-style, but as the game progresses your character can change.

As for the gear looking terrible, so what. If you want the health upgrades, your chest isn't going to be sleek, it's going to have armor. If you want the phantom blade upgrades, it's not going to be stealthy looking, it's going to have to have a more military look (and room to hold them). If you want a belt that gives you more grenades, it's gotta have room to have them. While I DO agree that some of the items don't look like what they are supposed to accomplish, many do. And if you don't like the looks of something because it's not "assassin" enough... equip it anyway and put on Ezio's/Altair's outfit. Done. Stat boosts AND something that looks like assassin gear.

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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I don't want it to become full RPG.

Neither do I, hell no, but Ubisoft has proven they're poor at designing a good Action/Adventure game since maybe 2009 anyway, so I was hoping for something fresh/new/unique/different.

Elements do not an RPG make.

AC is not an RPG, and it will never be an RPG, but if utilized correctly, RPG elements would make it a far superior game than it currently is.

Good example; Shadow of Mordor is currently the best Assassin's Creed game on PS4 and Xbox One. And that has RPG elements everywhere - but they don't undermine the rest of the game. They especially don't undermine the fact that SoM uses AC's Core Pilars [Stealth, Combat, Navigation] better than AC does.

As for the gear looking terrible, so what. If you want the health upgrades, your chest isn't going to be sleek, it's going to have armor. If you want the phantom blade upgrades, it's not going to be stealthy looking, it's going to have to have a more military look (and room to hold them). If you want a belt that gives you more grenades, it's gotta have room to have them. While I DO agree that some of the items don't look like what they are supposed to accomplish, many do. And if you don't like the looks of something because it's not "assassin" enough... equip it anyway and put on Ezio's/Altair's outfit. Done. Stat boosts AND something that looks like assassin gear.

I agree completely, because that's not what I actually have issues with. I have a crazy amount of health and damage absorption while still looking 100% Assassin/rogue due to my current robes and hood. I barely notice the appearance of my bracers anyway, because all bracers are kind of the same-ish. They're not as cosmetically significant as something like robes or hoods. The problem is that some items just feel out of place in an Assassin's Creed game and their function is extraneous.

Assassin's Creed nowadays is characterized by having so many Side Quests, and so much extraneous content because Ubisoft is bad at designing a good Base game. How many Recent ACs have we played that had much better Side Content than the Main Content? And it's something that repeats throughout the years, over and over again. It's almost as if Ubi themselves are aware of their weakness and they're trying to patch it over by distracting us with Side Content. When I really take a step back sometimes, I even see that SOME of this Side Content that I used to praise so much only felt so strong to me because the Base game was initially weak to contrast it with.

:/

To be clear: I don't mind INITIAL choice, but I don't want to be pigeon-holed at the end of the game and have to start a new character if I want to replay one mission as a tank instead of a stealthy assassin.

I completely understand and I support that 100%.
Far Cry 3 allows for the unlocking of every Skill eventually, but each of them still feels meaningful when you get it because their rate of acquisition is dictated by Skill Points and what missions you do. Just like in Shadow of Mordor - you can unlock every single Skill in that game (and you have to for 100% Completion).

Assassin's Creed just feels dry and flavorless these days. It sorta hurts because I keep remembering how much I supported it even when others were jumping off it. I still support it and am hoping for good things with Victory for two reasons; 1) It has to be good otherwise Ubi is dead, 2) Sequels with the same engine are consistently better designed overall.

This is EXACTLY what Unity offers... Initial choice to determine your play-style, but as the game progresses your character can change.

As the game progresses, your character has no reason to change. Unity's entire customization system feels about as Surface-Level as previous entries were. Cosmetics, to simple Stats. All Equips do is change numbers, which is barely a noticeable change in gameplay at all.

I love my Master Sans-Culottes Belt, though, don't get me wrong. Being able to throw 11 Smoke Bombs is godlike.

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The last AC with better main quest than side content was AC2.

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
To be clear: I don't mind INITIAL choice, but I don't want to be pigeon-holed at the end of the game and have to start a new character if I want to replay one mission as a tank instead of a stealthy assassin.

I completely understand and I support that 100%.
Far Cry 3 allows for the unlocking of every Skill eventually, but each of them still feels meaningful when you get it because their rate of acquisition is dictated by Skill Points and what missions you do. Just like in Shadow of Mordor - you can unlock every single Skill in that game (and you have to for 100% Completion).

