Time it right and you'll land the kill, knocking the wig off the smarmy git.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Review – Death Never Looked So Pretty

Note: Ubisoft declined to send a review copy, so we’re not constrained by review embargo dates as the copy reviewed was bought by the reviewer out of his own pocket. Not cheaply either…

Assassin’s Creed: Unity marks the 8th entry into the main series of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, a franchise that has become a yearly event looked forward to by many, reviled by others..

Ubisoft’s insistence that we need a new Assassin’s Creed game every year has brought a level of stagnation to the popular open-world stealth adventures, but Assassin’s Creed: Unity looks to buck the trend by presenting an entirely fresh approach – but does it live up to the hype? Or has the series fallen on its own blade? Read on for the full Assassin’s Creed: Unity review.

Story

For me the historical tales that are told within the Assassin’s Creed games are a big factor; I’m one of the few who enjoyed Desmond’s story arch and didn’t find Conner Kenway in Assassin’s Creed III a total boring douche.

Thankfully the story isn’t anywhere near as convoluted as some previous entries (Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, I’m looking at you buddy.) You step into the robes of French Assassin Arno Dorian.

The affable Assassin harks back to the days of Ezio Auditore with his flair, panache and charm, though he’s not as black and white as the Italian killer. No, Arno is a little deeper than almost all previous Assassins. His back story is particularly interesting having being adopted by the Templar Grandmaster after his birth father was slain.

acunityreview4
Forbidden love, sly dog…

That’s not the only link to the ‘dark-side’ that Arno has either; he fancies the frocks off of the Templar Grand Master’s daughter, too. Ouch.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s story is littered with subplots, many of which are found within the side-quests that play out alongside the main storyline. More on that later though.

Without giving too much away, Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s main storyline is a coherent tale that’s told well through a cast of memorable characters, though it does at times feel a bit all over the place. The main reason being that missions are no longer set out like previous games, instead it’s more in line with the original Assassin’s Creed, minus the lengthy cut-scenes that many criticised after its release. Personally, I enjoyed them,

You’ll be tasked with following out a few simple errands, as per, and then you’re presented with an area that houses your target and it’s your task to take out your would-be victim in any manner that you please. It strips away the linear, cinematic set-pieces (though there are still a few to be found, and well done, too,) and invites players to play their way.

acunityreview9
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is definitely the most graphic to-date.

From a narrative point of view it isn’t the best course by Ubisoft, but from a gameplay stance it works wonders in making players feel like a true Assassin, so it’s swings and round-a-bouts.

The present-day storyline that runs parallel to the Parisian adventures of Arno are somewhat forgettable, unfortunately. Where previous entries made it worth your while being pulled from the Animus and thrust into the hoodie of Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed: Unity merely uses the present day as a reason for the game to exist. The brief plot with the modern-day Assassins leaves a lot to be desired, but there’s certainly room for Ubisoft to shift the focus to the present day, should they find a story arc worth exploring as they did so well with the fate of Desmond and his happy gang of Assassin’s.

There’s also some surprise missions thrown in there that many fans of the series will enjoy, possible giving hope for how the future of the series will progress, but to say anymore would spoil the surprise, but trust me, if you’ve ever wondered what Assassin’s Creed would play like if it was set a little bit closer to the modern-day, you’ll be happy. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

In short, if you’re in for the story and are ready to suspend disbelief for a few hours whilst you traipse around Paris during the French Revolution era, then you’ll be left satisfied. However, if you’re looking for something to anchor the game with a modern setting that gives you a reason for running around France looking all fancy and what not, you’ll be disappointed.

acunityreview
And we thought the NHS was bad…

It’s not a bad attempt by any means, though one thing that did strike me as unusual and a little bit annoying was how everyone seems to speak as if they hail from Downton Abbey. Ubisoft has already stated their reasons for giving the characters English accents, but it’s still a bit strange to hear posh English voices mutter the odd French word. It detracts from the story and reminds you that you’re playing a game. Not a big deal as part of the big picture, but worth mentioning non-the-less.

