Since the first Assassin’s Creed game, there have been entries up until now. There are more than a few titles that are far from an ideal stealth game. Let’s discuss why 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity is one of the best games in the series.
This article contains no spoilers for the game’s story.
The Assassin’s Creed games were originally stealth-focused games that used unique social stealth mechanics. These mechanics saw the player using crowds and the busy city streets to hide in plain sight. The new Assassin’s Creed games have strayed far from this premise; they simply don’t feel like before. A game that executed the concept of social stealth combined with conventional stealth mechanics to make the perfect experience was Assassin’s Creed Unity.
The Bad Reputation of Assassin’s Creed Unity
First off, the bad reputation AC Unity received at the time of its release and even now, should be addressed. The game was riddled with game-breaking bugs and glitches at the time, rendering it practically unplayable at launch. So its reputation was well-deserved at the time.
This made many players consider Unity to be one of the worst games in the series and one of the worst games overall at the time. But when we look back at the game today, the bugs, glitches, and performance issues that ruined the game back in 2014 have been fixed. And now, we can see AC Unity for what it really is: the pinnacle of stealth in Assassin’s Creed.
Why it’s so good
There are multiple features of Assassin’s Creed Unity that make it so good. Let’s discuss each of them more descriptively.
Assassin’s Creed Unity is set in Paris during the French revolution and the chaos of the revolution is depicted perfectly. The game looks absolutely beautiful, yet the ugliness of civil unrest and the disorder of society is also visible.
The sheer number of people on the dirty streets of Paris is uncountable and this confusion serves the assassins well. How can the outnumbered guards find who killed an official among the angry and raging crowd? The assassin can simply blend in and disappear among the mass of civilians. If this is not perfect social stealth, then what is?
Assassin’s Creed Unity’s setting is perfect. Everything is so disorderly and it’s an advantage for the assassin. The satisfaction the player gains after killing their target and disappearing into the crowd and being invisible to the investigators is immense.
You could also explore the massive map of Paris and do tons of fun and engaging quests.
The level of customization
You can freely customize your character, Arno, to look and perform as per your wants and needs. There are classes of weapons from swords to heavy spears, and also, many parts of Arno’s outfit can be customized, from his gloves to the hood he wears. Even the colors of your outfits can be customized.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was the first game that introduced this insane depth to character customization. As you continue the game, you can complete missions and challenges to unlock even more options. Because of this beautiful new addition, the game offered the player so much freedom, but not too much, still sticking to the Assassin’s Creed formula.
The number of weapons you had in your arsenal was not only for showing off. Each weapon class had its own unique moveset. The armaments had weight to them, and you could feel each slash and swing of it. The combat differs from other Assassin’s Creed games. Unity instead focused on stylish and kind of cinematic combat.
There were a lot of moves you can perform with your chosen weapon. The dodging and countering felt fluid and smooth. Many Assassin’s Creed players don’t hesitate to call Unity’s combat system the best out of all the games, and that includes me as well. In my honest opinion, Unity’s combat suited Assassin’s Creed, unlike the combat systems of current AC games.
Assassin’s Creed Unity’s parkour is still the best out of all the games in the series. As Arno, you can jump from building to building and freerun on rooftops with style and elegance. The moves that you perform are not repetitive and the movement is so incredibly fluid and satisfying. Without a doubt, AC Unity’s parkour stands as some of the best in gaming history.
Parkour is directly connected to the overall gameplay system as well. The stealth kills, for example, become much faster when you’re running around. It’s also really easy to outrun enemies and complete a mission more efficiently and quickly.
I already explained how brilliant the social stealth mechanics is in Unity. Now let’s discuss the conventional stealth mechanics, like infiltrating bases and silently dispatching enemies.
Unlike the previous games, Unity gives you the ability to crouch and stay out of sight. You can also take cover and distract enemies by whistling or even using a wide array of tools. Assassin’s Creed Unity is a wonderful playground for stealth fans. You have ranged options to kill enemies, you can use bombs to cause chaos among them and even use dead bodies to attract enemies and silently manipulate their actions. Overall, Unity’s stealth gameplay stands as one of the best in the series to date.
The Mission Design
The mission design of Unity had a lot of changes from the previous titles. Instead of just one way to assassinate your target, this game gives the player multiple opportunities to kill the enemy. This new system reminded me of the Hitman games. Each of the ways to kill your target is different and unique. You can also create windows of opportunity to escape the area after the objective is done. Because of this system, the replay value of the game increased and it encourages the player to try various methods to dispatch the enemy in each playthrough.
Assassin’s Creed Unity uses the aforementioned mechanics to immerse the player in one of the best settings in the franchise, and Paris is practically a playground for a creative player. The upcoming Assassin’s Creed game, Mirage, seems to take a big inspiration from Unity. Hopefully, that game will revive the franchise and we’ll be able to experience Assassin’s Creed again. In the meantime, if you want to check out Unity, it regularly goes on sale at Humble Store and other retailers.