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TomasWelsh
08-28-2016, 02:48 PM
Hello, how are you? :) This is my first post on here so please bare with me. University is starting back up again for me in three weeks and to bridge the gap (and to try to get my mind off it), I'd really like to play an AC game. I've played AC 2 and Brotherhood years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them, and I've recently bought a bundle on the PS4 that includes AC 4, Unity and Syndicate.

The problem is, I don't really know which to play. Normally I'd play them in order, but since I'm going to be starting to get busy again soon, I really just want to focus on one and forget the rest for now. For me, Syndicate is out because I don't necessarily want to play as two characters. I know it's not an issue for most people, but I'd really like to just focus on one character's story.

Now it's between Black Flag and Unity. Deep down, I want to play Unity because the combat, stealth and just the city of Paris looks absolutely amazing, but what's bringing me down are people's opinions on the game. Don't get me wrong, Black Flag also looks amazing, but what's bugging me is that the combat is too easy and the stealth isn't great.

Did you prefer Arno or Edward? Which game has the better story? Which game has the best side missions? I'd really like to hear your opinions on both of these games to help me decide which one to play! I know I'm probably thinking WAY too much into this, but oh well! Thanks for reading, I hope you're having a great day! :)

MikeFNY
08-28-2016, 03:02 PM
Welcome, first of all.

As always, for such questions you will get different answers so clearly, below is just my personal opinion.

I'm yet to play Black Flag properly so I'll skip that one. Or better, it includes the naval system not available in the other two. If that's your cup of tea, go for it. I'm not a pirates/ship lover, but having just finished AC3, believe me, naval can be huge fun.

Unity, oh well, I'm biased here because I love it.

It has the best graphics and the best stealth in the series so you're absolutely right on how breathtaking Paris looks, it's special, no other way to describe it. Character-wise, if you ask me my feelings towards Arno, well, can't say I love him, can't say I like him, can't say I don't like him, he's the only assassin for whom I feel absolutely nothing :)

I so much fell in love with the stealth system that I uploaded a couple of videos from the Heist side quests:
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1367133-Putting-the-quot-Unity-is-too-buggy-argument-quot-to-rest-once-and-for-all/page3

Remember though, the game is very frustrating so you may end up needing one whole week just to learn the mechanics, controls, etc.

Which is why I wouldn't be so quick to remove Syndicate from your list. If you just want to play an AC game for fun and have only three available weeks, Syndicate could be the game for you.

It's fun and the story is one big cliche so you would not be disappointed if you're forced to abandon it midway through.

It also has what properly are the worst DLCs of the whole series which you can easily skip.

To summarize, again, keep in mind I'm yet to play BF properly:

Unity combat: Can't tell, I almost always opted for stealth
Unity stealth: Best in the series
Syndicate combat: Fun
Syndicate stealth: Too easy
London vs Paris: Paris
Arno vs Edward: Can't tell
Better story BF vs Unity: Black Flag
Best side missions BF vs Unity vs Syndicate: Unity

Hope that helps!

Helforsite
08-28-2016, 04:38 PM
While Syndicate is fun the first playthrough its also ranked fairly low among all the fans I know, which why I would recommend playing it, but not instead of these two, but later if you have the time. Sadly, if you do not play it you will not miss anything, in terms of story or gameplay.

Assassin's Creed Unity has maybe the good stealth and combat mechanics, but also comes with a higher difficulty. It's rather a case of hit or miss, because some people really, really love it, but most people hate it and even regard it as the worst Assassin's Creed, partly due to bugs. glitches and other performance problems at launch.

Assassin's Creed: Black Flag is the most universally loved of these 3 and considered the best or second best game in the franchise by an overwhelmingly huge majority of fans. It is fun, has an good personal story and many very good gameplay mechanics and just as a whole a very good game. It's maybe only criticism is that many consider it a very good game, but a very bad Assassin's Creed game.

TL;DR: Play Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag as it is the most loved and best game of these 3 games according to critics and fans alike!

m4r-k7
08-28-2016, 04:53 PM
Hello there!