Continued on Page 2

  • Dikan45

    After reading some of the ‘articles’ that have come from this place lately I just can’t take anything seriously anymore! Soz!!!

    • SaberEdge

      We’ve got an Assassin’s Creed hater here.

      Please go cry somewhere else. Sorry most people don’t share your overwhelming, irrational hatred of the AC games.

      • Dikan45

        Jesus chill out man, you’re the one crying, (you don’t need to reply to me twice) haha, it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! Some of the articles that have come from this place in the last few weeks or so have been shockingly bad and nothing but clickbait , you obviously didn’t read any of them!, that doesn’t make me an AC hater!! this review reads like nothing but an advertisement anyway, where’s the critique? No Ubisoft game is THIS faultless! No doubt when the REAL reviews hit we’ll find out some of it’s faults!

        • Holokausto22

          I agree, this site’s integrity isn’t the most credible… but I’ve also read many other reviews written significantly worse… He does seem like a fanboy who is blinded to some of the many problems we will experience in -48 hours, but he does a decent job of 1. Recognizing and admitting that. 2. TRYING to write from an unbiased opinion..

          • Boerewors

            How did your username not get you banned? 😀

        • SaberEdge

          For fuck sake, you obviously didn’t read the review. I’m not super familiar with this site, but what you are saying about THIS review clearly shows your bias and makes anything you say about previous articles very suspect.

          This review seems quite balanced. He laid out some very specific criticisms of the game. Some that I may not even agree with. It in no way read like an advertisement. It was positive overall, but is that not allowed?

          I can only imagine what will happen if the majority of reviews of this game turn out to be overwhelmingly positive. Some of you will probably off yourselves.

          • Dikan45

            You’re not familiar with this site well I am, click on some past articles before you come jumping in defending them and throwing accusations!

    • SaberEdge

      Seriously, what’s wrong with this review? It is well written and covers the pertinent bases.

      • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

        Cheers buddy! I hoped to write an informative and interesting review, if you found it to be half as good as I hoped then my work is done!

      • Cahuatijo

        I agree that it’s a useful review and describes the game nicely. It is terribly written though.

        • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

          Well, I don’t pretend to be the best writer in the world, but with practice comes perfection…

          • Cahuatijo

            Definitely keep at it. Running a small site is hard work and it takes a lot to keep people coming back.

  • http://batman-news.com Брюс Уэйн

    “copy reviewed was bought by the reviewer”
    where?

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Gumtree

      • http://batman-news.com Брюс Уэйн

        and you can play it? already?

  • Anon

    Please tell me one thing, do any characters return from AC3/AC Rogue?

  • http://ianbrettcooper.blogspot.com/ Ian Brett Cooper

    This is not a review. A review shows serious criticism, and no game is as good as this “review” seems to suggest. This is a commercial.

    • blake

      Hahaha pathetic

    • Jay

      Hm but yet they didnt give it a 10, if your view was right it would say 10 there.

    • SaberEdge

      Your butthurt is without bounds. You guys want to hate AC Unity so bad that you start lashing out at a reviewer because he gave the game an 8.8? Holy fuck you people are stupid.

      You obviously didn’t read it, or you’re just a troll. He expressed several criticisms of the game. Sorry he didn’t hate the game as much as you have clearly made up your mind to.

      • SomeSubjectiveSomeObjective

        He made them up; he hasn’t even played the game. All his screenshots he ripped off other gaming sites.

    • PeregrineX7

      You’d rather have unnecessary critism?

    • PeregrineX7

      Also, he did criticizes in me things, like an average story and inconsistenct frame rate

    • http://TheDeviceShop.com Brian Mathers

      I agree with you and disagree. When he talked about how good and “natural” the Npc’s moved, i started to laugh. From all the footage i’ve seen, it seems like there are a lot of bugs with characters floating in the air, animations popping in and out, etc. With any game, there will be bugs, but from the single player streams i have seen, it looks pretty smooth, but yes, this review seems a little to nice.