Assassin's Creed just feels dry and flavorless these days. It sorta hurts because I keep remembering how much I supported it even when others were jumping off it. I still support it and am hoping for good things with Victory for two reasons; 1) It has to be good otherwise Ubi is dead, 2) Sequels with the same engine are consistently better designed overall.

I think the problem with AC's "character progression" is this...

You unlock too many sync points too early coupled with the fact that many skills are locked out until you progress in the story. So if you do side content, you don't HAVE to choose... by the time you get to the end of S5, you have all available skills, same with the end of S9 (I'm guessing, I've only finished 5).

If the sync points were tied mainly to the main game missions and not all the optional missions (I'm talking the co-op missions), then you WOULD be forced to choose as you progressed in the game.

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
The last AC with better main quest than side content was AC2.

My point exactly.

Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
I think the problem with AC's "character progression" is this...

You unlock too many sync points too early coupled with the fact that many skills are locked out until you progress in the story. So if you do side content, you don't HAVE to choose... by the time you get to the end of S5, you have all available skills, same with the end of S9 (I'm guessing, I've only finished 5).

If the sync points were tied mainly to the main game missions and not all the optional missions (I'm talking the co-op missions), then you WOULD be forced to choose as you progressed in the game.

That's certainly part of the problem, and the other half of it is that Unity's unlockable Skills are just kind of boring and largely irrelevant. Thick Skin/Thicker Skin/Thickest Skin/Iron Skin is hands-down the best upgrade line in the entire Skill Customization menu and it synergizes so well with everything else that even if you were limited in terms of Skill Points, it's kind of a No-Brainer.

Some of the other skills do just feel like extra stuffing, and give a sense of, "What's the point of this even being here?"

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I haven't bought a single heavy weapon, single-handed weapon, pistol or rifle. I use hidden blade, phantom blade, smoke bomb, and long weapons. That's it. I don't have the money for the other items yet. That's choice. I can't be a tank because I don't have the tools to do so.

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I haven't done the skin upgrades... which forces my character to be stealthy --- or die. Again, character choice.

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:

While I agree with some points, I am VERY happy that AC is NOT more RPG-like. To me, AC is an Action-Adventure genre, and still is. I don't want it to become full RPG. I made this point several times.

While I DO agree that some of the items don't look like what they are supposed to accomplish, many do. And if you don't like the looks of something because it's not "assassin" enough... equip it anyway and put on Ezio's/Altair's outfit. Done. Stat boosts AND something that looks like assassin gear.

I think Unity is more MMORPG-like than RPG-like, and it carries all the baggage of less meaningful choice and customization that typically comes with that.

I think the majority of the outfits don't visually justify their effects, especially when talking about health. It also creates a weird disconnect where Arno's health and damage is clearly based on his outfit and gear, while enemies look the same and have the same stuff thoughout the whole game, but get stronger depending on which part of the city they're in. It's like they designed the enemy progression for an older game in the series, and designed Arno's progression without talking to the people doing the enemies.

With regards to holding equipment, most of the high level belts look about the same size as the low ones, just fancier, yet they can hold more stuff. Which speaks again to my issues with making high level stuff look prettier instead of more practical.

on that topic: I'd like to see a more physically grounded version of consumables, instead of the one we have now where you have fixed amounts of each for each belt. give every belt a max capacity, give every item a space value, and maybe even a weight value.

essential things like throwing knives/phantom blades can be very light, but smoke bombs could be balanced a lot better if you had to trade off a lot of other stuff if you wanted to bring just 3 on a mission.

Of course, there's nothing especially wrong with the inventory system right now, and obvs they should focus on the main game before revamping ancillary systems like that.

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
I haven't bought a single heavy weapon, single-handed weapon, pistol or rifle. I use hidden blade, phantom blade, smoke bomb, and long weapons. That's it. I don't have the money for the other items yet. That's choice. I can't be a tank because I don't have the tools to do so.

Being a Tank is more reliant on Thick Skin upgrades than actual Gear in Unity.
Gear is almost irrelevant. The differences between Weapon Types are minimal, speed probably being the biggest one.
It's not a meaningful Choice, because Phantom Blade serves the purpose of a Pistol.
Whatever Melee weapon you have serves the purpose of, and is functionally similar to, every other Melee weapon in the game. That's due to the dry simplicity of Unity's Combat System.
The fact that you don't have money for other items yet will be rectified fairly soon, believe me - unless you consciously decide not to do missions that give you money, or consciously decide not to renovate anything at all.