I would play AC 4 - IMO it has a better open world, more freedom, game mechanics that work and has a fantastic story with an amazing protagonist.

In terms of your questions, IMO:

Better character - Definitely Edward.
Story - AC 4
Side missions - Both have pretty good side missions actually, but I would still go with AC 4 as there is more to do and you aren't stuck in one city all the time.

In terms of Unity, the only thing I think it does better is combat as I wasn't really a fan of AC 3/4's more automated combat. Oh and the addition of parkour down was great, its just a shame that overall Unity's parkour turns out to be less smooth and more clunky.

Both AC 4 and Unity does stealth quite well, but AC Unity has AI problems similar to that of AC 3 where they easily spot you from miles away.

Also, don't let people fool you into thinking AC 4 is purely a pirate game. It actually has a very interesting story that ties up Pirates and Assassins very well. Unitys story is much more bland.

I think AC 4 is an absolutely phenomenal game and I often think about whether it is my favourite of the series.

TomasWelsh
08-28-2016, 07:02 PM
Thanks everyone for your feedback, I really appreciate it! Unfortunately I'm still hugely torn between the both games as I've been watching loads of game plays. I heard that Unity's story is fairly similar to Ezio's, so it's not that original. The thing is, I don't really remember much of Ezio's story; so will Unity feel fresh and exciting, or is it really that bad?

HDinHB
08-28-2016, 08:43 PM
Welcome to the forum!

AC4 has by far the best story and best characters of the 3, and by almost all measures, is a "better" game. Its modern day, such as it is, might spoil the modern day of AC3 for you, but it's probably too late for that anyway :). I would easily pick that over the other two.

If you just want to pick between Unity and Syndicate, the order doesn't really matter. Unity has an almost non-existent modern day, and the story is more of a story outline than an actual story. Syndicate improves on both, but not breathtakingly so. Unity's Paris is beautiful, the people can be annoying, they have fixed most of the technical problems and undone a lot of the design decision mistakes. I liked Syndicate a little better in most respects, but I still had a lot of fun playing Unity.

Since you're looking for a game to play in the gap before school starts up, Unity is a good choice. It's beautiful, fun, and it's sort of an island in the AC universe--it's not really connected to the other games. (Well, there's a connection to Rogue, but if you don't play Rogue, you'll never notice.)

SixKeys
08-28-2016, 09:20 PM
If you're gonna pick one, go with Black Flag. Yes, the combat and stealth are easy, albeit no more than in the Ezio games, so if you liked those, you should be fine. The story is one of the most well-crafted in the series overall, Edward is a deeper and more interesting character than Arno for sure. One of the great things about Black Flag is that pretty much all of the side content makes sense for Edward's character and his quest for becoming the richest pirate in the Caribbean. Typically AC games have somewhat of a suspension-of-disbelief problem where your cold-blooded assassin protagonist occasionally loses interest in his main target and goes off to pick flowers or join races. In Edward's case it doesn't feel out-of-character because he is boastful and selfish and driven more by his own thirst for adventure than the assassins' Creed. So the whole game feels cohesive and, more importantly, fun. There's a great variety of things to do, from robbing plantations to harpooning to underwater shipwrecks to treasure-hunting, and of course sea battles.

Syndicate would be my second choice. I like the Frye twins and while the game is (sadly) easier than Unity, London has better things to offer than Paris. Infiltration missions and gang hideouts are awesome, and I could spend all day in fight clubs watching Evie's brutal finishers. http://static5.cdn.ubi.com/u/ubiforums/20130918.419/images/smilies/cool.png D*ckens, Darwin and Marx missions are awful, though. Races are meh. Kidnappings are fun. Parkour is ever so slightly less finicky than Unity's. The story is rather cartoonish and anachronistic by AC standards. Women and minorities are treated no differently than other people, which was definitely not the case in real Victorian times. To me, that made the game feel more fun and inclusive, but YMMV. The overall tone is more light-hearted than Unity. Great soundtrack by Austin Wintory, too.

