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View Full Version : Breaking Assassin's Creed Unity Apart [In-depth Analysis/Review. Spoilers Ahoy]



JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 01:18 AM
How forced transmedia and lackluster narrative ruined an otherwise compelling installment in the AC franchise
[My Official AC Unity Review] [Unity + Rogue spoilers]

A little background about me before I begin my review. I am a freshly turned 18 year old, the target demographic for Assassinís Creed. I am a relatively new fan to the Assassinís Creed franchise, having just joined the fandom late 2013. My first Assassinís Creed game was AC3, which was one of the more controversial installments. After beating AC3, I became invested and purchased all the other AC games and even the novel Forsaken. I played through all of the games early 2014 and became extremely attached to the narrative/lore of the franchise despite not being too impressed by the gameplay. (In fact, I am currently planning to buy 4 other AC novels)

So far, I have played Assassinís Creed Unity for many many hours. I beat the game and am at 63% completion. I had my doubts about the game when all the hype was going on, nevertheless I was looking forward to it. To my surprise, it turned out much worse than I expected. After playing the game thoroughly, Iíd thought Iíd type up my official review of the game to let Ubisoft know what I felt worked and what did not. This is mainly because though some problems were acknowledged in the survey I took, not all of them were addressed which leads me to believe Ubisoft does not recognize all the problems plenty people have with the recent installment. Hopefully this will make it clear.

***Disclaimer: I know this is technically mostly a matter of opinion but I try my best to explain why I find some things to be harmful to the franchise as a whole.

Letís start from the beginning.


The introduction:

The introduction to AC Unity got me very excited. Even though I dislike the idea of Ďbeing the protagonistí (Iíll go into depth on the subject later on), the information of sages and triple helixes intrigued me to no end. And the Jaques De Molay mission was not only a nice surprise, but super interesting/fun. And it was a GREAT way of introducing the mechanics to a player without it feeling like a boring tutorial. However this is where it starts to go down hill.

This part isnít replayable. At all.

And that is VERY unfortunate. This part of the game was (sadly) my favorite part. It was unexpected. It was informative. And most importantly, it added lore/background to the OVERARCHING NARRATIVE, something that gets neglected for the rest of the game.

But no. You canít play it unless you delete your save file or create another playstation profile. I believe this is due to the fact that our profiles are tied to online (another limitation I will expand on later on).

Thatís not the only problem either. In the beginning of the game, there is a screen that pops up showing a multitude of AC characters implied to be playable later on in the game. But are they playable? No. Infact, AC lead writer Darby McDevitt explicitly stated this was Ubisoftís way of ďtrolling the players.Ē

Well it isnít funny. At all. And donít blame the beta tester for leaking this screen and misleading people. The screen itself is misleading. And it gets the hopes up of longtime core fans, an audience AC has been arguably neglecting, and absolutely crushes them. Itís a complete middle finger to the fans and frankly I find it outright cruel.

Sounds harsh, but I want to make it clear it is misleading in an extremely negative manner and I donít want to see it happen again.


Next up is the narrative. And boy do I have a lot to say about this one. Iíll break it up to three parts. The narrative past, the narrative modern day, and the characters (specifically Arno, Elise, and Pierre)

Letís begin.

The first time we see Arno, we see a charismatic charming but sometimes serious man who loves Elise with a passion.

And by the end of the game itís the exact same damn thing.

He hardly has a character arc. He doesnít change aside from being more grump. Thatís not intriguing. And Iím not saying ďoh heís too much like Ezio yuck.Ē He is very one dimensional. What you see is what you get. Itís no fun to speculate on a character when you get a whole grasp of him/her just by one look or phrase. Haytham was enticing because he had LAYERS. He was witty, but also had undertones of emotional weakness and compassion. He comes off as a jerk but unbeknownst to Connor (and possibly himself) he genuinely wants to educate his son in order to create understanding between the two. Connor was great because even though he comes off as a reserved brute, he is naÔve, socially awkward, and only aggressive when provoked. And Connor shows signs of desire to be with those he explicitly stated he hated before (Haytham and Achilles). And by the end Haytham accepts his own death in order to protect his son, giving into his emotional weakness. In the end Connor realizes his efforts were for nothing and yet makes the (what I would argue) naÔve conscious decision to remain in pursuit of his perception of Ďtrueí freedom. These are character arcs. These are changes. This felt like character growth. What about Arno? Once he joins the brotherhood he essentially drops all his slacking behavior so you canít really say he changes in the end. The one change from slight slacker to serious assassin is almost instantaneous and itís the only real change we see. His passion for Elise never changes. His personality never changes (aside from that one scene where he lays drunk in despair for like five seconds in-game. Where in that case its hardly ever touched upon. And even then itís hardly a change. Itís more of a temporary phase if anything that could easily be overlooked and lose nothing in terms of story.)

Another thing is his revenge/redemption complex. If you can even call it a complex. Arno indirectly gets his adoptive father killed and feels super guilty. He tries to find his fatherís killer in order to make up for it. Boy, we sure have never seen anything like that before.

What? Assassinís Creed 2? Never heard of it.

He also has an assassin/templar love complex. But itís hardly ever touched upon for me to even bother to emphasize that it was already done in bloodlines.

First of all, enough with the daddy issues, Ubisoft. Or parents in general. You do this almost every game. You donít have to go around killing every protagonistís parents off. Or characters in general. This is a bit off track but Ubisoft has a tendacy to kill off characters for seemingly the sake of feels (or another outlandish reason) and it really makes the impact of each death weaker and weaker. Iím tired of ďoh hereís an interesting character your protagonist will bond with. Be mentally prepared for us to kill him/her off! I bet you wont expect it like the last 49558756 times!Ē Yes itís to show the consequences of being involved in assassin/templar conflict but there are more ways to communicate that and you know it.

Thatís my problem with his general character. Not so much that he feels the same as Ezio (and he very much does to a degree) but he doesnít bring anything new and hardly changes. It makes playing as him boring. A simplistic character with no change is not suitable as an AC protagonist.


And then thereís Elise.

Elise is more of a mixed bag for Unity players. I stand by my theory that most people who like her only like her for her character design. And her character design is amazing, but she is just as bad as Arno IMO. Sheís not as easy to read as Arno, but she shares the same motivation problem. First of all, sheís a one track mind. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing, some consider it a redeeming quality, but itís all about revenge again. Revenge is something that has been over done in the industry in general, and in order for it to work it has to be presented/performed in an EXTREMELY compelling way and that frankly did not happen. Also, we never see her relationship with Arno develop. The first time we see her as an adult, sheís already with Arno. Arno already has his reasons for liking her but we as an audience do not. What makes her so likable? What makes Arno so likable? We donít know. Oh and for those reading, donít bring sexism into this. Elise and Arno were both arguably poorly developed characters. And Elise isnít supposed to be representative of all women. So donít get super grump when her character fails. Essentially all characters in Unity failed. Thatís the problem. Theyíre underdeveloped, one dimensional, and offer nothing new in my honest opinion. And yes, Elise may be well-developed in the novel but I am basing this on game alone. Haytham was able to stand as a character game-alone. His novel only complimented him. This time, all the development of Elise seems to have been exclusive to the novel.



Finally thereís Pierre. Pierre was so cartoonish. His presence basically screamed ďHELLO I WILL BE THE INTENTIONALLY UNLIKABLE CHARACTER WHO SPOUTS EXPOSITION, IS SUPER SKETCHY AND OFTEN GETS IN YOUR WAY DESPITE TECHNICALLY BEING ON YOUR SIDE!Ē Everything he said and did was so predictable. And then of course heís the traitor big surprise (not really) and he diesÖ.halfway in the gameÖÖwhat? Why? Why was he even there? He added NOTHING to the game whatsoever. I donít even understand why he got a costume. Heís not interesting. His backstory isnít really delved into. I donít know who this guy is why do I care? Itís like the only reason he was included or got a legacy outfit was because Ubisoft needed more than 2 characters to sustain the story. Too bad three hardly made a difference. If youíre going to have a legacy outfit of the dude, at least have him relevant for a good chunk of the game. He and Elise are both only focused on for like two sequences each. Thatís it. No wonder these characters are hardly developed.

Ok enough of the characters letís get to the actual story. At least how I interpreted it. Arnoís father is killed. Eliseís father takes him in. Years later Elise and Arno fall in love. Arno indirectly gets his adoptive father killed. Arno feels bad and seeks out fatherís killer. Arno joins brotherhood and kills targets off one by one in an effort to find his adoptive fatherís killer. Meanwhile the templars are fighting amongst themselves but itís not really emphasized. Same goes for Arnoís and Eliseís Ďlove complexí. Arno gets kicked out of brotherhood for being Ďtoo recklessí in finding the killer. He and Elise find the killer and Elise gets killed trying to kill him. We get brief unsatisfying conclusion. Arno leaves upset. The end.

Notice how I didnít mention Pierre once?