  • Michael Rose

    Hey there, I was wondering if the game felt “right” while playing single player. I don’t have internet and am hesitant to pick this game up if it feels “wrong” playing solo.

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Yeah the majority of the game is singleplayer, the multiplayer aspect doesn’t affect the singleplayer experience. Multiplayer is within the singleplayer world, but not integral. Hope this helps!

  • Alex Serrano

    I want to play this game now.You did a great job explaining everything.

  • Aaron Reason

    how long was the campaign?

  • Neil Riley

    A question to the reviewer: What is the smoothness of the frame rate like on PS4. I’ve only seen the XB1 version at EGX a month or so ago and that was a ok but a little stuttery on occasion and the crowd animations were a little robotic at times.

    I hope you answer this question and good review.

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Hi, sorry for the lack of reply. Framerate isn’t too bad, it’s better than ACIII: Liberation on the Vita, but it could still be smoother. As with most game: more on screen = stutters. Crowds are a definite improvement over previous game,s but there is still the occasional pop-in of NPC’s, but nowhere near as bad as AC3

  • Ansonī Kurisuchan Howaito

    Great Review, Hope to read more from you.

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Cheers dude :)

  • Alexandre

    Please god, get an editor or somebody to proofread your shit…I don’t know how many times I can handle your egregious and persistent misuse of the apostrophe when trying to write the plural of “Assassin.”

    • Holokausto22

      YEAH!! “Everything is permitted” doesn’t fucking apply to grammar.

    • Aaron

      There’s more in the world to bitch about than grammar issues. Are you pointing it out because you want to look smarter, maybe a self esteem problem? Oh all knowing brain, please give me your knowledge.. bwaha.

    • Cahuatijo

      It’s just a cut and paste job. The dude obviously knew he would have to type the word “Assassin’s” as in “Assassin’s Creed” several times. If you look, it is both an apostrophe plural and capitalized so the guy didn’t really give a crap.
      That’s easily fixable though. His more serious problems with style are way harder to fix.

  • topeira

    a very shallow review. all it covers is what can be seen. no details about gameplay, mechanics, balance, improvements nor steps backward in the formula of the AC IP, no mention on co-op…. basically a bare bone review i could have made myself after watching some PS4 footage on youtube. nothing to take seriously. sorry chris.

    • Dikan45

      Careful, you’ll get branded a AC hater like I did!

    • Holokausto22

      … How exactly was he supposed to review co-op?

    • topeira

      i must appologize greatly. i was linked to page 3 of this review and couldnt find any way to go back to page 1, thus thinking the review only contained page 3.
      now i got linked with page 1 and read the whole thing. the review is nice indeed. it’s slightly over positive but i guess it’s hard to blame chris that i loved the game so much. i would love to know the bad things about the game. not just the good stuff. (can you replay missions? what’s with the lack of day-night cycle? etc) these were missing. im sure they are not missing from the game. also i wish i had read and learned things from this review that weren’t known before. if someone told me that chris didnt really play the game and only followed what the trailers and earlier articles said i couldnt disprove him. Anyways, it’s a decent review that covers the basics.

      • Mike Harden

        Apologize for the people liking your original statement, haha

      • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

        Cheers! I am in no doubt that I’m nowhere near the most able of writers, but as I managed to get a copy of the game early and managed to finish it before release I thought I’d put the review out and let people read my thoughts on the game before buying it themselves.

    • Jay

      He covered why he didnt talk about co-op, its alot harder to do a review about co-op when the game is not released and you dont have as many people to play with. Maybe you only read parts of the review but he covered clearly why it wasnt reviewed.

  • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

    How exactly did you review the game if you bought it yourself ? Review date NOVEMBER 8, 2014 RELEASE DATE IS THE NOVEMBER 11,2014

    Nice fake reviews keep it coming

    • The-Beast

      Well, here in Brazil some stores have been selling Unity since friday I think. I was going to get it, but I’m on doubt between this, Little Big Planet 3 and Dragon Age. The only game I’ll get for sure though is GTA!