Unity gets a worse rap than it deserves, frankly. The story is bland and ripe with historical inaccuracies, there's no way around that. Arno is all right but they tried a bit too hard to make him an Ezio clone. But most of the bugs have been patched by now so the game runs better than it did at launch. Stealth and combat are genuinely challenging (by AC standards, at least). The side content is hit-and-miss. Heists, murder mysteries and Time Rifts are fun, Paris stories are simplistic but decent and glyphs are annoying (not like the ones in AC2 and ACB at all). I haven't done co-op in a long time, it's okay if you get a good team and you can do the missions solo as well, but last time I played they were still terribly unstable with constant disconnects. Modern day, if you care about that at all, is absolute bollocks.


Tl;dr AC4 > Syndicate > Unity

TomasWelsh
08-29-2016, 11:08 AM
Thanks SO much to everyone that's tried to help me choose a game to play, I really appreciate it! By the looks of things, Black Flag is loved by everyone while the other two games are just a hit or miss. I'm going to go and enjoy Black Flag now, I hope you all have a wonderful week! :)

D.I.D.
08-29-2016, 12:24 PM
First of all, Syndicate is a fantastic game that you ought to play (as long as you don't play The Last Maharaja, The Darwin/D*ckens Conspiracy, or indeed any Darwin/D*ckens missions that the game doesn't force you to play).

Of Unity and Black Flag:

Tricky. Black Flag is without doubt the most successful in its aims, so you won't regret having chosen that. They intended to make a game of swashbuckling adventure with a mixture of pantomime and, in certain areas, a surprisingly light touch that provide a unique story aspect for AC (and, come to that, any game). It links back to AC3 brilliantly. Unity aimed to illustrate the French Revolution, while putting a romance to the forefront. It failed on both fronts, but it's by no means a failed game.

Black Flag certainly feels the most complete. However, for all its size it is often very narrow. The journeys are immense and varied, but the destinations are mostly very small. Unity gives you an awesome 1:1 (mostly, anyway - the edges of the map aren't 1:1 scale, but the bulk of Paris is) urban landscape, and other satellite towns and cities. Black Flag often forces you through frustratingly tight bottlenecks in missions, whereas Unity gives the player a comparatively enormous choice of approach. Black Flag gives you The Great Outdoors, whereas Unity's trump card is a vast number of spacious interiors.

It might come down to this; how much do you like the concept of assassination? Black Flag is less concerned with this, so much as examining the question of what it means to be in the Brotherhood. Unity directly confronts the gameplay aspects of assassinations in this series and attempts to provide a new solution, and it's mostly very successful.

If you've been hoping for an AC where you case a location before going in for the kill, where you can find little designed situations that can make the mission more interesting, or where you can find your own advantages by looking for that little-noticed upstairs window or underground tunnel entrance, Unity is it. Unity maintains that aspect outside of assassinations, too -- there are dozens of areas that you have to examine carefully before formulating a plan and peeling the layers of defence in the right order. You can't always run in and start killing, or you'll be killed in group combat (at least, early on, although you might become a bit OP later). This game also took the revolutionary viewpoint that professional marksmen would kill you if they shot you (I'm being sarcastic about this, but it's amazing how many people took umbrage with the concept of snipers who are good at their job). This forces you to find them and deal with them first.

Play them all, though. ACBF, ACU and ACS all have their critics but they're the best games in the series and all deserve your attention.

TomasWelsh
08-29-2016, 12:42 PM
First of all, Syndicate is a fantastic game that you ought to play (as long as you don't play The Last Maharaja, The Darwin/D*ckens Conspiracy, or indeed any Darwin/D*ckens missions that the game doesn't force you to play).

Of Unity and Black Flag:

Tricky. Black Flag is without doubt the most successful in its aims, so you won't regret having chosen that. They intended to make a game of swashbuckling adventure with a mixture of pantomime and, in certain areas, a surprisingly light touch that provide a unique story aspect for AC (and, come to that, any game). It links back to AC3 brilliantly. Unity aimed to illustrate the French Revolution, while putting a romance to the forefront. It failed on both fronts, but it's by no means a failed game.