Anyway, whatís so intriguing about this story? Someone tell me. Seriously. Because I genuinely was not invested at all. The thing I was interested in most was the templars who were fighting amongst themselves but more often than not all weíd get is a brief cutscene of a newly introduced templar in a situation then immediately kill them off. The templars in AC3 were well developed. We knew who they all were from the beginning, their general motivations, and we saw their roles play out throughout AC3. In Unity theyíre dropped in then dropped out. Not to say this doesnít happen in previous AC games, but I do have a problem with it.

I donít need to explain the rest really. Revenge/redemption is overdone and it was not executed well enough for it to feel fresh. And the love complex was not nearly as emphasized as much as it was in the promotional advertisements.

Also where the heck was Shay? I beat Rogue first, so I was SUPER excited to have a face off with him as Arno in Unity. That never happened. The one potential plot point I was genuinely intrigued by and itís completely ignored. Talk about a missed opportunity.

AND DONíT GET ME STARTED ON THE MODERN DAY

It does not exist.

Itís gone.

Itís dead.

I thought ACIVís modern day was bad but at least it EXISTED.

The only GLIMPSE we get of modern day is a voice over of two assassins telling ďYOU THE INITIATEĒ to play the game in order to find the body of a sage but BIG SURPRISE the entire journey was pointless because the body was tossed into the catacombs.

This same problem happens in AC IV. And I know Darby hates when people say this but itís true. NOTHING HAPPENED. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED. The overarching narrative is CRYING right now because of how neglected it is. If the overarching narrative was a child, it would be stripped away from Ubisoft for child neglect. Itís insulting how little progress the franchise is making right now. Darby explained in a stream that the franchise is becoming more episodic now. So each game acts as a full stand alone. This is a TERRIBLE idea and is absolutely HARMFUL to the franchise. This means a status quo would have to be established in order to maintain consistency. There would be no significant change or progression. Darby said this decision was made so that more games could be worked on at a time. THIS IS THE TRUE HARM OF YEARLY RELEASES. Yearly releases is what brings harm to the overarching narrative. Stop it. Either have the decency to keep track of things and expand on the world you established or donít make the games at all. Itís that simple.

Thatís one harm to the overarching narrative. The episodic structure due to yearly releases. The other one is having the player as a protagonist. Let me get this out of the way. Donít call the players an initiate. Itís the biggest insult ever. Initiates is nothing but a parasite for the franchise (more on that later). Moving on, having the player as the protagonist (i.e. some person playing a console in a house) limits what the player has exposure to. We can only HEAR about the drama. Oh no Juno taking over the world? Too bad you cant see/hear it so you donít know the stakes. The assassins and templars are fighting in a building next door? Boy, I wish I was there to participate. Nope. Back to the helix for you. How about you hack an email and read about all the exciting stuff youíre missing instead? Sure sounds FUN! Iím being sarcastic if you canít tell. The biggest stake is Juno ďhacksĒ the animus. Sure it offers stuff in terms of gameplay but whereís the danger? Whatís the motivation? I donít care about helping the Assassins uncover random data for some random sage. They can get someone else to do that. Make it sound more urgent, please? And let us be involved in the modern day action not just sit on out butts and hear about all the cool stuff we cant partake in.

This is my problem with the modern day. And if Ubisoft doesnít intend on fixing it, then drop it. Just, drop it. Donít even bother mentioning Assassin/Templar conflicts in the modern day if youíre going to continuously tease with no pay off whatsoever.

Well those are all the problems I have narrative-wise. Time for the mechanics. Let me blow through the positives real quick.

Neat customization. (though the ability to get powerful armors from the start makes earning weaker armors through missions completely pointless. Same goes for weapons). Blackboxes are great. Ability to approach an assassination my own way is awesome. Though what isn't fun is being forced to only use my hidden blade. That goes against the intention of the blackbox which is freedom to kill the way you please. The skill tree, though a bit small, adds incentive to keep players playing. Same goes for the ranking. (but some skills seemed illogical. Why do I need a skill to sit next to people? And donít get me started on how stupid and immersion breaking it is for Arno to LITERALLY transform into another NPC when blending). The combat (though some disagree) is surprisingly fun. Itís actually challenging. No staying immortal because the counter button is much harder to time. I like that. Though the combat still feels a bit too shallow. Not sure how to improve it. Iíd suggest adding more melee options. Navigating Paris is SUPER fun. Jumping roof to roof is thrilling. The seamlessness of the buildings kind of lost its charm fast however. I donít know why it was even a selling point. Thereís not much to do inside buildings anyway. You canít really interact deeply with furniture or the house members. Maybe we could see more depth to that in a future installment? The murder mysteries were also pretty fun. Only change Iíd suggest there is make the NPCs seem less robotic. And make the hints less obvious in the written descriptions. If I see ďTHIS MAN SEEMS SKETCHYĒ, it kind of ruins the ability to draw conclusions on your own. Paris stories were good too. Gameplay-wise at least. Just wish they had cutscenes to develop Arnoís character like Connorís homestead and naval missions. Lastly, the co-op (though extremely limited) is generally fun. Itís a good start but needs a lot more to offer. Like the ability to actually interact with the other players physically. Friendly fire should be a thing. And I want to be able to push friends off buildings, damn it! Oh and more stuff to do outside missions please. Special cutscene kills are awesome. Like when you hide in that confession and stab your target. Very cool. Keep it in.

Thatís it for the positives. Now for the negatives.

Microtransactions. Donít need to elaborate too much. Theyíre anti-consumer and no company should include them. End of story.

The sound track is terrible. Rogueís was too but that was because it was completely recycled. The problem with Unityís isÖ.wellÖ first of all its not that great to listen to. Thatís pretty important. Itís nothing Iíd put on my ipod unlike Revelations, AC3, Liberation, ToKW, and Freedom Cry. And though I wasnít too fond of ACIVís main theme it at least well reflected the pirate-y theme of the game. What the heck was Unityís? I didnít hear any accordions or anything that represented Paris. It wasnít rhythmically pleasing in anyway. It wasnít bombastic to reflect the urgency of Paris. When I heard the main theme, all I was reminded of was the modern day. But that has so little presence in Unity the theme doesnít fit. So it doesnít sound good and doesnít fit. (Yes this is technically heavily based on personal taste but I have a LOT of people who agree with me. I could easily get a list of 50+ names if the need be.)

The stealth is unreliable. The cover button only works when it wants to and navigating cover to cover is almost impossible at times. Thatís all I really have to say about that but it did ruin a good chunk of my gameplay experience.

The load times are insane. Had to wait six minutes once for a mission and it wasn't even online.

Club competition holding legendary outfits hostage is absurd. I should not have to rely on other people to unlock MY in-game content. Luckily, Ubisoft heard peoples cries and made SOME of the outfits available now. So at least the mistake was acknowledged.

Everyone already knows about the glitches. Animatronic Arno is a meme now for peteís sake. Iíve had my fair share of frustrating glitches. The most notable ones being in co-op. For example, Iíd have to disable a cannon but the prompt to disable it would not show up. Then people would either awkwardly sit there for like twenty minutes or leave the game. It happens frequently too. Another example is waiting for the rip painting prompt in a heist to show up. Just the prompt buttons in general donít show up in co-op a lot. Needs fixing.

The time anomalies offer nothing in terms of gameplay. Theyíre extremely linear and just a pointless spectacle that adds nothing to the game. Donít include it unless thereís a good meaning behind it other than ďwoah cool Eiffel tower!Ē And I get itís supposed to be a glitch. Iím in favor of creative ideas like that. But let there be a purpose to it other than wow factor. Thatís all I ask.

Too many pointless collectibles. Less chests please. Cockades shouldnít even have been a thing. They were pointless. Same with artifacts.

I can't even begin to comprehend the riddle sidequests. They require really knowing locations well, what they have, and where they are. And sometimes it requires reading boring database entries. And so far I have yet to figure out a single riddle. And it's the one time I have to really google a walkthrough on this game and I feel bad. I end up just running around using eagle vision in hopes i spot something. This isn't exacty a negative point for Ubi. Because people interpret riddles differently. I'm not saying to get rid of it, but I know I wasnt the only one having trouble just understanding. And yeah thats the point of riddles but maybe have some alternative solutions for those who cant figure it out? Like ability to get hints? (ex. general location hi lighted on map or something) Or maybe there is something like that and I havent dug hard enough. Like I said I havent spent too much time on these things and I know it's not because of my english comprehension. Not technically a negative, but I'm listing it as one anyway in hopes there can be more alternatives so players who are stupid like me don't have to resort to a walkthrough. These things should be fun, after all.But if you guys decide to keep it, I understand. Don't have to cater to every customer.

There's like 3-4 different kinds of points systems if you count helix credits. It's confusing. Please restrict it to one because it's annoying to keep track of what is for what.

British accents don't bother me because I have trouble distinguishing accents. That being said, I can understand if it bothers others. So I think it would be in Ubi's best interest to bring proper accents back, regardless of the explanation given in-game. I won't list this as a negative, however, because it did not impede in my gaming experience.

