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View Full Version : Assassin's Creed Unity: What Has This Series Come To? *SPOILERS*



Wolfmeister1010
11-13-2014, 02:05 AM
LONG POST ALERT. But it would mean a lot to me if you read it all. Lord knows it took me a while

..Let me start off by saying..that I have never ever been so shocked before in my life froth reviews of a game. I have never seen such unrelenting hatred from reviewers. Techncally speaking the game got average 7-8..which isn’t bad..but still.

One thing I noticed is that everyone loved the open world of Paris, the graphics, the sound, the customization, co op for the most part, the difficulty of combat, the stealth..but HATED the story and the technical problems.

In fact..the technical problems seem to be the driving force for lower reviews.


Today, after speed running the campaign (I just finished SATs and have a LOT of free time) spending some time in the open world, and completing some side missions and co op..I am ready to give as honest of a review as I possibly can. I am going to cover each individual part of the game at an atomic level

Bear with me..


Story

I have to agree with the reviews out there. The story is just…damned forgettable. I don’t think it is TERRIBLE..it is just forgettable in every way. Arno is extremely forgettable.the way he becomes an assassin is just so sudden and rushed and weird..the story is very predictable. The characters are for the most part very unforgettable as well. Napolean..who should be like the Lorenzo de Medici in AC2..is a smug and plain character. de Sade is quirky for sure but it brings nothing to the table. Arno is just…just so plain lol. However..Elise is not only an amazing character and actress (the person who plays her), but she is actually complex and fiery and awesome. Assassin’s Creed Unity should have been about Elise. There, I said it. The modern day is forgettable as well. I wonder when they are actually gonna truly PROGRESS the Juno storyline.. Essentially, the story is rushed and just disappointing in every way. The way he becomes an assassin just like that…the way you just happen to acquire the cafe without any sort of explanation..it is just really bad guys.

Sound Effects
One of the first things I noticed right of the bat..the sound effects are absolutely glorious. Arno’s footsteps on stone, shingles, and brick are orgasmic. The strikes in combat resonate with a shuddering force. FINALLY an AC game with truly AMAZING gun sound effects. The crowds are loud and the city sounds completely alive. Then it is quiet and serene on the rooftops..it is…an unbelievable experience.

Animation
Holy…CRAP.

I should just stop right there..but I will elaborate.

Arno moves like a god. Although his climbing animations are a little unrealistic and anti-gravity at times, they are majestic as hell. His little spins and jumps are beautiful. His running animation is light and nice, although his walking animation is a bit rigid. There are so many different low profile and high profile assassinations I can’t keep count. But they are all awesome. The low profile assassinations are for the first time truly discreet. The way he just does them and moves on is badass. The air assassinations are good..but there should be more than one animation.. The combat animations are mostly simple and to the point but very nice. A few are a bit rigid looking. Some of the parries and finishing kills are very awkward looking. The way Arno stumbles and vaults is amazing. NICE LITTLE DETAIL-When trying to use a consumable Arno doesn’t have, he reaches in his pocket and tries to find something but can’t. Also, when taking objects from chests, he actually pulls out a physical object. Seen best in the Cafe.

The civilians fall down and run. The pushing animation is actual fluid for the first time. People and guards shove each other with force and resistance, not simply the weird rigid shove and stumble animation used in all previous games.
http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/11-11-2014/6rIWy0.gif

Enemies killing civilians in random events are fluid in their stabs. Chairs are thrown, objects and bricks and wheels are moved by civilians in various activities.


Music

The music during combat, chases, and some stealth scenarios (think e3 single player), is wonderful. In fact, it is the best combat music since the first or second game IMO. However, much of the soundtrack is unfortunately forgettable.