Black Flag certainly feels the most complete. However, for all its size it is often very narrow. The journeys are immense and varied, but the destinations are mostly very small. Unity gives you an awesome 1:1 (mostly, anyway - the edges of the map aren't 1:1 scale, but the bulk of Paris is) urban landscape, and other satellite towns and cities. Black Flag often forces you through frustratingly tight bottlenecks in missions, whereas Unity gives the player a comparatively enormous choice of approach. Black Flag gives you The Great Outdoors, whereas Unity's trump card is a vast number of spacious interiors.

It might come down to this; how much do you like the concept of assassination? Black Flag is less concerned with this, so much as examining the question of what it means to be in the Brotherhood. Unity directly confronts the gameplay aspects of assassinations in this series and attempts to provide a new solution, and it's mostly very successful.

If you've been hoping for an AC where you case a location before going in for the kill, where you can find little designed situations that can make the mission more interesting, or where you can find your own advantages by looking for that little-noticed upstairs window or underground tunnel entrance, Unity is it. Unity maintains that aspect outside of assassinations, too -- there are dozens of areas that you have to examine carefully before formulating a plan and peeling the layers of defence in the right order. You can't always run in and start killing, or you'll be killed in group combat (at least, early on, although you might become a bit OP later). This game also took the revolutionary viewpoint that professional marksmen would kill you if they shot you (I'm being sarcastic about this, but it's amazing how many people took umbrage with the concept of snipers who are good at their job). This forces you to find them and deal with them first.

Play them all, though. ACBF, ACU and ACS all have their critics but they're the best games in the series and all deserve your attention.

Thank you so much for your detailed response, I really appreciate it! Honestly, I'm looking more so for an assassination game more than anything, so Unity would be the obvious choice. What puts me off though is almost everyone else's opinion on the game, which is a huge disappointment.

Is the story honestly that bad, or is it quite enjoyable? I want to feel at least some connection to the main character so I'm not just playing it to assassinate people. I've also heard that a lot of the assassinations are without context, so people often don't know why they're killing the contract, is this true?

Thanks again for your response, there's so many decent people here! :)

cawatrooper9
08-29-2016, 03:11 PM
The story in Unity isn't bad, it's just not that good.

Gameplay is pretty excellent, though.

Story-wise, Unity and Black Flag are both pretty good jumping off points. So, if you're looking for more stabby stabby action and less sailing, Unity's the obvious choice.

Sickboy7979
08-29-2016, 04:31 PM
I enjoyed all three of those games. They are all great, IMO. I would start with BF and go from there. I'd also recommend picking up Rogue as well and playing that before Unity. It's a great lead in to the story in Unity. Don't underestimate Syndicate. I really liked it a lot.

Farlander1991
08-29-2016, 06:15 PM
I would recommend Black Flag due to the fact that it's a very well-crafted game. Even though Unity is better in terms of pure core AC mechanics, how much you like Unity and Syndicate would really depend on specifics of your taste, while Black Flag is a great game that puts in together very well gameplay, narrative, side activities, the world, pretty much everything into one full cohesive experience.

Though if you don't like the idea of a game that's not about an Assassin doing Assassiny stuff, but about a pirate trying to find what's his place in the world and through that figuring out what the Creed is, then it's also something to take into consideration when deciding.

D.I.D.
08-29-2016, 08:57 PM
Thank you so much for your detailed response, I really appreciate it! Honestly, I'm looking more so for an assassination game more than anything, so Unity would be the obvious choice. What puts me off though is almost everyone else's opinion on the game, which is a huge disappointment.

Is the story honestly that bad, or is it quite enjoyable? I want to feel at least some connection to the main character so I'm not just playing it to assassinate people. I've also heard that a lot of the assassinations are without context, so people often don't know why they're killing the contract, is this true?