Companion app, much like initiates (which I will expand on next), just holds in-game content hostage (most notably the Altair Legacy outfit). Also it excludes those like me who donít own touch devices. (I had to borrow one like an idiot). Not to mention itís not even fun. Iíve been following the AC Identity team because I feel they have potential for making a really good iOS AC game. But the one for Unity is a complete joke. So not only is it excluding people from accessing content, but those who CAN play it arenít even having fun. Itís just tedious. And the time it takes to complete it is ABSURD.

Sometimes the free-running can get frustrating. Took me forever to figure out how to back eject, and itís completely contextual. But this is to be expected in just about every AC game. (but still worth mentioning because just because itís frequent doesnít mean it shouldnít be improved upon).

I enjoy the concept of seeing a target's life through flashbacks after assassinating them but it's just so fast and blurry I have trouble processing it all. I would much prefer a slow montage of the character's life as a whole and how it led to their actions rather than a quick recap of their specific actions in some conspiracy.

The online is frequently unstable. I know itís not just me because plenty of my friends share the same problems with specifically Unity. This is especially bad for content only accessible online (even when the content has no reason to be).

The black colored altair reskin legacy outfit is a joke. You guys couldnít have created an original design? And why a legacy outfit of that character of all people? We see him for like literally 5 seconds. Would have preferred a legacy outfit for Adewale.

Why are rifts even a thing? Does anyone actually even find them fun? The concept of collecting data sounds boring in itself.

Sometimes symbols on the map will be nowhere near where they are in-game. This problem is most frequent with underground tunnels. Very annoying.

The reign of terror was emphasized so much in marketing but is nowhere to be found in the main campaign. I genuinely forgot the game was a French revolution game several times when playing. And yeah itís mainly reserved for co-op but since thereís hardly any story there it seems like a missed opportunity.

Lastly, the worst of the worst.

Get ready.

Here it comes.

Get your puke buckets ready.

Cue the drumrolls!

Initiates.

Initiates is the most damaging thing to the franchise ever. It was before and it is even more so now.

Let me explain my initial distaste for initiates.

It locked information behind its database, leaving those who exclusively play the games oblivious to content necessary to understand some aspects of the games.(for example Daniel Cross). It ruins theories for those uninformed too. Oh, Connor couldnít have done blah blah blah because according to initiates he was blah blah blah. And this is made worse due to the fact how disjointed initiates was. It was a bunch of random scattered deliberately ambiguous information that often were just teases that lead absolutely nowhere. Most people didnít even know the information unless they looked it up on the AC Wiki. And if people have to go to ANOTHER WEBSITE in order to understand YOUR SITE then there is obviously a problem. At least novels are linear and easy to read.

Now initiates has completely changed. Though I wouldnít say for better or worse. More like instead of being punched in the face repeatedly itís like being kicked in the stomach repeatedly.

Instead of hiding information, it now holds in-game content hostage.

Oh.

OH.

Okay, initiates. I was ok with you doing your own thing elsewhere. I voiced my distaste for you, but you were respectful enough to keep your distance.

But now. Oh ho ho now you come in guns blazing. Only instead of accomplishing anything you crash into the nearest tree and burst into flames.

Not only did initiates hold content hostage, but it absolutely did NOT FUNCTION AT ALL for me for THREE WEEKS. This means I was unable to even ATTEMPT to access content that should have originally been in-game without nearly waiting a month before doing so.

And then after it finally shows its face it doesnít recognize my purchased games.

Then after I have to do repetitive tasks just to get legacy outfits.

But why?

Is this your idea of fun, Ubisoft? Browsing webpages and completing repetitive tasks?

And why are these tasks even on a website in the first place? The data can easily be tracked by the game itself.

Someone made the best analogy about initiates once. ďInitiates is like that constantly changing project your dad works on in the back of his house but never actually gets around to finishing.Ē (or something along those lines)

It's an incomplete mess that doesn't know what it wants to be.

All it does it take away things that could have could have been included in-game or more accessable/easier-to-understand forms of media.

Itís incomplete. Itís inconsistent. Itís restricting. Itís unnecessary. Itís harmful.

Itís not fun.

And I genuinely get pissed off whenever Unity calls me an initiate because I hate being associated with such a mess of a site.

And I honestly think the site should just be shut down. But Ubisoft seems to have trapped themselves into a corner by tying it so much to Unity and Rogue. So I suggest just keep it as it is and never bring it up again.

Not gonna happen, but a girl can dream.

run down:

++great introduction
++customization
++combat
++navigating paris
++skill tree
++co-op as a concept
++murder mysteries
++paris stories gameplay
++blackbox missions
++special cutscene kills

--microtransactions
--assassination flashbacks
--the middle finger playable characters easter egg
--being the protagonist is limiting
--narrative past
--narrative modern day
--like ACIV, adds nothing to overarching narrative
--soundtrack
--insane load times
--Arno
--Elise
--Pierre
--Lack of Shay
--sticky stealth
--club competition
--co-op glitches
--initiates failures
--being called an initiate
--requirement of hidden blade for assassination
--needless time anomalies as spectacles
--inability to replay certain moments or have a second save file
--companion app
--excessive collectibles
--climbing frustrations
--lifeless side missions
--inaccurate map
--too many currencies/point systems
--lack of riddle alternative
--co-op limitations overworld/interactions
--skill ability contradictions
--legendary item restrictions
--unstable online locking content

But most of all, AC Unity completely disregards the most important aspect of a video game.

Fun.

Too much of the game felt like busy work.

Stopping your game to take out your ipad isnít fun.

Having to wait two weeks for your game to get patched isnít fun.

Being unable to access most content due to lack of online isnít fun.

Being reminded 24/7 about online content isnít fun.

Having to wait for other people to complete an objective to unlock something for you isnít fun.

Having to sit through a stale unremarkable unoriginal narrative isnít fun.

Finding out your whole adventure accomplished nothing isnít fun.

Spending hours running around collecting 390840539850 collectables isnít fun.

Having to do pointless repetitive accomplishments on a website to unlock something that should have been included in-game in the first place isnít fun.

Remember that.

Now those are my thoughts. And this is what I think the next game needs to have, based on what weíve learned:
>a fresh compelling narrative
>a multitude of well-developed complex characters
>no holding content hostage behind transmedia such as initiates or companion apps
>no holding content hostage behind online like club competition
>get rid of club competition. How about instead a versus mode between players? Your co op team vs theirs in a death match? Thatís what I thought CC was initially. Disappointed.
>an actual modern day that adds to the overarching narrative and isnít pointless in the end
>drop the episodic structure
>additional lore (there was some but could have been more)
>an expanded skill tree
>more options for co-op
>one conscience point system
>alternatives to riddles
>more time for beta testing so not a glitch fest
>retouch the free-running mechanics a bit
>add some more substance to combat
>tone down the collectibles (they barely have context or offer anything aside from 100%)
>ability to replay ALL of the game. And have multiple save files
>donít include pointless spectacles. Only include them if they enhance gameplay or narrative
>have a soundtrack that better reflects the game
>rid of ďyou the playerĒ
>take opportunities when you see them (like the situation with Shay)
>fix the stealth cover system
>do not ever ever ever ever ever ever ever involve initiates in the game. It is nothing but destructive

Well, that's my review. Let me know what you think. Whether you agree or disagree, etc.

I know there are mixed opinions about certain aspects but these are my genuine thoughts about the game after spending a good chunk of my time with it.

As for an overall score, I'd give the game a seven. The story was horrible and transmedia was just a big kick in the face but there is still a lot of development that went into this game and some shining aspects that were genuinely fun. It's just not a good installment as a whole. It feels more like an experiment for a future title, if anything.

That's all I have to say. Enjoy.

P.S. It has been a while since I have completed the main campaign so I may need to fact check some previous statements later.

EDIT:

I think I should clarify I only played ACIV once and it was a while back and not fresh in my mind so how I remember Edward and ACIV as a whole may be different than how my thoughts would be were I to replay the game again.

For the sake of keeping this review fair, I've removed the Edward mentions and I've made plans to replay it ASAP to make the necessary revisions, if any.

Shahkulu101
12-14-2014, 01:33 AM
Jesus, that was a long read! Agree with pretty much everything, apart from the bit about Edward Kenway - but that's irrelevant so I won't elaborate.

Although I'd give it a higher score of around 8, because once I got used to the stealth it functioned pretty well for me. I was also incredibly pleased by the design of the assassination missions and the liberating freedom of approach to pretty much everything in the game. The graphics were quite frankly incredible and because I'm shallow I'd rate it higher for that reason too.

But yes, the series MUST get rid of Initates/Companion App stuff and start creating interesting characters and stories that connect to an overarching narrative. The story in Unity was such a drag.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 01:35 AM
http://i.imgur.com/4T3ID6v.gif

Some disagreements here and there, but I COMPLETELY agree. ^^

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 01:42 AM
Fixed some typos and added my appreciation for blackbox mechanic and indifference to rift missions.