    • Jay

      Its not hard to get a copy before a game releases, some people get them at stores they work. Or stores their friends work, then some stores just dont care if they wait for a street date, you get to some countries and it gets really bad. But it dont matter were you live if you have the wallet you can get games before release. I dont think its right but its a fact go on twitch people have been streaming it for a week. To call the review a lie is not fair and its not hard to find people playing the game.

      • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

        Theres a Tuesday embargo if you didn’t know about it. You are only allowed to show certain content before Tuesday.(For media that got the game pre-release)

        Anyone just trying to get in on the the next best game to profit (be it a “friendly” retail store or the likes) without thinking about the implications, will never end up going far.

        I’ve seen quite a few of these joksters come and go in the industry

        • captainderp

          Only a fucking idiot wouldn’t know embargoes only apply to people who received a review copy

          • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

            Only an idiot wouldn’t know that I might be working for Ubisoft and this site wont receive a press copy ever again :) jk btw

            Read my comment below and dont jump to conclusions

          • marius

            He bought the game hismelf so there is no problem with the tuesday embargo….

          • marius

            some people also got the game in advance with the Xbox one bundle….

          • Justin Ellis

            Yep you are a fucking idiot

          • Jay

            But that dont support his foolish argument.

        • Guest

          Ya you know so much about the industry you look like your about 14 in your photo

        • Jay

          You have seen quite a few, seems strange you look like your about 14 by your pic how much about the industry could you know. Anyways anyone with half a brain knows embargoes don’t mean crap, hell you could watch gameplay on twitch a week ahead of release. If you think for a second that people who work at retailers dont take and sale games to their buddies ahead of release then you have some growing up to do. Your whole argument is very foolish.

    • SaberEdge

      Damn, your comment is ignorant as hell. It’s sad that you got so many agrees. Lots of clueless idiots. Humanity is doomed.

      This game has been available for quite some time in some places.

      • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

        Pre-release copies from PR agencies and Ubisoft yes but as mentioned in another comment above theres an embargo.

        Now if stores want to sell copies earlier or their employees grab a copy thats a whole different story (with implications).

        The author clearly stated he bought his review copy, where from is another story.

        Its a risk some people take, websites and streamers come and go, Ubi is still around.

        (ever heard of DMCA takedowns?)

        • Boerewors

          Not only did I already buy this game before the weekend, I even sold it again this morning! The game is not for me to be honest, but I can understand why people like it.
          Though it’s easy to write a review and there is no way Ubi can stop someone if they didn’t agree to an NDA, it’s probably not a smart move considering the future of your site. If Ubi takes notice they’ll just blacklist you and I can see other publishers doing the same… Then again, I’d like to see a site that isnt in anyway or form linked to publishers. The industry is so corrupt that I hope sites like these will make enough revenue with non gaming ads, so the sponsoring by publishers won’t hold em down.
          When AC releases you already know Gamespot is gonna give it an 8, or a 9 if it’s featured on the site perhaps and IGN will probably go for the 8,9…. I’d like to see some independent game journalism, although that seems impossible.

          • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

            Exactly what I was saying about NDA (Tuesday Embargo). Its not a smart move (to get the game early without permission) at all for longetivity. The industry is corrupt at bigger websites with millions of pageviews not your usual Joe Blog.

          • Jay

            Make sure your tin foil hat is on real tight.

    • Jeffrey B

      early copy… there is a walk through on youtube

    • Mike Harden

      You know stores can get games as much as a week in advance. I’ve personally played a few before their release dates due to good friends but horrible employees…

      This review seems legit

      • SomeSubjectiveSomeObjective

        What about it seems legit? He has provided no screenshots he took himself, nor provided a single iota of information about the game’s story or gameplay that cannot be reasonably inferred from reading about the game. Tell me one thing he stated that clearly indicates he even played the game? Any complaints not mentioned or obvious in gameplay videos, for example? Some of you people are so easily tricked.