Thanks again for your response, there's so many decent people here! :)

Unity's story... argh. I have to say that many of the cutscenes are really quite excellent. There are so many lovely moments in amongst it all.

If you value historical accuracy, the game is very inaccurate. If you put aside everything you know about the Revolution and just go with history as they present it, then it's not an awful story. It does manage to go through many stages, and things change quite a lot with each new section. The world is phenomenally well-realised. It's beautiful, and incredibly detailed. The visual designers did an incredible job, so that beauty fills the gaps when the story flags.

If you like a good story, then you're not likely to love this, let's say. You might like it. You might, like me, just kind of shrug and say, "Oh well". There's a sense that maybe there was meant to be more to this story that got lost because a section was removed from the missions (which was confirmed to have happened to Black Flag, by the way, and it's a common thing in games). It is likely that they had to be more economical with story because of how rich these cutscenes are. They must have cost a fortune to make, and Syndicate's ones aren't as lavish as Unity's.

Part of the problem is that it starts so well. Arno is very likeable and witty right from the start, and then his light fades. You could see that as an interesting change in him, except they don't really establish what he has become instead or why. Something new that does make Arno is little bit more interesting, and something that's supported in the gameplay, is that he becomes like a detective. There's a whole section of crime story missions to back this up, in which Arno uncovers clues to determine which one of a range of suspects is the guilty party, and this is also his/your experience in the main story as he aims to discover who is responsible for the growing political conspiracy.

It has some little twists along the way that keep things interesting. There's a very despicable character for whom you come to feel some level of sympathy, and that's nicely done. Although the romance generally doesn't work and lacks passion, with Arno and Élise feeling more like brother and sister than like lovers, there are some very memorable moments that stay with you afterwards. These moments are great to come back to when you play it again.

It's true that many of the characters are introduced and then killed very quickly. It's hard to say if they lack context. I mean, we've killed so many allegedly major characters who had very little presence. I think part of the problem is that Unity was the first true new gen game, and the leap in graphical representation is pretty huge. These characters look amazing, so it's harder to deal with seeing so little of them sometimes. There are some cases where you hear more about them after their deaths than before, which is a bit strange. You won't be left in doubt by the game's end who did what and why, although it is true that your sense of the enemies is much stronger when you play it again.

I really like the way Unity makes sense of Eagle Vision. In all the games, we've had this weird ability and it's not really been tied together. This one does something pretty great at the beginning of major missions. Arno begins on a rooftop, looking down over a large area. He shuts his eyes, as though meditating, and then opens them again with greater vision. His sense of the whole scene is heightened, and he begins to pick out particular conversations in the crowd, getting hints about things he should investigate, and then you get to go in and do whatever you like. Some people complained about this: "Oh ffs, so assassins have psychic powers now?" But I thought this was really clever, since it made it look like Eagle Vision and this meditative ability were all part of the same thing.

There are frustrations. You can certainly see how it could have been better, but that's in a large part because of the height of the game's ambitions. It reminds me of a Laika song:

"Jump at the sun
And if you miss
You can't help but grab some stars"

That's Unity in a nutshell.

SixKeys
08-29-2016, 09:20 PM
Thank you so much for your detailed response, I really appreciate it! Honestly, I'm looking more so for an assassination game more than anything, so Unity would be the obvious choice. What puts me off though is almost everyone else's opinion on the game, which is a huge disappointment.

Is the story honestly that bad, or is it quite enjoyable? I want to feel at least some connection to the main character so I'm not just playing it to assassinate people. I've also heard that a lot of the assassinations are without context, so people often don't know why they're killing the contract, is this true?

Thanks again for your response, there's so many decent people here! :)

I don't remember Unity being vague about its assassinations at all. I'm pretty sure there was always some context given.