May update further.

rprkjj
12-14-2014, 01:47 AM
Pretty much agree with everything, but I thought the anomalies were great and the narrative was alright.

Altair1789
12-14-2014, 02:19 AM
I disliked customization and skills, but mainly because I feel a modern day can't exist with those. Customization I disliked more because it doesn't really feel like we're actually playing as the person, which was fine this game because I hated Arno, but if a game like AC3 had such deep customization I'd dislike it. Other than that, I agree 100% with this thread and I wish everything in this thread was taken into DEEP consideration by Ubisoft Quebec. I have faith in Quebec to not produce a train wreck.

I think bringing Desmond back, or at least putting him in animus island would save this series. I don't want to keep playing as silent protagonists

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 02:33 AM
Other than that, I agree 100% with this thread and I wish everything in this thread was taken into DEEP consideration by Ubisoft Quebec.

Just tweeted it to the offical Ubisoft Quebec twitter as well as the official Ubisoft twitter and Assassin's Creed twitter.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 02:37 AM
Patience Gibbs = Arno

Aveline > Elise


There. :rolleyes:


Note: ANYTIME I have ":rolleyes:" I'm 50% serious. :rolleyes:

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-14-2014, 02:49 AM
besides everything you said about ac4 i agree

VoXngola
12-14-2014, 02:57 AM
I couldn't have phrased this any better, Mayrice. I agree with pretty much everything, except for some things here and there like Edward Kenway, but overall you reflected my exact thoughts about Unity and the franchise as a whole in this one post.

Every single fu**ing person who works for AC should read this, no, they HAVE to read this.

D.I.D.
12-14-2014, 03:02 AM
I think you're totally right that the story could do with more work.

I think you're totally wrong to say that just because Ubi's stories are poor, that the answer must the modern day: the single worst, hammiest, dead weight element in the whole series.

That side of the story barely had the potential to run a trilogy, let alone an ongoing series. Assassin's Creed has proved that people really like this style of historical game, but if a genie froze time and gave the custodians the chance to restart the series again, they'd be crazy to reinsert Desmond, ancient wizards, and all of that bollocks. The game never needed it, and it's poorer for ever having it. The wider audience out there, commenting on games sites, who has to be persuaded each time to buy the latest game, who doesn't buy every single game: that's the bulk of the audience, and I've never once heard that kind of customer say they stopped playing because of the modern day disappearing - only "real fans" do that. I have seen, many times, people expressing frustration with the modern day stuff - not the quality, but the existence of it. Lots of people hate being hauled out of the game for some half-arsed sci-fi.

TL: DR - The solution to the problem of a weak historical story is not to re-add weak modern day story, or even a good one if that's even possible. The answer is to make the ancestor's story as strong as it can possibly be. Because of the new graphical standards and storage limits, we're seeing per scene data demands going up, alongside total data size on the disc, and story is limited. Every bit of the story you decide to tell has to be used wisely and has to work perfectly, and it can't be split.

TO_M
12-14-2014, 03:06 AM
There are a lot of points from your review that I agree with

Initiates, companion apps, club competition, microtransactions are garbage and I hope this is the last time we see them, although I doubt that.

While I don't fully agree with you on the main historic story, I do think that they could/should have done a lot better. The templars for example aren't interesting at all, especially the ones that show up later in the story (Peletier, and that templar lady). You mention AC:3 as an example good templars, and while I agree that they are better developed than Unity's I wouldn't argue that they're the best/only example of "interesting templars, the templars from AC:1 were also very interesting imo (even without playing/interacting with them for 3/4 sequences :p) they were all connected to each other through some way and not just thrown in their for the sake of being another target.

Modern day story (if you can even call it that) is atrocious, it's horrible, it's a freaking disaster. I could go on for a while but the way Ubisoft handled the modern day in Unity just makes me both angry/sad. Angry because I cannot believe that Ubi would think that anyone would be interested in the quality and quantity of the modern day story that was given. And sad because it is most likely that this is how the future MD will be. People complained about Black Flag's MD being lackluster, I guess they didn't expect Ubi to dial it up a notch and make it completely unplayable :P. I played Rogue after Unity and while I didn't have a problem with Black Flag's MD, Rogue's MD (which is a rip-off of BF's MD seemed like a 2000% improvement when compared to Unity's.

I agree with you that being told information about what has happened in the modern day AC is terrible when compared to actuallly playing in it (AC1-3) or finding out about yourself (AC;4, rogue). Like Al-Mualim says in AC1 : Information learned is much more valuable than information given, sadly that is a lesson that Ubi seems to have forgotten.

I don't really see the appeal of co-op, I preferred the old multiplayer but that's a matter of opinion. Co-op doesn't have much replay value either.

I won't go into reviewing gameplay aspects since I still think that Ubi should open a gameplay feedback thread like they had for black flag.

One final thing, I disagree with you about the thomas de carneillon outfit, while it wasn't the most spectacular outfit, in terms of both looks and uniqueness, I wouldn't call it a legacy outfit and it's definitely better than Adewale's outfit (imo)

Altair1789
12-14-2014, 03:18 AM
I think you're totally right that the story could do with more work.

I think you're totally wrong to say that just because Ubi's stories are poor, that the answer must the modern day: the single worst, hammiest, dead weight element in the whole series.

That side of the story barely had the potential to run a trilogy, let alone an ongoing series. Assassin's Creed has proved that people really like this style of historical game, but if a genie froze time and gave the custodians the chance to restart the series again, they'd be crazy to reinsert Desmond, ancient wizards, and all of that bollocks. The game never needed it, and it's poorer for ever having it. The wider audience out there, commenting on games sites, who has to be persuaded each time to buy the latest game, who doesn't buy every single game: that's the bulk of the audience, and I've never once heard that kind of customer say they stopped playing because of the modern day disappearing - only "real fans" do that. I have seen, many times, people expressing frustration with the modern day stuff - not the quality, but the existence of it. Lots of people hate being hauled out of the game for some half-arsed sci-fi.

TL: DR - The solution to the problem of a weak historical story is not to re-add weak modern day story, or even a good one if that's even possible. The answer is to make the ancestor's story as strong as it can possibly be. Because of the new graphical standards and storage limits, we're seeing per scene data demands going up, alongside total data size on the disc, and story is limited. Every bit of the story you decide to tell has to be used wisely and has to work perfectly, and it can't be split.

A modern day was how they furthered the overarching story though, how they connected everything directly. It might not have been very fun, I admit, but it added a lot to the story and was what made it possible

Extra note: I think I would have liked customization better if they put the outfit of the guy with the gun (on the cover) in the game, unmodified. I think the prowler outfit is the modified version of his gear

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 03:24 AM
I think I should clarify I only played ACIV once and it was a while back and not fresh in my mind so how I remember Edward and the game as a whole may be different than how my thoughts would be were I to replay the game again.

For the sake of keeping this review fair, I'll make plans to replay it ASAP to make the necessary revisions, if any.

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-14-2014, 03:49 AM
I think I should clarify I only played ACIV once and it was a while back and not fresh in my mind so how I remember Edward and the game as a whole may be different than how my thoughts would be were I to replay the game again.

For the sake of keeping this review fair, I'll make plans to replay it ASAP to make the necessary revisions, if any.

don't rush it either

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 03:57 AM
ACL = ACU :rolleyes:

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 04:13 AM
I re-read my analysis a good 8-12 times to make sure what I said was clear and I got all points across.

I also contacted Darby to take a look. I hope I did not misinterpret any of his statements or offend him.

I'm just expressing my concerns as a fan.

I also sincerely hope Ubisoft takes my word into consideration rather than dismissing it. I put a lot of thought into this. Hours. This was ten pages on a word doc. And that's because I love the franchise. Clearly it's going the wrong direction given the reception and I hope this thread guides it on the right path.

Also I hope I don't come off as a pretentious entitled a-hole who is just being rude. I like to think I made a fairly compelling argument, at least to a degree.

And the main thing with this thread is....Unlike EA, Ubisoft is a generally respectable company that makes an active effort to improve itself. So I want to help out best I can for a company actually trying to make an effort despite making some arguably questionable business decisions here and there.

Lastly sorry for any grammatical errors or typos. English is not my first language.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 04:20 AM
Also I hope I don't come off as a pretentious entitled a-hole who is just being rude. I like to think I made a fairly compelling argument, at least to a degree.

Nah, we've seen worse. :rolleyes:

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-14-2014, 05:49 AM
I re-read my analysis a good 8-12 times to make sure what I said was clear and I got all points across.

I also contacted Darby to take a look. I hope I did not misinterpret any of his statements or offend him.

I'm just expressing my concerns as a fan.

I also sincerely hope Ubisoft takes my word into consideration rather than dismissing it. I put a lot of thought into this. Hours. This was ten pages on a word doc. And that's because I love the franchise. Clearly it's going the wrong direction given the reception and I hope this thread guides it on the right path.