(IE, consciously deciding to deny yourself part of the content in a game that already has so little significant content.)

I would just say, keep playing and if you can truly maintain your current opinion of Unity by the time you finish, then damn, I would actually envy you. I really wanted to love this game, honestly. Or maybe it's just that 99% Sync has revealed too many things that I disliked as I kept playing - but what does that have to say about its design when I had a blast all the way through Full Syncing AC1,2,B,R and IV?

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Also, thanks to RacoonSandwich, Money Bomb is the clear winner of skills to unlock. Tongue

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Also, thanks to RacoonSandwich, Money Bomb is the clear winner of skills to unlock. Tongue

Haha. I know you're trying to lighten the mood and I can appreciate that, but I just HAVE to say this;
What does it say about Unity's design when the only reason people flocked to Money Bomb at all is to glitch the game in such a dramatic way? How often do we feel rewarded for using that ability just by itself, the way it was MEANT to be used? Almost never, because citizens don't get attracted from far enough away and any time you use it in a group you're already blended with them anyway :/

Ugh. Just ugh.
Unity makes some skills useful and fun;
- Dual Assassinate
- Dual Air Assassinate

It makes other skills WTF because you should have them by default;
- Bench Blend

It makes other skills useful but unlocking them doesn't feel as rewarding, as it feels like BUSINESS;
- Having Pistols, Having Money Throw

It's obvious that the designers of Unity were puzzled as to what Skills to include, so they just added a bunch to fill up space in the Skill "Tree." It radiates from it at first glance in the Skill menus.

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Actually, I have some theories on what happened to the skills system. What we were told at E3 was that there were three categories of skills: combat, stealth, and free-running. As we know in the final game, every free-running move is unlocked from the start.

I think they ended up scrapping a fully formed upgrade tree and making most of the abilities on it inherent to the player, then creating a new skill tree that had less interesting stuff on it (because they had less time to fill it out in a meaningful way)

Also, DAZ, I forgot to respond to something you said about Unity's NPCs not being fun to play around with compared to Watch Dogs. I disagree. Watch Dogs doesn't have any kind of NPC interactions as complex as those between Protectors, Fanatics, and armed Crowd NPCs. I started a fight between all three factions and it was amazing to watch unfold. That's one of the places that the game has really impressed me, and gives me hope that they can expand on that framework and give it more complexities. For all my hopes about AC's future, I really do hope that the next few games don't try to introduce radically divergent new systems and instead work within the framework that Unity laid down. The problem with it has nothing to do with its foundation not being solid, and everything to do with not focusing enough on the cool things about it.

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I like this thread, so I wanna move it. At this point some ppl are likely replaying? I admit I am not much of a runner, I depended on smoke bombs for the majority of my group kills. Although I tried stealth, when that failed, I just fought....time and time again. I am by no means the master of this game you guys are that have inspected every aspect. I got frustrated the most with rifle shots! No way rifles were that accurate in those days! They never miss! I did upgrade gear here and there because I got tired of one shot kills. I wanted to be an unkillable monster of an assassin. Thats fun for me. The awesome of all awesome. Unfortunately I never achieved that playing through the first time. I now created a new account (and my last...not being able to replay is bullshit) and I will work harder to actually care about being better as a fighter instead of more interested in the story.

Here's to you as good as you are. Here's to me as bad as I am. As bad as I am, and as good as you are, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I am.

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I just finished the Main story yesterday and I have to say, it was my least favorite Assassin's Creed Story sofar. ACIII was kinda boring, but atleast there were characters you could care about. In Unity all the characters are bland and boring. Arno is basically French Ezio, the French Assassin( and templar) Order was like the dumbest least interesting branch of the Assassin brotherhood we've seen yet. Also how did Arno get accepted back into the Brotherhood? That part still makes no sense to me. Lastly the fact that they aren't speaking with french accents bothered me so much that I switched to french Voice actors half way through... /rant

Anyway story aside, running thru' france (with my woes) is pretty fun, buggy as all hell,but fun. Im a big fan of the customization, I spend most of my time doing that now.