Graphics

I don’t understand why people are complaining…the game is GORGEOUS on the PC. It is running basically the same as AC4 for me, maybe a bit worse in NPC crowded areas. The lighting is absolutely amazing, although it is best at morning and afternoon. Nighttime and dusk make the world look a bit flat at times. The NPC models are quite good, although there are plenty of poplin glitches on clothes and hair at close range that ruin it at the moment. The textures are varied and beautiful. The reflections in this game in puddles, on marble, and on polished wooden floors are the best I have ever seen in a game. The smoke effects are mind blowing. The rain is pretty good but cannot compare to AC4’s tropical gusts. Facial animation and custscenes look absolutely amazing. Fires i the game look wonderful for the first time. The draw distance is slightly better than previous games, but still quite poor. Viewpoints are both a blessing and a curse for this reason. The lighting changes dynamically based on cloud coverage, which can make an area at one point bright and cheery and the next minute grayish like Acre.

I think it looks JUST as good if not better than E3, personally. I went to one of the spots in game in the same lighting and compared..they look exactly the same to me…plus the tessellation patch will make it look even more awesome.

Graphically, it is amazing..and I cannot believe they were able to pull it off in a location of that scale.

Locations

Paris is an absolutely gorgeous city and by FAR the best in the series. It is packed, dense, and filled to the brim with things to do. The districts are varied, my favorites are the “Ille de la Cite” and the ramshackle port district. Basically I can go on forever but will just leave it at: it is awesome..plain and simple.

Versailles is reminiscent of San Gimignano for me. It has a Tuscany feel to it. The color scheme is a bit more grayish than Paris. The farm area with the windmills is breathtaking.

Parkour
I like the parkour. It is fluid and the descent mechanic is useful. However, even though he moves faster, the controls and flow feel almost a bit sluggish. I can’t really explain it. It is fine, definitely better than the old system, but it is definitely not perfect either. It just moves kinda sluggishly sometimes and there is no side eject so it gets you in a pickle sometimes.

Combat
After finally gaining control of Adult Arno in Versailles with his crappy little cutlass..the first thing I did was use my eagle vision to find two level 2 guards standing by a post. I challenged them. (It is kinda weird that he only draws his sword if you hold x..) and…6 seconds later, I was dead.




…yep.


It is no joke. I literally CANNOT fight more than 5 people..even at a higher level. The parrying and dodging system works great. The combat sometimes feels a bit slow and sluggish..but that is only because I am comparing it to the speedfest that was AC4. I wish the weapon streaks would GO AWAY. Overall, the combat is challenging and fun. It is actually quite scary and fun. The combat AI are smart. There are defined classes of guards but they all feel different because of their levels and behaviors. They can do all the moves you can do, from heavy attacks to staggering strikes to rolling to parrying your attacks and injuring you. Do NOT get shot…it will drain your health in an INSTANT. It is kinda weird that they kinda stand and slosh around for 3 seconds after your drain their health if you don’t do a finisher on them.

Stealth
The AI in this game are definitely smarter than previous games. They really do walk about and interrogate people and look for you by looking up for the first time ever. They react to each other and to the commotion around them, and when you assassinate someone, civilians accuse you and guards will seek you out. Yes..they do..IDK why you guys got the opposite idea..

Social stealth is viable for the first time ever, the crowds are giant and dynamic and it is a thrill to escape that way. If guards get close to you they will eventually see you. But it is very realistic. Guards actually respond to sound now. The AI is still not the best though, with a few little instances of them not trying to find you after they see you for an instant. The cover system is nice and the crouching is a life saver. However, the crouching sometimes is a bit clumsy on uneven walls and there is no way to snap around corners a la Watch Dogs. The detection system is a bit strange but it is decent in my opinion. My only issue is that the interface sometimes doesn’t tell you when you have broken the line of sight from guards. You have to look at the bottom of the screen to see an eye symbol like in AC1 to see if guards can see you.

Overall, the stealth in this game is a league ahead of AC4, and it really shows in interiors and crowds. The low profile assassinations perfectly blend in.