    • Péter Kiss

      Hi Nikolas, could you certify me please, that the review date is indeed November 8? How do you know it? Do you work for the press? Also is this the same for Assassin’s Creed: Rogue? (Since they are out the same day.)

      • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

        Its not hard to find out . This reviews date is November the 8th mentioned below the title. Ubisoft has special agreements for pre 11th content. But those that got a copy from somewhere else before release, can basically do what they want.

    • SomeSubjectiveSomeObjective

      His rogue review looks fake, too. No gameplay images, just stock footage he pulled off other sites. If it’s true he hasn’t played it, this is arguably libelous.

      The fact that some of these images are watermarked with AC Unity and some aren’t are pretty obvious giveaways, not to mention these images are all available on google images from real gaming sites like ign

    • Cahuatijo

      Could be fake, could be real – it doesn’t matter. What should matter to you, however, is that you are dead wrong.
      People have been getting their hands on retail copies of games before official release dates for ages. Some of those people publish their own reviews. Some of those reviews get taken down and the sites get blackballed, others don’t.
      In the end, the embargo argument only holds water if you received a review copy, not a retail copy. The rest is up to ubisoft.

    • truth

      This is an ignorant comment. Have you ever been on gaming forums? Many will let people know what stores are breaking the review embargos. Many times mom and pop shops do it to compete with other stores. This isn’t something that does not happen, it happens very often.

    • Justin Ellis

      You sir are an idiot

    • Edd Welch

      are you serious? do you know how easy it is to get a copy of the game early even at retail stores.

      embargo’s dont mean shit to people who bought the game. an embargo is only in place if lets say ubisoft sends you a copy. other then that they can show anything they feel like showing

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Would you like me to send you a picture of me with my copy of the game? I can be semi-nude and posing in a variety of positions if it helps.

      You’re the owner of another website, maybe you’re just jealous that you aren’t on the receiving end of a receptive audience? If that’s the case; grow up.

      • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

        Chris I might have come out as somewhat aggressive, but the point was to be careful about how you deal with reviews especially when the game hasn’t been released in any regions and as you mentioned you bought your copy, where from and how is another discussion and I don’t care to be honest.

        You are basically throwing yourself into a blacklist in the future for press copies. That is your decision ofcourse and your website so you can do as you please.

        PS: My website is in the gaming niche , but has nothing to do with reviews and we aren’t even competitors.

        I wish you the best with your website.

        • Jay

          Are you still blowing your own horn…I would not be to overly proud of that so called website you have there.

  • Arno

    It’s hard to take any review seriously when the writer can’t tell the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’…

  • Cameron

    This a great review, finally someone who doesn’t conform to the negative standpoints of the other reviewers. I like you

    • Dikan45

      The fact that an almost 1GB day 1 patch is needed tells you that it’s far from the perfection that this review makes it out to be!

      • Jaxton

        Actually it suggests the opposite to me. If the game is that polished before the day 1 patch then that is a good sign indeed.

        You claim not to be a hater yet you tell anyone who says something positive about the game or the review that they are wrong. I have learned if you truly want to change someone’s mind criticizing them or arguing with them is not the best way to do it.

        • Dikan45

          That’s what having a different opinion about something entails, a review is just 1 man’s opinion at the end of the day! I’ll tell you what, after the game’s released and it’s out in the open for all to see we’ll continue from there!

          • SaberEdge

            It was clear that a certain segment of gamers decided to hate this game since it was first announced. It has nothing to do with objectivity or a fair appraisal of the game and everything to do with an irrational hatred of this series and the company behind it.

            A majority of games these days seem to have day one patches. I’m not surprised that a massive open world game like this will get a patch. I’m all for any improvements they can bring.

    • Cahuatijo

      What other reviewers? Nobody else has reviewed this yet.

