Hind-Sight: Assassin’s Creed Unity

Yet another game has come out for the Assassin’s Creed series, there’s a lot that has to come into consideration when trying to rate it. There’s its storyline and how it fits into the cannon of the game and its combat and free running mechanics in comparison to previous games, for instance. And, in these respects, Assassin’s Creed Unity is a bit all over the board – making it hard to place it in comparison to its predecessors.

One of the major features of the game – and can be, arguably, it’s most crucial feature – is how it fits into the Assassin’s Creed history. Now, while all of the previous setting have been interesting and understandable locations, the French revolution fit’s the basic idea of the game to the letter.
If you think about it, the best setting for a game centered on assassinations is either within a war (such as with the American revolution setting) or in an early time period when political assassinations were par for the course in terms of foreign policy) here I’m thinking of the Middle East in the first game and the later focuses on Rome and Italy).
But no setting can top its thematic perfection than the French revolution. Just give it some thought.
The French revolution involved the killing of many people of political importance and saw its fair share of street killings. Along with that, the revolution was something that involved everyone – from the political elites to the poorest street rat. And, who is it that normally stars in these games? Someone who is rejected from common society, for one reason or another, and takes it upon himself to revenge either his family or himself on those that wronged him – almost always people of great power within the setting. It’s a beautiful combination of historical accuracy and repetitive game structure.
As for its base-line mechanics, the game is fairly similar to those that came before it. In all honesty, after this many editions to the series, there’s not much the developers could really do before they’d have to scrap the past mechanics and start from the scratch. However, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any changes at all. Since they’ve been able to work out the major kinks within their system, this allows the developers to focus more on fine tuning the game. And in that respect, they’ve done a knock-out job.
One of the long standing issues with the games (that, at least, I’ve had), is the fact that the building are completely close off – except in the case of story missions. Now, while they have been working on this issue in the recent releases, this time around they’ve finally hit the nail on the head. If you jump into the game now, one of the things that quickly become apparent is how many buildings are open. Granted, not every home is open for exploration, and the openings there are are really no more than just tunnels to the other side of the structure, but this is still a massive improvement. To be able to run through a peasant’s home as their doing the wash, to escape some guards adds a living, breathing aspect to the world and make it that much more immersive.
Now, no game comes without some problems – and this one certainly has its fair share. In fact, one of the more glaring issues is that, while it does run on next-gen consoles, it does so poorly, especially when compared with its previous installment to the series. But those are superficial problems, and a serious gamer ought not to turn away what is such a well-placed and built game for a few cosmetic issues.