To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. The humor is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of theoretical physics most of the jokes will go over a typical viewer's head. There's also Rick's nihilistic outlook, which

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What I enjoy and have always enjoyed about AC is the tromps through history. Whenever I watch a story about history I always turn to my hubby and say, "I ran across that roof!" Naturally he always has a smart ass answer for it but it sparks a conversation and I always enjoy watching history meld with my gaming experience. My hubby got to see France and I could not so he takes a bit more interest in this title then he did any of the others. I may never be able to afford to see the wonderful places overseas but I can at least live them a little bit through this franchise.

PS...the storyline was as unsatisfactory as Black Flag's but at least this time round the game reflected the horrible poverty of France that they failed to show in Italy during Ezio's time. Guess they had to show it for the purposes of the Revolution.

Here's to you as good as you are. Here's to me as bad as I am. As bad as I am, and as good as you are, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I am.

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PPS. AC has caused me to buy history books on almost every place they have done a game. I have several Crusader books and the History of Cairo...I have books on Italy, the Renaissance...and I have recently purchased and read the History of Paris. What does not fascinate me is American History (got my fill of that in school) and Pirate history (watched enough documentaries about it).

Here's to you as good as you are. Here's to me as bad as I am. As bad as I am, and as good as you are, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I am.

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PPS. AC has caused me to buy history books on almost every place they have done a game. I have several Crusader books and the History of Cairo...I have books on Italy, the Renaissance...and I have recently purchased and read the History of Paris. What does not fascinate me is American History (got my fill of that in school) and Pirate history (watched enough documentaries about it).

Here's to you as good as you are. Here's to me as bad as I am. As bad as I am, and as good as you are, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I am.

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Lilkanyon wrote:
What I enjoy and have always enjoyed about AC is the tromps through history. Whenever I watch a story about history I always turn to my hubby and say, "I ran across that roof!" Naturally he always has a smart ass answer for it but it sparks a conversation and I always enjoy watching history meld with my gaming experience. My hubby got to see France and I could not so he takes a bit more interest in this title then he did any of the others. I may never be able to afford to see the wonderful places overseas but I can at least live them a little bit through this franchise.

PS...the storyline was as unsatisfactory as Black Flag's but at least this time round the game reflected the horrible poverty of France that they failed to show in Italy during Ezio's time. Guess they had to show it for the purposes of the Revolution.

I used to be this enthusiastic about Assassin's Creed games. But then they just kept coming and my enthusiasm died with each release after brotherhood. I liked black flag's story, atleast more than Unity's, but 18th century france is a great setting for a AC game atleast.

To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. The humor is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of theoretical physics most of the jokes will go over a typical viewer's head. There's also Rick's nihilistic outlook, which

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I've changed my mind on the music in the game. It's actually rad, though some of the music/audio cues associated with combat and guard suspicion is a bit overbearing and too noticeable, considering they're triggers that will loop thousands of times over the course of the game. But the actual scoring of the missions and such? really good. I like that it sounds like what you'd expect out of a super authentic period drama. One of my favorite game critics says that the AC series is like "HBO for kids", and I love the things that reinforce that aspect of it.

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Regarding the story, I think that the reason it disappointed me so much was how well it started out. The introduction where you play a templar who dies soon after was really interesting, and helped to immediately sell the concept of AC's world, before going to the main character as he grows up. Him an Elise's history was effortlessly conveyed, and the fact that a protagonist BEGAN in a relationship rather than "earning" it felt like a pretty mature setup for a video game, where the opposite is usually true. The prison stuff was interesting, the confrontation with Elise too, but I felt like it began to muddle around when Arno was inducted into the order. That's when the dream sequence showed up, trying to push the idea that Arno is haunted by the death of two fathers, when it felt like his Templar father was enough of a plot point that his Assassin one could have just stayed as an offhand mention by Bellec. And from that point, I don't think the story found a clear direction, and its endgame was so cliched it felt borderline insulting.

The way the game started made me feel like it was going to improve on the strides AC3 took forward regarding storytelling. While it had a much smoother intro than AC3, overall it never found the same kind of narrative direction that game did. Unity tried to tell too many stories in one, and often abandoned plot threads that could have fit together more smoothly.

But that introduction still contains some of the best storytelling in an AC game, and the presentation and style with which the muddled parts were portrayed also gives me hope. There's a vision in Unity for a more mature series, and I think I reacted a bit too harshly to it falling short of that goal.

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At a certain point I was only playing the game for the bond between Elise and Arno.
Elise is like... Oh my god, I don't even have words. Just. Elise. Yeah.