Paris Stories
Gone are the traditional contracts. They are replaced with fully unique missions. Some of them require you to infiltrate a building and steal something. Some require you to assassinate. Others require you to do boring classic AC tasks like escorting someone and protecting them from waves of enemies. But the pros by FAR outweigh the cons. They are all very open and I have only done like a 3rd of them. There are TONS. Some are actually quid hilarious. My first one was to infiltrate Notre Dame and steal two chalices. It was extremely open and I went in the way I chose to.

Overall, they are both deeper in substance than contracts and larger in number. What a blast.

Murder Mysteries
I thought that the murder mysteries would be extremely easy puzzles a la classic AC. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually requires some thought and skill. I carefully analyzed the clues and was able to get through a few of them. They are nice little distractions from the chaos of the streets, but they can get a little boring.

Co-Op
Unity. UNITY.

Chaos. Insanity.

The Co Op in this game works EXACTLY how you would expect it to work when a bunch of regular games are playing. It doesn’t work.

I am sure that it can work like a charm when you are playing with friends and communicating , but without that, the missions never really work out. It is a bit depressing when you realize that the entire selling point of the game doesn’t really work out, but for me, it is Paris that steals the show. The heists and co op missions are still a blast when you do them solo; they are varied and excellent in structure, and there are times when you may want a bit of chaos and play with some strangers. Sometimes synch kills actually work. But if you are looking for true coordination a la e3, you will be disappointed.

Also..its not seamless. At all. It is fun to find missions in the street and the time it takes to find other players is swift. But there is a loading screen to join, it teleports you to the mission start, and teleports you away after the conclusion of the mission.

The world itself is seamless but not the co op, lol.

Mission Structure
I don’t really know what some of you are complaining about..the mission structure in this game is absolutely amazing. All the assassinations are just as epic as the games com notre dame one, and even all the side missions are varied and excellent. There are quite a few missions in which the cinematic AC1 trailer actually makes sense for the FIRST TIME. You actually slowly make your way through a crowds and take out a target stealthily and slowly walk away before the guards know what even happened. Missions take place in huge areas complete with all sorts of interiors and paths, such as dozens of locked doors and windows. The underground is expansive and you may often find yourself exploiting it to gain access to your target. The mission design really does a good job of throwing you from chaotic streets to ornate and beautiful interiors. Guard paths are varied and difficult to exploit but not impossible. Exploring the interiors feels just as open and amazing as it was in Dishonored…but minus all the loading screens.

Collectables
The collectable cockades don’t really add anything to the experience but it is actually more fun than other games because it guides you to previously unseen interiors.

The normal chests in this game are everywhere and it is nice to find them. The lock picking in the game is not necessarily “fun”, but it is quite satisfying.

Unfortunately, the yellow initiates chest and blue companion app chest are….freaking annoying. the companion app is boring trash and it sucks to have to even spend the time opening it up on my tablet in order to unlock it. Same goes for how it is required for legacy outfits.

I mean, I can LIVE with it. I’m not gonna boycott them or anything. But it is pretty lame.


Dynamic Events

Tackle a thief.
Protect citizens from extremists.
protect citizen from bullies.
Help revolutionaries in a fight.
Tail and kill an extremist without being seen.
Kill a criminal murderer.
Come across random fights between extremists v.s citizens, extremists vs guards, guards vs cilivilans, and guards vs extremists.


I literally cried guys.

They are finally here..and they are…AWESOME. They are fun, intriguing, chaotic, and AWESOME. They spawn often but not TOO often a la TOKW. But moreso than RDR. Basically, the dynamic crowd events are one of the best things about this game. Ubisoft has outdone themselves with this. It is even more thrilling to save a citizen than to take on a ship in the ocean in AC4. The environments are so varied and dense that you can treat each encounter like a small assassination mission, exploiting the crowds and interiors and weapons to take out the enemies.

