Xbox One Review: Assassin’s Creed: Unity

United we stand, United we fall…

Black Flag felt like the first Assassin’s Creed game in a while that mixed things up, and for the better. AC Rogue is getting a similar experience (which I will review next week) while PS4/Xbox One gamers are getting an exclusive game set during the French Revolution. But how does it hold up?
The story follows Arno Dorian, whose father is an Assassin killed by the Templars, then he is ironically raised by the head of the Templar Order till he’s older and then treachery strikes once more and Arno is framed for murder, with nowhere else to turn for redemption, Arno finds the Brotherhood and begins the hunt for the killer.

It’s a basic story, as well as the underlining Animus plot in the background taking more of a backseat this time around with only a few instances of having to escape Abstergo’s detection by going to a different time frame of France’s history, including WW2. Overall, I found the story did entice me enough to see it through to the end, but it’s not as sharply written as the others…although Arno’s sarcastic wit does make me chuckle, as well as his banter with Elise.

The game will feel familiar to anyone who’s played a previous Assassin’s Creed game, you have the main story, side missions, collectables scattered all over Paris, but this time you also have co-op missions where you and up to 3 others tackle objectives together. Now I didn’t have the best of luck finding matches during my time as I got the game before launch, but the missions I did get working was highly enjoyable and I can’t wait to get into more of them when the game is a bit more stable.
Sadly, this year’s game is full of bugs…both hindering and hilarious. These can vary from NPCs falling through the floor to you falling through an empty background, as well as the odd texture not loading during cutscenes, especially facial ones that have left just the eyes showing in a rather creepy looking way to say the least. The game has also crashed several times during my time with it and unfortunately, the framerate is all over the place. But when it works, Paris does look great…and the character models are a huge step-up, as well as the facial animations…especially during a few kissing scenes, which look the most authentic and realistic I’ve seen in a game.

There’s no multiplayer this time around besides co-op, but there is a companion app which when playing can unlock other chests scattered around Paris, but I didn’t see the need to for anything other than extra loot. On top of which, there are in-app purchases to get the most out of it. If there’s one thing I will say, it’s that make sure you constantly upgrade your equipment as your enemies’ become harder and harder throughout, it’s definitely been the most challenging Assassin’s Creed I’ve played, the enemies are a lot harder to defeat and death can come quickly if you’re not careful.

The Verdict

Assassin’s Creed: Unity had so much potential, but fails to deliver under the weight of its flaws. Bugs and framerate issues really hold back a good game from being great, and that’s the case here. Hopefully it’ll get better over time via patches, but at the moment it’s far from perfect. Having said that, it’s still highly enjoyable for any fan of the series…just as long as you go in knowing that it’s buggy, then you’ll be fine. Viva la revolution?