Also I hope I don't come off as a pretentious entitled a-hole who is just being rude. I like to think I made a fairly compelling argument, at least to a degree.

And the main thing with this thread is....Unlike EA, Ubisoft is a generally respectable company that makes an active effort to improve itself. So I want to help out best I can for a company actually trying to make an effort despite making some arguably questionable business decisions here and there.

Lastly sorry for any grammatical errors or typos. English is not my first language.

whats your first language :confused:

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 05:51 AM
whats your first language :confused:

Spanish.

Hence my re-use of words/phrases over and over. I have a very limited vocabulary.

I need to read more books.

#TheStruggleIsReal

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 05:57 AM
Spanish.

Hence my re-use of words/phrases over and over. I have a very limited vocabulary.

I need to read more books.

#TheStruggleIsReal

Mine's French. ^^

Comment Ítes-vous , Mayrice?

Je ai beaucoup aimť votre message. :cool:

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-14-2014, 05:57 AM
Spanish.

Hence my re-use of words/phrases over and over. I have a very limited vocabulary.

I need to read more books.

#TheStruggleIsReal
http://i.imgur.com/lQsgVcX.png

Altair1789
12-14-2014, 06:53 AM
Completely unrelated to everything that isn't the last few posts, but I actually dislike speaking english. I've actually been speaking it more than arabic since I was 4, but I stutter every now and then and really don't feel comfortable with english compared to arabic. Typing it is much better but sometimes I make some strange run on sentences and mistakes

RA503
12-14-2014, 07:37 AM
I only disagree whem you said that the modern day have to be dropped because it weak, that will ruined the series, the modern day aways have to exist ,aways,they have the obligation to improve it not remove,and another thing :

integrade the multiplayer to the single was brilliant,now I level up both and they have goal and plot, the online of past games is a crap that people only plays because of the achievements/trophy,the coop missions talk more about french revolution tham the main game.

wvstolzing
12-14-2014, 07:37 AM
Comment Ítes-vous , Mayrice?

On se vouvoie?


Je ai beaucoup aimť votre message. :cool:

ĽJe aię -- Vive la France! Pratiquez votre ortographe!

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-14-2014, 07:57 AM
alright guys my natural language is aussie (tried to learn indonesian once ohhh boy that turned out bad)

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 07:59 AM
ĽJe aię -- Vive la France! Pratiquez votre ortographe!


Oui ! Merci mon ami. Je ne tapant que je ai appris dans mes cours de franÁais. Je ne suis pas franÁais . ;) :cool:

johnsmith145
12-14-2014, 11:50 AM
You just worded most, if not all, of my opinions on this game.

pacmanate
12-14-2014, 12:39 PM
Edwards my favourite protagonist, he definitely had the best VA too and a likable personality, at least for me.

But on the subject on your post, well done. I agree with mostly everything (Except for that 6 minute load time, try and rebuild your database).

The story was so damn weak and I really didn't like that flash back sequences instead of the white room ones. For a start, it just makes no sense and secondly it made understanding the plot confusing. All the information you needed was scattered around the whole game. I found myself not knowing who the F some characters were cause in between missions I would free roam for about 4 hours, get back to the story and forget everything.

killzab
12-14-2014, 04:18 PM
Mine's French. ^^

Comment Ítes-vous , Mayrice?

Je ai beaucoup aimť votre message. :cool:

Ewww, I'm French and your french made me cringe lol







And the main thing with this thread is....Unlike EA, Ubisoft is a generally respectable company that makes an active effort to improve itself. So I want to help out best I can for a company actually trying to make an effort despite making some arguably questionable business decisions here and there.


.


Hmm I'm not too sure about that. I'm pretty sure Ubisoft's a real contender for worst company in 2014, taking EA's spot.

I'm sure a lot of workers at Ubi are great and well intentioned, but the higher-ups ? I don't know ...

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 06:59 PM
Got Darby's intake.

Basically in order for my points to be taken into consideration, it needs a lot of agreement in other reviews like Metacritic.

Luckily the narrative + overarching narrative has been slandered enough for there to be some impact.

Hopefully there was enough regarding the transmedia.

Not sure about the other points though.

VoXngola
12-14-2014, 07:19 PM
Got Darby's intake.

Basically in order for my points to be taken into consideration, it needs a lot of agreement in other reviews like Metacritic.

Luckily the narrative + overarching narrative has been slandered enough for there to be some impact.

Hopefully there was enough regarding the transmedia.

Not sure about the other points though.

Bullsh*t, but I understand. Regarding story, characters and transmedia I think we are good. The other things..we can only hope. Though I wouldn't expect much. :( Anyway, thanks Mayrice.

killzab
12-14-2014, 07:21 PM
Got Darby's intake.

Basically in order for my points to be taken into consideration, it needs a lot of agreement in other reviews like Metacritic.

Luckily the narrative + overarching narrative has been slandered enough for there to be some impact.

Hopefully there was enough regarding the transmedia.

Not sure about the other points though.


So they only care about metacritic and don't give a **** about fans' opinions ?

Damn, AC is a really hard franchise to be loyal to ....

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 07:32 PM
So they only care about metacritic and don't give a **** about fans' opinions ?

Damn, AC is a really hard franchise to be loyal to ....

Here's the exact quotes (read bottom to top)

http://i.imgur.com/Bftjfjx.png

The best suggestion I could make is have a survey regarding these points and have a significant number of forum members take it then send it to Ubi.

Then there would be proof of unified agreement.

Edit:

He just messaged me saying he meant Ubisoft looks at REVIEWS specifically.

So it looks like Ubisoft is mainly just looking for common complaints by qualified reviewers I guess?

pacmanate
12-14-2014, 07:35 PM
Oh good, so instead of looking at fan opinions they base it on one persons opinion through a review...

VoXngola
12-14-2014, 07:39 PM
Ubisoft doesn't want to change their ways I see.

I'll continue to vote with my wallet then, the same way I did this year with Unity and Rogue (thankfully).

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 07:39 PM
He revised his statement. (read bottom to top)

http://i.imgur.com/Vz9ObyJ.png

He also states the following:


The assumption that reviewers are not fans of AC is weird. Most of our reviewers are HUGE fans. So yes, we listen to fans.

Not sure how I feel about this statement, really.

VoXngola
12-14-2014, 07:47 PM
It's still limiting yourself to reviewers. According to many reviewers they miss the naval stuff and were disappointed that Unity doesn't have it while actual fans are happy that Unity returned to the roots of the series, what with the huge cities and all.

Sure, there may be some reviewers here and there that like AC, but most of the time they don't agree with the majority of actual fans who go out and buy your games. THESE guys have to be listened to, not reviewers.

What an extremely silly way of getting feedback.

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 07:51 PM
Posted direct quotes because dont want to miscommunicate his statements. it's up to you guys to interpret it.

Also no disrespect to Darby. He's a great guy and it's a privilege being able to communicate with developers directly regarding their development process.

Just that I feel many fans here have certain complaints that are not specified in many professional reviews. And I feel it is important they are valued just as much (if given enough proper support) if not more than the reviewers.

wvstolzing
12-14-2014, 07:53 PM
I wonder whether they count 'youtubers' among reviewers.

pacmanate
12-14-2014, 07:55 PM
Reviewers are just someones opinions. I dont see why we are different.

wvstolzing
12-14-2014, 07:58 PM
Well he doesn't exactly say that they 'listen' to reviews either. He says that insofar as there's anything of significance in reviews, it's what they have in common -- and what reviews have in common, ubisoft 'already knows about'.

All that says is that reviews are pointless to them.

killzab
12-14-2014, 08:03 PM
Well he doesn't exactly say that they 'listen' to reviews either. He says that insofar as there's anything of significance in reviews, it's what they have in common -- and what reviews have in common, ubisoft 'already knows about'.

All that says is that reviews are pointless to them.


Then if they don't need reviewd to know what's wrong with their games ... why do they do these mistakes to begin with ?

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 08:05 PM
Reviewers are just someones opinions. I dont see why we are different.

Not to mention plenty of game reviewers have been proven to mingle and adjust their reviews based on what other reviewers plan to say about the product.

Not all of them, but some review sites like Kotaku for example have been exposed of that.

and plenty of reviewers only spend up to a week on the game.

sure some are fans who spend months investing themselves in it but its more...

...like an assembly line of getting through stuff if that makes sense

Edit:

apparently I'm misinterpreting this. The tweets are there for anyone who can explain it right because I don't understand what it would take to have fan criticisms posted in mass taken to consideration.

wvstolzing
12-14-2014, 08:07 PM
Then if they don't need reviewd to know what's wrong with their games ... why do they do these mistakes to begin with ?

I think the answer would involve things like 'the creative process', 'pushing your boundaries', and BS like that.

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 08:11 PM
Then if they don't need reviewd to know what's wrong with their games ... why do they do these mistakes to begin with ?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B41UBwjIEAEU-Xv.jpg:large

Darby cited this.