Open World
The treasure hunts, Paris stories, side missions, dynamic encounters and more add up to create the most detailed open world I have ever seen in a game. It blows RDR out of the water. The NPC interactions are amazing. You may be walking down a street and see a guy walk up to another guy and say “I was looking for you ya bastard!” You may decide to stick around for a bit to investigate his seemingly hostile attitude and witness a murder (not all dynamic encounters are caused by extremists). Speaking of which, faction battles actually occur like the are supposed to, and it really does help in stealth situations. ACR and AC3 tried to do this, but could not. This is the real deal.

Paris is absolutely amazing and it the best city by FAR. I don’t think I will ever uncover all the secrets it holds. You are climbing a rooftop and come across a courtyard filled with tall makeshift wooden shacks that look like boxes stacked on each other. Walk into one of them and see a pile of dead bodies of guards with flies swarming around it. Suddenly a fight breaks out and you escape the area through an underground entrance.

^This happens ALL THE TIME. It is absolutely glorious. The city is beautiful and varied. The buildings are very tall.

Versailles is also gorgeous and fun to visit sometimes when you want a less chaotic little free roam.

Customization
FINALLY.

The customization in this game is absolutely amazing. The detail and variety in all the outfit pieces is amazing. The number of weapons is amazing. All of it is amazing. However, most of the outfits are quite over the top for my tastes. I prefer Arno’s tailored long roads or prowler armor.

The skills in this game are nice and I am not angry like most people that I have to relearn past givens. The phantom blade is useful, and so are the smoke bombs, stun bombs and firecracker bombs. However, some glitches make it so that sometimes guards do not go over to firecrackers.

Guns are back. You can even equip a rifle as a weapon. However, it was sorely disappointing to see that they are main weapons. You use them as clubs. Not only is this extremely awkward to use in combat, but you cannot equip a sword as well. I wish there was one with a bayonet so it would be at least a little more credible.

Freeaiming is weird in this game..you hold down LB or R1 to aim a reticle like AC3, then hold RT or R2 to aim the actual weapon itself. Then you let go of R2/RT to shoot. It is a bit awkward. I would prefer if they just made it so that holding LB aims the weapon and RT shoots, similarly to AC4. LB is also quick shot, with eagle vision taking the Y spot for the first time since ACB. Eagle vision is actually useful in this game for finding guards, since guards can never be marked on the map unless you crouch or mark them for eagle vision. And even then their markings on the map fade after several moments.

Overall, the customization is wonderful and I cannot wait to see what they do with it in future installments. Finally HUD customization can get rid of blending effects and enemy outlines. But weapon streaks remain at large..


Summary

AC Unity delivers on everything it said it would, except for Co Op. But in their defense, the chaos of inexperienced players is not their fault. The graphics are amazing other than poor draw distances. The combat is hard (but weapon streaks are ANNOYINGGG) the stealth is great, the open world is amazing, the music during combat is amazing. Ambient music does occur at small intervals for a few moments. The game goes back to its roots with stealthy gameplay, interesting puzzles in the form of parkour, murder mysteries and glyphs, and it is a pleasure to play.

This is the best AC game for me, putting the list from best to worst at:

ACU>AC4>AC2=AC3=AC1>ACB>ACR

But it does suffer from an abysmal historical and modern day story.

Pros

+Fantastic Combat
+Beautiful graphics
+Overhauled Social and Environmental Stealth
+Overhauled Customization
+Wonderful Mission Design
+The Most Amazing Open World I have ever seen in terms of locations, visuals, interiors, and activities
+Diverse and huge crowds and NPCs
+ Wonderful Music
+Endless Entertainment in the form of side quests and dynamic encounters
+Cafe Theatre is the best home since the Villa
+Parkour is a decent improvement
+Top notch animations, physics, and Voice acting (even if they are british)

Cons
-Terrible and Rushed storyline complete with forgettable characters excluding Elise
-Initiates/Companion App fiasco
-Microtransactions and like 4 types of currency is an absolute disaster
-Several Bugs, glitches, and technical issues
-Graphics suffer at dusk and during the night time. Luckily you can lock the day at daytime.
-Controls can feel a bit sluggish at times
-“Seamless" Co Op doesn’t work how MLG veterans at Ubisoft hope it would