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I think one of the reasons I so often wished I were playing as Elise rather than Arno is that she had motivations that made complete sense, while Arno's were a muddle. They definitely felt consistently like people with something between them, they did a good job on that. But it was tainted by my disillusionment with Arno as a character. After the ridiculous mission where you were forced to drunkenly kill people who seemed completely innocent despite having Fanatic guard models, I completely fell out of believing that he made any sense at all as a human being. He killed people for an extremely flimsy reason, and it turned out that even that reason was misguided. Yet he acted as if he had just been stumbling around in the street, and the only thing that seemed to bother him is that he had been rejected by the Assassins, who he'd never really seemed to care about or interact with very often in the first place.

That whole bunch of missions was where I finally accepted that there wasn't going to be a moment in this story where it all came together and made sense. It told me: "This story is not what they intended it to be, and Arno is not the person he is intended by his authors to be.".

I bet there are a thousand reasons why that part went down like that. I bet tons of Arno's interactions with Assassins had to be cut from the original script, and I bet the fact that Arno was killing people while drunk was something the writer grudgingly agreed on to give the mission more gameplay challenges. (a problem when most of your mechanics involve violence is that the only way to add "gameplay" is often to have the character kill a bunch of people)
I bet there are so many reasons that Unity and Arno didn't end up as what they were intended to be, but the most frustrating thing is that you can SEE the skeleton of something great in both of them.

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But, to be fair, how many people have a genuine motivation to kill 12 other people? It's easy for Elise to have a general motivation to want a couple things, because there's no need in the gameplay for her to do much else. In order for there to BE a game, Arno has to have some motivation to kill a dozen people... that can't be easy to write off. The original AC was best in regard to this because Altair didn't need motivation to kill all the targets - it was simply his job; that's all the motivation that was needed. It can't be easy to write a clear-cut story where the protagonist devolves into a serial killer without his motivations getting a little muddy. FLAE's eye roll

“To have peace there must be strife; both are part of the structure of the world and requirements.” - Ancient Egyptian Proverb

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Arno had always had clear reasons for his kills prior to that mission. This isn't the same as one of his targets, it's just some random revolutionaries from his hometown who he thinks -maybe- have his precious watch.

If that whole situation were about how his work as an Assassin has made him violent and murderous without justification, then the story as presented entirely ignores and sidesteps those implications.

I'm not saying it isn't hard to write a story around a violent character, I'm saying that they fell prey to some of those difficulties and it, among other things, damages the story. Wolfenstein The New Order is a great example of an extremely violent game that also managed to have believable human interactions and relationships and characterization. It does this because at every single point where there is violence, they make absolutely sure that the reactions of those aware of it are appropriate to the context of that violence. They must have spent years going over every single moment that had the potential to make the characters feel hollow and false, and they figured out how to make it not feel that way.

I'm sure people spent years trying to do the same to Unity, but of course they were on a much tighter schedule and in the midst of a transition to a new engine and new mechanics and new design opportunities. All very real challenges to telling a story. It makes you think if all the things we ask for in games don't get in the way of games being better experiences. Sure, they advance and change in so many ways, but it's almost like there's never any solid ground on which people can build something truly great. The ones that are great are often the ones made by people who can only afford to make games that rely on the old abandoned mechanics and techniques.

But the thing is, what the people making Unity did was still impressive. They made a whole life-sized Paris! They filled it with some really cool missions. They told a story within the context of a major historical event. It's intensely flawed as an experience, but the work that went into making it was not wasted: the result is still something important that I think deserves to be remembered in the future.

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Calvar is correct on Elise's motives making sense, and Arno's character never panning out. The skeleton of something fantastic is also clearly visible as mentioned. This is what happened with Thief 4 as well, same thing - different studio.
EDIT: As well as about the weirdness of killing innocent people while drunk. I can expect that from Edward, but not someone like Arno who for all intents and purposes is, "a good boy."

McStab puts forth a good point about the requirements of the gaming medium. Perhaps those Main Targets we killed do require better motivation to. I thought the general reasons for killing them all were mostly fine, but there was another reason that went mostly unnoticed by all.

Let me tie together these points with my own;
You know what I wished to see, and didn't? It's clear to me, the player, what Arno's biggest in-story motivation is for killing these people. The story never or barely references it, even though the obvious Answer is there. Indeed, it feels as if the writers purposefully obscured it because they got too scared of approaching First Civilization plotlines with any more significance than a drop of water in the ocean.