I'm too stupid to interpret it though.

D.I.D.
12-14-2014, 08:58 PM
Not to mention plenty of game reviewers have been proven to mingle and adjust their reviews based on what other reviewers plan to say about the product.

Not all of them, but some review sites like Kotaku for example have been exposed of that.

No, they haven't. This is one of Gamergate's fantasies, in which an email discussion programme is somehow different to the ones that exist in every other area of journalism, or indeed the talking shops that pre-date email by a century. These leaked emails have been examined repeatedly, and in the one case where one journalist said something truly off, the rest of them shot him down.

Journalists discuss their impressions of things with colleagues just like anyone else, and they might influence each other in the process just like a conversation with your friend might shift your opinion of a game by a notch in one direction or another. But there's no plan to bury a game, otherwise how was Kotaku giving Bayonetta 2 a glowing recommendation while Polygon was bashing it? Alien: Isolation got a Kotaku thumbs up, but was heavily criticised by Polygon's reviewer. Watch Dogs got an 8 in Polygon, and a big red NO from Kotaku.

Kotaku's actually one of the more principled sites out there. They already had a policy not to accept any inducements from publishers to attend press events, while other outlets were letting games companies pay their travel and even accomodation costs, long before this GG thing ever came up. There's a strong chance the sites you think are morally better still don't have such a policy today. Kotaku was the first site to expose Ubisoft's post-release embargo, and the first to make a policy refusing to make any such agreement in the future (which Polygon then followed and then... well, that was about it). What GG really means when it walks about "morals" is content: an assumption that if a site is ostensibly politically neutral or expresses opinions in line with its own, then it must be morally cleaner.

D.I.D.
12-14-2014, 09:09 PM
Here's the exact quotes (read bottom to top)

http://i.imgur.com/Bftjfjx.png

The best suggestion I could make is have a survey regarding these points and have a significant number of forum members take it then send it to Ubi.

Then there would be proof of unified agreement.

Edit:

He just messaged me saying he meant Ubisoft looks at REVIEWS specifically.

So it looks like Ubisoft is mainly just looking for common complaints by qualified reviewers I guess?

What he's saying there is not what you're saying he said. You took it personally and misinterpreted it.

Reviews are important, in so much as the points that they all agree on. They're like a super-sample, and that's one pool. That's the "unified agreement" he's talking about.

Fans opinions matter too, which is why they spend money on customer opinion sampling. That's a separate pool, and you can't possibly get "unified agreement" from us, at least not a meaningful one.

"Unified agreement" between us will not be achieved by taking forward some of the opinions that agree from the forum. For one thing, you're leaving behind the opinions that don't agree with you or made their disagreements elsewhere, which isn't good polling practice. Secondly, the forum itself is a filter, and the kind of person who congregates here is not a reliably representative collection of the audience.

If you have to think about working this hard to create your pressure, that's probably a sign that you still have a lot of people left to persuade. It's a good path for a issues-based campaign, but less so for a commercial product with an annual release schedule.

MegaRock35
12-14-2014, 09:10 PM
Darby cited this.

I'm too stupid to interpret it though.

I'm guessing it means "we set out with the intention, but the plan doesn't resemble the final project." Special emphasis on the part where most of the time is spent on the wrong area and the testing fixes one thing but breaks another.



Mm, overall, very good post that addresses a lot of problems in Unity. I'm gonna be one of those of those people that disagrees about Edward, but I understand your complaints (a lot of his early lines are very unsubtle and on the nose, but I think he evolved well enough).

I find it interesting that I actually like Initiates and adore the concept, but at the same time I agree with most of your criticisms. Instead of rewarding players for using it, it just punishes people for not using it. I think a much better way to do it is to reward you with extra money, sync points (but there should still be enough in the base game for every skill! Can't emphasize that enough!), creed points, or alternate ways of unlocking gear/legacy outfits. Like, "play initiates and you won't have to spend so much on the higher tier gear!" I'm sure not everyone would be crazy about those, but I think people would at least agree that it's a step up. The Companion App is a similar thing, but even weirder because I thought it sounded enticing enough without the locked content. I mean, I would've used it as an extra map, a heat map, or w/e were my phone powerful enough to use it...

Also I don't think the thing about Elise is about her design so much as her being a bit more interesting than the other characters. I mean, I loved her, but I recognize that she is far from the best written character in the series, and that the reason I liked her might just be because she had the most focus in the game. Arno was a satellite to her rather than a character in his own right, and no other character got as much screen time.

A big failing in the story is the lack of interaction. If I had to rewrite it without changing a ton of stuff, I think I would have cut down on the Assassination targets (so the Templars would have more time to be developed instead "okay meet guy, now stab guy") and have Arno accompanied more. I felt like things picked up when Arno had someone to interact with while playing, like the missions where you're working with Elise (especially the balloon one). It's the biggest difference between its predecessors, imo: Edward had Adewale accompanying him any time he was on his ship, he had Kidd to interact with a few times in the ground missions, and he got death speeches from his targets. Connor got to butt heads with Adams, he frequently got to meet with Achilles, he had Haytham with him for the story missions a lot, and then there's the homestead missions you mentioned. IIRC even Ezio in II got to interact with the rotating cast of Assassin Leaders throughout the sequences.

Arno just didn't have that. A lot of the game felt like the Council saying "Go here," Arno going there and killing someone, and then telling the Council "I went there" before the cycle repeats. The lack of White Room moments doesn't help; I enjoy the revision they did regarding them, but we lose out on a lot of pertinent moments and the chance to see how Arno responds when confronted ideologically. What baffles me, especially, is the existence of special kills and the emphasis on stealth. They could very easily have added a special kill to every target, have them be alone (a la the Sivert one), and thus allow a moment for Arno to confront the target before finishing them off. You don't need Animus intervention to have him stab a guy in the gut, exchange a few words, then give him a blade in the throat to see the juicy flashbacks. It's not rocket science, you can have your cake and eat it too.

But back to the accompaniment thing, it would have done wonders for the story if Bellec, Elise, and Napoleon's roles were expanded on. You know those short Council Briefing memories? Add in more with other characters he can interact with personally. Show more of the training Arno did with Bellec. Emphasize the somewhat strained relationship he has with the Assassins by showing him being more deadpan and sarcastic with Bellec. Let's see them butt heads on how the mission should be done. Contrast it with his time with Elise, where he opens up more. Have them banter playfully, let them debate and come into agreement on how to approach things. Just show them having fun running across rooftops and such (because even the secret societies have to admit how cool it is).

Less sure about Napoleon, but he was in the trailer for God's sake. Do something with him. Maybe build on the lying and schmoozing? He kisses Arno's ***, compliments him a lot, so when the time comes around he's more open to doing Napoleon's dirty work for him. Have him feign an interest in Arno's venting, etc. etc. Show Arno treating him like a friend and Napoleon treating him like a means to an end. That's about how the relationship came across, so you may as well build on it.

Granted the conversation alone isn't enough to make him interesting, but it's more opportunity to develop him. As it is, I honestly can't get a grasp on Arno. He was witty and light-hearted at first, and later he's serious and occasionally sarcastic. Okay, I can understand the change in light of what he went through. But he doesn't seem to grapple with this at all. He himself told Elise he wanted to be redeemed to her, which I guess could have been okay, but after that one cutscene when he breaks out of the Bastille he doesn't seem to care that much? It's very odd, to me, because I can't really figure out who he is. He was just sorta there. I find myself unable to describe what he was like, besides being serious, occasionally snarking, and loving Elise. It just doesn't seem to add up to a character, even if past ones could be boiled down to equally simple concepts.

I just dunno. Those were my biggest gripes with the game, though I doubt this works as a comprehensive "how to make Unity great" plan.

Edit: can this not devolve into a Gamergate thread please?

Derp43
12-14-2014, 09:16 PM
Everything except Elise I agree with.

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 09:41 PM
D.I.D. there is so much I disagree with you on but this is not a GG thread so I won't delve deep into that. Not here, anyway.

As for your second post, I see what you're trying to say but when there's a thread with a complaint and a ton of agreements (for example the blue circle thread), doesn't it deserve serious consideration?

Like the club competition legacy outfit thread. Did Ubisoft unlock the outfits because people complained in mass there? Because I didn't see reviews talk about that.



Mm, overall, very good post that addresses a lot of problems in Unity. I'm gonna be one of those of those people that disagrees about Edward, but I understand your complaints (a lot of his early lines are very unsubtle and on the nose, but I think he evolved well enough).

I find it interesting that I actually like Initiates and adore the concept, but at the same time I agree with most of your criticisms. Instead of rewarding players for using it, it just punishes people for not using it. I think a much better way to do it is to reward you with extra money, sync points (but there should still be enough in the base game for every skill! Can't emphasize that enough!), creed points, or alternate ways of unlocking gear/legacy outfits. Like, "play initiates and you won't have to spend so much on the higher tier gear!" I'm sure not everyone would be crazy about those, but I think people would at least agree that it's a step up. The Companion App is a similar thing, but even weirder because I thought it sounded enticing enough without the locked content. I mean, I would've used it as an extra map, a heat map, or w/e were my phone powerful enough to use it...