In the end story is a subjective thing. People like different types of movies, too.
Without going into spoilers, the biggest problem most people who dislike Unity's story have tend to be that we never connect to Arno as much as we should. He and Elise are portrayed as lovers from the beginning, but there's no real chemistry between them. We don't see why they care about each other so much, other than physical attraction. To be fair, AC games have always had this problem when it comes to romance, it's just that in Unity it's more on the forefront than ever. Arno is an assassin and assassins are generally expected to be on the side of the poor and oppressed, but Unity takes a decidedly pro-aristocrat view of the Revolution. Characters who were controversial and complex in RL, like Robespierre, are portrayed in rather black-and-white terms. There's also some stuff that's really confusing even to long-time fans, stuff that contradicts existing lore, and that bothered people a lot.

TomasWelsh
08-29-2016, 10:27 PM
Unity's story... argh. I have to say that many of the cutscenes are really quite excellent. There are so many lovely moments in amongst it all.

If you value historical accuracy, the game is very inaccurate. If you put aside everything you know about the Revolution and just go with history as they present it, then it's not an awful story. It does manage to go through many stages, and things change quite a lot with each new section. The world is phenomenally well-realised. It's beautiful, and incredibly detailed. The visual designers did an incredible job, so that beauty fills the gaps when the story flags.

If you like a good story, then you're not likely to love this, let's say. You might like it. You might, like me, just kind of shrug and say, "Oh well". There's a sense that maybe there was meant to be more to this story that got lost because a section was removed from the missions (which was confirmed to have happened to Black Flag, by the way, and it's a common thing in games). It is likely that they had to be more economical with story because of how rich these cutscenes are. They must have cost a fortune to make, and Syndicate's ones aren't as lavish as Unity's.

Part of the problem is that it starts so well. Arno is very likeable and witty right from the start, and then his light fades. You could see that as an interesting change in him, except they don't really establish what he has become instead or why. Something new that does make Arno is little bit more interesting, and something that's supported in the gameplay, is that he becomes like a detective. There's a whole section of crime story missions to back this up, in which Arno uncovers clues to determine which one of a range of suspects is the guilty party, and this is also his/your experience in the main story as he aims to discover who is responsible for the growing political conspiracy.

It has some little twists along the way that keep things interesting. There's a very despicable character for whom you come to feel some level of sympathy, and that's nicely done. Although the romance generally doesn't work and lacks passion, with Arno and Élise feeling more like brother and sister than like lovers, there are some very memorable moments that stay with you afterwards. These moments are great to come back to when you play it again.

It's true that many of the characters are introduced and then killed very quickly. It's hard to say if they lack context. I mean, we've killed so many allegedly major characters who had very little presence. I think part of the problem is that Unity was the first true new gen game, and the leap in graphical representation is pretty huge. These characters look amazing, so it's harder to deal with seeing so little of them sometimes. There are some cases where you hear more about them after their deaths than before, which is a bit strange. You won't be left in doubt by the game's end who did what and why, although it is true that your sense of the enemies is much stronger when you play it again.

I really like the way Unity makes sense of Eagle Vision. In all the games, we've had this weird ability and it's not really been tied together. This one does something pretty great at the beginning of major missions. Arno begins on a rooftop, looking down over a large area. He shuts his eyes, as though meditating, and then opens them again with greater vision. His sense of the whole scene is heightened, and he begins to pick out particular conversations in the crowd, getting hints about things he should investigate, and then you get to go in and do whatever you like. Some people complained about this: "Oh ffs, so assassins have psychic powers now?" But I thought this was really clever, since it made it look like Eagle Vision and this meditative ability were all part of the same thing.

There are frustrations. You can certainly see how it could have been better, but that's in a large part because of the height of the game's ambitions. It reminds me of a Laika song:

"Jump at the sun
And if you miss
You can't help but grab some stars"

That's Unity in a nutshell.

For me, you probably couldn't have described Unity any better. Thanks so much for your help! I know I haven't played the game myself, but what I got from a lot of other people (not on this forum) was so much hate and negativity; whereas I truly got a sense of the game through your description. Thank you!

And again, thanks to everyone else that's helped me, I really do appreciate it!