The Answer? The Motivation? Arno must kill more people connected to the conspiracy, because his specific type of Eagle Vision allows him to see within their Memories and track his next targets this way.

This is even stated in a cutscene!

"[Something something], when I saw in his Memories..."

No other Assassin has functioned like this until now. Other Assassins, even Altair could have merely abducted their targets and caused pain to them to find out their Master's plans and movements. They didn't need the memory corridor. But in previous ACs, the Assassins did have different reasons to actually put down every target so the Memory Corridor happened anyway. In this game, because Arno doesn't have the option, and because seeing their memories is much easier than forcing a confession out of them, killing is the way to go.

To me, that would have been a far more functional motive than anything else.
You are a blade in the shadows. You must kill the highest-ranking member of an organization.
You have a gift of perception. If every time you kill someone, their dying mind releases memories you can actually feel due to an extrasensory gift from a precursor race, then it is NOTHING BUT LOGICAL that you should just kill more people connected to this highest-ranking member. It both gives you the knowledge, and it removes more of your obstacles. The only thing it does that's negative about it is that it informs this high-ranking target that you're coming, since his friends are dropping like flies. That could have been used for more tension.

And he's a Sage too, so don't tell me you honestly believe he's not aware of Eagle Sense. He knows. He even says so at the end of the game, "You're not really here. And I'm not either... I'm currently bleeding out on the floor of the temple. These are my Memories."

And yet the plot barely ever throws this a single shred. When it's obviously the easiest to explain reason for the Assassinations. Listen, I'm not angry that there was "no reason" to kill all of them. I'm angry that there was, and they were too COWARDLY to do anything with it dialogue or plot-wise - because of the fear of approaching the First Civ story with any kind of solidity.

Assassin's Creed has an identity crisis. It cannot decide whether it wants to be a cyberpunk human-origin story, or whether it wants to be a historical narrative.

They wrote themselves the PERFECT gameplay+narrative mechanic, then shied away from it.
For what? Who exactly does this do service to? If you didn't want to First Civ your game up too much, select that choice in Unity's preproduction. The same thing happened with the Modern Day. And if it's going to be in the game anyway, it begs the question, was some dialogue or cutscene seriously cut out? Considering the absurd jump between Exile to Master Assassin, everyone sees the easy conclusion to make.

Every time the game veers bit too close to telling its actual overarching story, it recoils as if touching a hot stove.

This would be fine if we're just telling a historical tale with none of the other things in the Main Arc being relative to our First Civ stuff. But this happens even if the answer is so clear and unmistakable within established Lore that it is IMPOSSIBLE to ignore, like in the above example. The problem is, AC has already decided, long ago, that it is both kinds of story. You can't retcon these pre-established facts out of your own series. It would be sheer madness that not even the greatest fans would absorb silently.

Patrice Desilets knew what direction he wanted to take the series in, and Ubisoft didn't pay enough focus to Modern Day from the beginning. He lost his job, and his baby remained in their hands, but they'd written themselves into a corner that they couldn't really get out of without his guidance.

They are not doing a graceful job of moving around within that corner.

At least they gave me a great and subtly creepy Adam and Eve allegory once again, at the start with Elise and Arno. "Bet you can't steal those Apples!" Hell, even their NAMES start with E and A. Arno and Elise. Adam and Eve. There are hella breadcrumbs throughout this story that could be something great and it's never getting addressed, even in side-content and it's breaking my poor little heart because it's so much wasted potential.

EDIT:

Gameplay-wise, and overall experience-wise I have to agree that Unity is worthwhile. It should not be forgotten, like Calvar says. I would be saddened if it were, because above all it was a learning opportunity. And I'm frankly still pretty impressed at the things they did with the city on a technical level (once all the bugs were ironed out.) I remember seeing the E3 gameplay demo with the first Controlled Descent we were ever shown and having my breath taken away. AC having realistically-scaled cities is incredible, because height, parkour and the freedom of movement was always great in AC. But what it lacked was that slight pang of discomfort of being so high above the ground. When I saw the first Controlled Descent, I received that sort of, "away from terra firma" feeling and I really, really loved it. I'm excited to see what AC Victory will bring to the table based on Unity's lessons.

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I agree that it was weird they didn't really integrate such an obvious narrative driver more completely. I don't get the sense it was out of shying away from the first civ stuff, but more that it was a late addition to the story. After all, they were still using memory corridors in the other games while Unity began development, I bet the story was originally written with them in mind.

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