Also I don't think the thing about Elise is about her design so much as her being a bit more interesting than the other characters. I mean, I loved her, but I recognize that she is far from the best written character in the series, and that the reason I liked her might just be because she had the most focus in the game. Arno was a satellite to her rather than a character in his own right, and no other character got as much screen time.

A big failing in the story is the lack of interaction. If I had to rewrite it without changing a ton of stuff, I think I would have cut down on the Assassination targets (so the Templars would have more time to be developed instead "okay meet guy, now stab guy") and have Arno accompanied more. I felt like things picked up when Arno had someone to interact with while playing, like the missions where you're working with Elise (especially the balloon one). It's the biggest difference between its predecessors, imo: Edward had Adewale accompanying him any time he was on his ship, he had Kidd to interact with a few times in the ground missions, and he got death speeches from his targets. Connor got to butt heads with Adams, he frequently got to meet with Achilles, he had Haytham with him for the story missions a lot, and then there's the homestead missions you mentioned. IIRC even Ezio in II got to interact with the rotating cast of Assassin Leaders throughout the sequences.

Arno just didn't have that. A lot of the game felt like the Council saying "Go here," Arno going there and killing someone, and then telling the Council "I went there" before the cycle repeats. The lack of White Room moments doesn't help; I enjoy the revision they did regarding them, but we lose out on a lot of pertinent moments and the chance to see how Arno responds when confronted ideologically. What baffles me, especially, is the existence of special kills and the emphasis on stealth. They could very easily have added a special kill to every target, have them be alone (a la the Sivert one), and thus allow a moment for Arno to confront the target before finishing them off. You don't need Animus intervention to have him stab a guy in the gut, exchange a few words, then give him a blade in the throat to see the juicy flashbacks. It's not rocket science, you can have your cake and eat it too.

But back to the accompaniment thing, it would have done wonders for the story if Bellec, Elise, and Napoleon's roles were expanded on. You know those short Council Briefing memories? Add in more with other characters he can interact with personally. Show more of the training Arno did with Bellec. Emphasize the somewhat strained relationship he has with the Assassins by showing him being more deadpan and sarcastic with Bellec. Let's see them butt heads on how the mission should be done. Contrast it with his time with Elise, where he opens up more. Have them banter playfully, let them debate and come into agreement on how to approach things. Just show them having fun running across rooftops and such (because even the secret societies have to admit how cool it is).

Less sure about Napoleon, but he was in the trailer for God's sake. Do something with him. Maybe build on the lying and schmoozing? He kisses Arno's ***, compliments him a lot, so when the time comes around he's more open to doing Napoleon's dirty work for him. Have him feign an interest in Arno's venting, etc. etc. Show Arno treating him like a friend and Napoleon treating him like a means to an end. That's about how the relationship came across, so you may as well build on it.

Granted the conversation alone isn't enough to make him interesting, but it's more opportunity to develop him. As it is, I honestly can't get a grasp on Arno. He was witty and light-hearted at first, and later he's serious and occasionally sarcastic. Okay, I can understand the change in light of what he went through. But he doesn't seem to grapple with this at all. He himself told Elise he wanted to be redeemed to her, which I guess could have been okay, but after that one cutscene when he breaks out of the Bastille he doesn't seem to care that much? It's very odd, to me, because I can't really figure out who he is. He was just sorta there. I find myself unable to describe what he was like, besides being serious, occasionally snarking, and loving Elise. It just doesn't seem to add up to a character, even if past ones could be boiled down to equally simple concepts.

I just dunno. Those were my biggest gripes with the game, though I doubt this works as a comprehensive "how to make Unity great" plan.


Oh my god.

I completely forgot about Napoleon.

Goes to show how relevant he was.

Agreed on pretty much everything. Well done.

MegaRock35
12-14-2014, 10:08 PM
Oh my god.

I completely forgot about Napoleon.

Goes to show how relevant he was.

Agreed on pretty much everything. Well done.

"Hey, let's put Napoleon in the trailer, hype up his friendship with Arno in both promotional materials and the Helix database, give him an interesting sequel hook, and then shunt him off safely into the side content!" Robespierre kinda got a similar treatment, though arguably worse due to how controversial he is to begin with.

And thanks! I've been kinda mulling that stuff over for a while, because I can see the beginnings of a more interesting story in Unity, but it seems like they tried too many things at once.

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 10:15 PM
Robespierre was in the game for like 5 seconds and he was even said to be the main villain at one point.

I almost wanna return my copy of Unity tbh.

The only reason I still have it is lack of other PS4 games to play and desire to try co-op with friends who don't have it yet.

Also I still have the season pass and am waiting on chronicles, dead kings + free game

And as someone who is a proud owner of all the other games (even the weaker ones like Liberation), I'm kind of disappointed in saying that.

There's just so little redeeming qualities for me to continue owning it.

It honestly feels like a chore most of the time.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 11:28 PM
I almost wanna return my copy of Unity tbh.

The only reason I still have it is lack of other PS4 games to play and desire to try co-op with friends who don't have it yet.

Don't give up, May.

I almost got it. ;)


I wonder whether they count 'youtubers' among reviewers.

They must...why else was the story so Black & White? :rolleyes:

Hans684
12-14-2014, 11:35 PM
Unity already is broken apart, it's disunity.

Other than that I agree(exempt for the Edward part). This is the only AC(story wise) where I feel like I'm wasting my time and I don't like wasting my time, we didn't even need to relive his memories.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 11:39 PM
Ewww, I'm French and your french made me cringe lol

I'm not French, Mate. :rolleyes:


Unity already is broken apart, it's disunity.

Other than that I agree(exempt for the Edward part). This is the only AC(story wise) where I feel like I'm wasting my time, we didn't even need to relive his memories.

Yeah, Unity should've been Shay's game or something.

At least he did something. Unlike Arno.

JustPlainQuirky
12-14-2014, 11:40 PM
Screw it I'll just cut out the Edward part, lmfao.

I'll re-add it if I feel the same after replaying ACIV.

but I'm not changing my statement on ACIV's modern day not adding to the overarching narrative.

I know plenty of people (including Yahtzee Crowshaw) agree with me on that one.

harsab
12-14-2014, 11:47 PM
Despite having a sub par story & glitches the game itself is the Assassins Creed game we always wanted.

I Honestly think some of you guys are lying when you say you enjoyed Rogue more then Unity.

Rogue had a good story and all but gave no CLOSURE what so ever, it was so boring to play & kept adding new elements instead of finishing up old ones.

I Personally didn't enjoy Rogue one bit felt extremely rushed. However Unity is absolutely beautiful its a bummer it didn't have a great story otherwise it would of been perfect.

I honestly think Victory will fix those issues and become the new AC2.

Namikaze_17
12-14-2014, 11:52 PM
I honestly think Victory will fix those issues and become the new AC2.

Gameplay-wise? Of course.

Story-wise?

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/865/302/3d5.gif

harsab
12-15-2014, 12:06 AM
Gameplay-wise? Of course.

Story-wise?

http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/865/302/3d5.gif

I consider myself one of the biggest AC Fans & its pretty much the only game i play.

If they don't rectify the story in Victory and all the elements we've been demanding since ac revelations i will honestly give up with the series. Victory is the last chance story wise for me.

If i see no references to Eve, No Juno, No First Civ Sites, No Twists & Mind fuc**s. It will be my last AC Game.

So please Ubisoft fix that.

zenemix
12-15-2014, 01:43 AM
Well thought out. I agree with pretty much all of your points. There is a lot there so I'd like to quickly highlight a few of them.

- Transmedia/transplatform storytelling should never lock away content from those who don't want to or can't participate on all platforms. It should only ever be an additive experience for those who do participate not a punitive experience for those who don't. One could argue that the legacy outfits are optional and you can enjoy the game without them. The problem is that previous games have already set a precedent for giving them out without the need to participate in a non-game experience. Additionally, the legacy chests appear in-game whether you are participating or not making them non-optional. See the ACIV companion app and AC pirates for examples of a purely additive transmedia experience. Makes me wonder how they could have gone so wrong this time around.

On top of that, they're significantly broken. Both initiates and the ACU companion app have had significant bugs and work inconsitenly making it impossible for many who are inclined to participate to actually get the full experience.

Worst of all, even when both work, they're just not fun. Ubisoft, if these are your ideas of fun and additive experiences, please stop. Don't waste your time or ours making these additional programs. Just focus on the game. Sure you're using different teams/resources that wouldn't be working on the core game but what they're creating isn't adding value or fun. Just focus on the games and let us focus on the games as well.