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Cheers matey :)

  • Milk

    I’ve read the criticism about the english accents before an di dont get it….you do realise they wouldn’t be speaking english in the first place right? So why should they have a french accent? It makes it harder to suspend disbelief for me. Its ridiculous. Its like how in Das Boot in english everyone has a german accent.. ridiculous. You have to see it as a translation you’re hearing. You want realistic? put the game in french.

  • adchater

    I haven’t yet had the chance to try out the co-op missions, yeah cause you dont have the game, fking spambot

  • cerberusd

    I’d never read Chris’ reviews before this AC unity review, but going through the scores he gave for the last year, it seems like he gives a very accurate rating from the perspective of a mature gamer. I totally agree with his 9.9 rating of Bioshock infinite and sub 9 ratings of Shadow of mordor and Far cry 3. Chris gives both shadow of mordor and acu 8.8, and from the info I’ve gathered so far on ACU and having beaten SoM, it seems reasonable that ACU is on par with SoM. I think I will go ahead and pre-order ACU. Thanks for the reviews!

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Cheers mate, I try hard and if people enjoy and find the reviews helpful then my job is done :)

  • Jack Sparrow

    Chris, I just wanted to thank you for ape in your time and money to get us an early review of the game. It seems to me like you’re getting a lot of undeserved hate for doing it, and I just can’t understand that.
    I also don’t understand why this Nikolas fellow made so many comments about embargoes on reviews, when he clearly didn’t understand your post before the review explaining things.
    I’m a big AC fan, and I your review made me even more excited to pick up my copy Tuesday morning.
    The bottom line is, I think, people who dig AC are going to find a lot to love about this game.
    People who don’t care for AC will obviously be skipping it, but maybe those folks ought to spend more time doing something they do enjoy, rather than spending their time paying so much attention to something they don’t.

    • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

      I will personally be benchmarking the game, its not about hate its about being careful as people that try to get out reviews or similar pre-launch usually either have a agreement in place or do it with “strings” they have in retail store.

      One thing is for sure people that do prerelease either it be reviews,twitch or youtube etc without an agreement in place usually get burnt plain and simple.

      It takes time to make a website let alone a popular one, its a shame to go out a get yourself burnt for a few $ in ad views.

  • DRok17

    Great review. Definitely gonna pick this up now

  • Moto Pico

    this is NOT a PROFESSIONAL review. Where is gameplay opinion? combat system? coop?

    • Jack Sparrow

      Did you actually read the review? All three pages?
      He mentioned all of those things.

  • Aaron

    It sounds like he’s only ran through the single player experience partially to me, no mention of multiplayer. I learned a little bit from this “review” that I am liking, however, I am eager to find out in further reviews exactly what IS different about this title compared to all the others. I enjoyed AC Black Flag and AC III the most, however, those games got stagnant and down-right weird at times. I am hoping this new installment is great and fresh, however, with the apparent lack of naval battles, I’m not so convinced. Also, is it wrong that I don’t want to play online with other people, keeping all the glory for myself?

    • Sinon Hitsugaya

      He explained why he didn’t talk about multiplayer. You clearly just skimmed it.

  • wolly

    Imagine if they all had American accents… I’m sure it would be much worse.

  • Joee

    Desmond’s story was the worst part of the series i hope it stays away

  • James De Vile

    This pitifully fake review reads like Russell Brand did a f**kload of acid, imagined he’d played the game based on well-trodden preview information then whimsied around writing superflous prose in the name of flimsy SEO wins.

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      Firstly, I’ve never done acid, so I can’t comment on Russel Brands ability to write a review. Secondly, this is a real review, by a real person who has a real belly button as well as a copy of the game. If it would please you I’ll send you my copy as I’m done with it.

  • Coco

    Who cares that its reviewed early.

  • Redglyph

    Your review is so much in contrast with other reviews, and yet you didn’t benefit from the day one patch. It’s amazing.