Final Score:

9.25/10

Biggest Reason for Point Drops: Storyline


For Comparison:
AC4= 9.25/10
AC3=8.25/10
ACR=7/10
ACB=8/10
AC2=9/10
AC1=9/10
GTA5=8.75/10
SoM=8.75/10
Watch Dogs=8.75/10
Thief=5.5/10
Infamous Second Son=8.5/10
Goat Simulator=14/10
Simulator Simulator 2014=INFINITY/10

I am a fanboy but I tried to be as unbiased as possible. I truly believe the game is amazing and it doesn’t deserve all the crappy scores and hate...



I know it was very long, but I needed to get my point across.

fabionasimento
11-13-2014, 02:55 AM
Excellent review, my notre dame edition arrives friday, I want so much to play this game, thank you for the review.

LoyalACFan
11-13-2014, 03:01 AM
Yes, the framerate and crowd pop-in are problems. No question. And the terrible app/Initiates meta-crap stuff has got to go. But overall? The game is amazing. Not done with it yet, but so far it seems like a strong contender for Best AC Ever. The combat is CHALLENGING! The stealth WORKS! The parkour is FLUID! Huzzah!

Xlxmusic
11-13-2014, 03:05 AM
Great post I seem to agree with the majority! I feel that despite the glitches and the slow rendering at times, the game is very immersive.

How exactly can I customize my assassin?

I was given the option when I pressed Start one time and when I did he remained the same even after I added some gear. Just the weapon I purchased was added.

After that I couldn't seem to go back and customize unless the option shows up to the right of the start screen.

Journey93
11-13-2014, 03:17 AM
with so many important cons a 9.25 seems kind of silly don't you think?
definitely not unbiased
its a 7/10 at best

Wolfmeister1010
11-13-2014, 04:17 AM
with so many important cons a 9.25 seems kind of silly don't you think?
definitely not unbiased
its a 7/10 at best

>Claims review is biased
>Retorts by giving biased review


2 things wrong with what you just said sweetheart.

1. If by biased you mean REVIEW then GASP you're correct! That's what a review is! Someone's opinion! Not everyone must agree to YOUR standard.

2. The pros significantly outweigh the cons in my opinion. Most of the cons have to do with glitches and bugs, which I do not count towards my final score because Ubi always eventually fixes the issues. The micro transactions thing is annoying but has absolutely nothing to do with the game I am reviewing at all. It is a Ubisoft issue, not an Assassin's Creed issue. If I choose to ignore it I can.

No game is perfect, but by going over my pros and cons I think this game is slightly better than superb.

Wolfmeister1010
11-13-2014, 04:47 AM
I am tired of people shouting downgrade. I am going to post shot for shot comparisons showing e3 vs release. I will recreate each shot as accurately as I can.

NOTE: CURRENTLY GETTING PICS PLEASE BE PATIENT

E3
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Retail
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Retail
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E3
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Retail
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If Pics aren't showing:

E3
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Retail
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E3
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Retail
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E3
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E3
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Retail
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It is impossible to get it exactly the same lighting, so some shadows, number of NPCs, and some particle effects differ. In fact, the retail version has much richer and deeper colors. But From them you can see that the draw distance, textures, and everything else is exactly the same if not BETTER in the retail version. Notice how Notre Dame looks a lot better in retail

Also, the e3 pics are a bit compressed so take that into effect..but you can still see clearly how it looks

so can we PLEASE stop saying "downgrade"?

shobhit7777777
11-13-2014, 07:22 AM
Was waiting for a review like this. Cheers Wolf :)

Fatal-Feit
11-13-2014, 07:44 AM
Fantastic review!

I agree, Unity is indeed the best Assassin's Creed yet. Besides the story, it beats its predecessors in the most important aspects. If it's average, then the previous entries were much worse. :p

Also, http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/948059-I-m-convinced-all-of-these-Unity-reviews-were-made-by-incompetent-monkeys/page8