- The death of Desmond and the lack of focus being given to the modern day story-line is one of many signs that Ubisoft is trying to make the series more accessible to newcomers. It's understandable as we're 10 games in and some may be daunted by that. Unfortunately, they've made the mistake of simultaneously making the series less-compelling to core/dedicated fans. As they're adding more broad-audience fans they're losing core fans, the ones who have bought and pre-ordered every game. Those of us who were here from the beginning and have been following an overarching story are no longer the priority. Ubisoft, be careful or you'll end up with less fans of in your attempts to gain more.

Dev_Anj
12-15-2014, 01:56 AM
Oh good, so instead of looking at fan opinions they base it on one persons opinion through a review...

Or maybe they don't exactly have an obligation to follow the review of one fan, and instead want to gather points from many reviews and sources. Also, professional reviews in general are more visible to the average user, and are more likely to have an impact on the audience, so the response to those and their points raised are given more attention than a review written in a forum.

That's how collecting criticism works, creative people can't and shouldn't try and follow every bit of criticism about their product. If that would happen, they would find lots of points that contradict each other, and it would lead to a messed up conception.

zenemix
12-15-2014, 02:00 AM
I disliked customization and skills, but mainly because I feel a modern day can't exist with those. Customization I disliked more because it doesn't really feel like we're actually playing as the person, which was fine this game because I hated Arno, but if a game like AC3 had such deep customization I'd dislike it. Other than that, I agree 100% with this thread and I wish everything in this thread was taken into DEEP consideration by Ubisoft Quebec. I have faith in Quebec to not produce a train wreck.

I think bringing Desmond back, or at least putting him in animus island would save this series. I don't want to keep playing as silent protagonists

I really think they need to bring Desmond back. The series has lost it's overarching story since Desmond was killed off. I really thought the modern day in ACIV was hinting towards Desmond being resurrected but seems like not.

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 02:08 AM
Or maybe they don't exactly have an obligation to follow the review of one fan, and instead want to gather points from many reviews and sources. Also, professional reviews in general are more visible to the average user, and are more likely to have an impact on the audience, so the response to those and their points raised are given more attention than a review written in a forum.

That's how collecting criticism works, creative people can't and shouldn't try and follow every bit of criticism about their product. If that would happen, they would find lots of points that contradict each other, and it would lead to a messed up conception.

That's not what people are asking.

They're not asking for devs to cater to every demand the fans make.

But when there is something a ton of fans agree should not be a thing and reviewers dont go into much detail about it (like the club competition restricting legendary outfits or blue ring being a nuisance) , they should be taken into consideration.

At least at the same level of consideration as reviewers.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
12-15-2014, 04:00 AM
I agree wholeheartedly about the companion transmedia crap. It's ********, and I've never EVER seen another video game have so much of it. In fact I remember someone saying 'This feels like one of those games that doesn't want you to play it', because it keeps reminding you of Uplay, Initiates, Companion App, Club Competition etc. Stop putting this stuff in the game. You're killing your franchise with crap like this. Same with microtransactions. They're bad enough as they are, but the fact there is a $100 option is even more crap because there is literally not $100 worth of stuff to buy.

I disagree with the soundtrack to a degree. Even though I believe it's probably the worst of the series (which doesn't say much because I think AC has some of the best music in the industry), but there were a lot of tunes I enjoyed. I think it's unanimous that Chris Tilton is just not as good as Sarah Schachner. I was puzzled when most of Sarah's tracks were not used, and lots of Tilton's were, considering how much better Sarah's were. They fit with the time period better, and they just sounded better. Chris's weren't bad, but they were not up to AC standards. I don't mind if Sarah returns, because I enjoyed a lot of her music for Unity, but don't bring back Tilton.

It's a shame the main theme was tackled by Tilton instead of Sarah. Would loved to of seen what she could have come up with.

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-15-2014, 05:32 AM
people are talking about you mayrice http://www.reddit.com/r/assassinscreed/comments/2pavlw/how_forced_transmedia_and_lackluster_narrative/

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 05:38 AM
There's a reddit article of it?

*hides in box*

Well at least it promotes discussion I guess.

Edit:

"(The Best In Depth Critique of AC Unity I've Read)"

D'aaaaaaw <3

killzab
12-15-2014, 09:09 AM
There's a reddit article of it?

*hides in box*

Well at least it promotes discussion I guess.

Edit:

"(The Best In Depth Critique of AC Unity I've Read)"

D'aaaaaaw <3

Well deserved, your review is very thorough and interesting !

Namikaze_17
12-15-2014, 09:12 AM
May should be a reviewer... :rolleyes:

Fatal-Feit
12-15-2014, 09:40 AM
I hope this opens Ubisoft's eyes and lets them know the fans don't want anymore Ezio-like clones. Give us more unique characters!

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 09:48 AM
May should be a reviewer... :rolleyes:

Noah Watts actually suggested the same thing because I often go into depth about the games he plays on his streams.

Initially I wasn't interested.

I have a set occupational goal already.

But I wouldnt mind doing something like that on the side in the distant future.

Namikaze_17
12-15-2014, 10:04 AM
Noah Watts actually suggested the same thing because I often go into depth about the games he plays on his streams.

Initially I wasn't interested.

I have a set occupational goal already.

But I wouldnt mind doing something like that on the side in the distant future.

Hmm...interesting.

Hope you consider one day, though. ^^

X_xWolverinEx_X
12-15-2014, 10:57 AM
Noah Watts actually suggested the same thing because I often go into depth about the games he plays on his streams.

Initially I wasn't interested.

I have a set occupational goal already.

But I wouldnt mind doing something like that on the side in the distant future.

Quirkys reviews
http://i.imgur.com/agQwNcF.gif

Fatal-Feit
12-15-2014, 11:00 AM
Quirkys reviews
http://i.imgur.com/agQwNcF.gif

Quirky Review should be the name of her review series.

king-hailz
12-15-2014, 02:50 PM
This is probably the best review of the game. Even my own... lol... I agreed on everything except I don't see Arno and Ezio having any similarities in the way that we are supposed to like the character... He had the same story essentially but Ezio felt like a character... Arno was hollow. I also really like Edward.... but these have nothing to do with what we are talking get about so I will ignore....

I really think this should be read by ubisoft! I also agree that Elise is bad too... Elise is worse than Arno in my opinion... although she is very nice to look at........ she has a worse story then Arno, hers is plain old boring revenge Arno at least had the tiniest depth of being the reason De la serre died... but yeah I agree.

I am torn between how great some of the gameplay is to how bad the narrative is... I don't know but I know realise that it's probably my least favourite assassins creed game, I've always been a story gamer so if that's not great then I won't see the game as being great... I actually don't enjoy some gameplay because the story is that great.

Also when we see that they have done so much with us playing as children with parent troubles... It doesn't mean it can go the other way around... I still really think playing as a mother would be awesome! The relation between a mother and a child is so strong that it would be cool to see them do it... (and not f*ck it up)...

It doesn't need to have a death in it... maybe just show the story of a mother having to cope being in the order and being a good mother... but make it more interesting.... I am 70% sure that victorys protag will be another Arno story... not the same revenge story but that it will be a young man troubled by something who join the assassins.

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 04:57 PM
Got pretty good reception all around it seems. Surprised. (even reddit)

Appreciate the compliments.

Hopefully it'll be taken into consideration.

pacmanate
12-15-2014, 04:59 PM
I SHOULD BE A REVIEWER!

I entered a competiton on ShopTo once to write a game review. I came second place out of the week of reviews and got £15 store credit :D

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 05:00 PM
I SHOULD BE A REVIEWER!

I entered a competiton on ShopTo once to write a game review. I came second place out of the week of reviews and got £15 store credit :D

Wow, really?

What was the game?

pacmanate
12-15-2014, 05:03 PM
Wow, really?

What was the game?

I'm not too sure, this was like a year ago now, I can't remember haha.

Namikaze_17
12-15-2014, 05:04 PM
That's awesome, Pac.

JustPlainQuirky
12-15-2014, 05:04 PM
One of the inFamous games I think... but I'm not too sure, this was like a year ago now.

Oh damn.

Maybe you should post a review thread too.

Love to read your in-depth thoughts.

pacmanate
12-15-2014, 05:10 PM
Oh damn.

Maybe you should post a review thread too.

Love to read your in-depth thoughts.

I don't have the time to do this stuff with Uni etc unfortunately :\ but thanks!

Namikaze_17
12-15-2014, 05:15 PM
I could review....

Nah, I really can't. :'(


I keep my opinions short and simple...though I only go into depth about something if it interests me.

Unity at this point doesn't interest me so... >__>

JustPlainQuirky
12-16-2014, 05:23 PM
Updated review with thoughts on riddles and currencies.

Edit: Also adding in my thoughts on the accents due to comments in the reddit version

Edit 2: Adding in a + for special cutscene kills

killzab
12-16-2014, 07:01 PM
Updated review with thoughts on riddles and currencies.

Edit: Also adding in my thoughts on the accents due to comments in the reddit version

You said you don't notice and recognize accents, but trust me you would notice a french accent haha