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    Assassin’s Creed : Unity, Preview

    Following seven years of Success on the previous generation, Ubisoft’s flagship franchise Assassin’s Creed is set to make its next gen bow this November as the series hits Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 11th.
    Set in Paris,  Unity continues the series’ trend of focusing on times of historical turbulence, this time with the French Revolution taking centre stage. Our new hero is an Assassin by the name of Arno Dorian, but for the first time in the franchise’s history, he won’t be alone during the game’s single player campaign, with an all-new four-player cooperative gameplay mode ranking among the title’s most sweeping changes.

    Built around a drop-in,drop-out system, the cooperative multiplayer is an intriguing proposition, and it’s been created in such a way that it shouldn’t cause any issues for players who prefer to enjoy the experience alone. During gameplay, players will sporadically see “ghosts” of other players’ Assassins, and approaching them gives the opportunity to join their game for the current mission, merging the two game worlds temporarily, rather than existing as a persistent connected world. Not
    every mission will feature multiplayer compatibility, either, so it’s an entirely optional feature that, if handled correctly, could mean big things for the future of the series.

    The game’s combat, too, has seen a major overhaul, with Ubisoft Montreal opting to take the opportunities presented by the generational switch-over to reimagine the way players will take on their opponents. Following a more fencing-based style than any of the previous titles, it looks like players will have a far more refined range of combat manoeuvres at their disposal, hopefully adding a new level of depth to move the franchise on in the gameplay stakes.

    The changes don’t end there for what could prove to be one of the biggest overhauls to a major series in recent memory, with the revolutionary Assassin’s Creed parkour-based navigation system also finding itself taken back to the drawing board.

    In previous games players would simply need to hold the run button to clamour over obstacles, and while it worked exquisitely it lacked the precise control that gamers are now coming to expect, but this time around Unity will feature an all-new mechanic aimed at giving optimum control of the on-screen escapades.

    Rather than completely throwing the old system out the window, though, they’ve instead taken the sensible decision to build upon what they had previously crafted, adding the all new Parkour Up and Parkour Down functions. What this means is that players will now have full control of Arno at all times, enabling them to take advantage of Paris’ stunning architecture in ways not seen before in the series.

    The jump from an old generation of systems to new has traditionally  brought with it a major bump in graphical fidelity, and that’s definitely the case with Unity. Not only does the game look simply stunning in action, but Ubisoft has also harnessed the power of the PS4 and Xbox One to populate the streets of Paris with more non-playable characters than we’ve ever seen in an Assassin’s Creed title.

    With those additional bodies comes the addition of a veritable feast of new gameplay opportunities, with random side tasks cropping up as the player makes their way through the city, ranging from tackling pick pockets to serving up some whoop ass to specific targets.

    Those concerned about the frequency of Assassin’s Creed titles lately, and the danger that new installments perhaps aren’t seeing the level of development time they perhaps should, can be safe in the knowledge that Unity has been in development since late 2010, with work commencing shortly after the completion of Brotherhood, meaning that represents one of the longest development cycles for an Assassin’s Creed title to date.

    Assassin's Creed Timeline

    Assassin’s Creed [2007]
    Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines [2009]
    Assassin’s Creed II [2009]
    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood [2010]
    Assassin’s Creed: Revelations [2011]
    Assassin’s Creed III [2012]
    Assassin’s Creed: Liberation [2012]
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag [2013]
    Assassin’s Creed Unity [2014]
    Assassin’s Creed Rogue [2014]

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