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Assassin’s Creed Unity

is an upcoming historical action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is set to release worldwide on October 28, 2014 for... read more

7.5
Developers Ubisoft Montreal...
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Status: Released
Release: 28-Oct-2014

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is an upcoming historical action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is set to release worldwide on October 28, 2014 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is the seventh major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, and the successor to 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with ties to 2014's Assassin's Creed Rogue. Set within Paris during the French Revolution, the single-player story follows Arno Dorian in his efforts to expose the true powers behind the Revolution.

The game retains the series' third-person open world exploration as well as familiar melee combat and stealth system. Assassin's Creed Unity introduces cooperative multiplayer to the Assassin's Creed series, letting up to four players explore and engage in narrative-driven missions.

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Gameplay

Combat for the game was rebuilt, with fencing being used as an inspiration for the new system. In addition to returning weapons from previous games, Assassin's Creed Unity introduces the Phantom Blade. The Phantom Blade uses the mechanics of a crossbow to fire a silent projectile a great distance, while still serving the same role as the Hidden Blade in previous Assassin's Creed games. Navigation for the game was also overhauled. Ubisoft created new "Parkour Up" and "Parkour Down" mechanics to make it easier for the player to scale buildings in either direction. Additionally, Arno learns new parkour moves throughout the game, but the player can also purchase new skills as well. With the updated crowds, new interactions with them are also available. The crowd regularly presents many activities, appearing organically, that the player can choose to engage with at their leisure. Examples include interfering in a fistfight, or chasing down a pickpocket.

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Assassin's Creed Unity also introduces cooperative multiplayer to the series. Players can enter taverns, which act as social hubs in the game, where you can see if any friends are playing Unity. If they are currently in a mission, they will appear as a "ghost" version of their player, allowing you to approach it to request to join their mission. If accepted, you are transitioned to their game and both of you reset to the most recent checkpoint, and continue on from there. Up to four players can join together in this fashion. The player will always take on the role of Arno within their own game, with other players appearing as randomly-generated Assassins. Many missions and activities are available for cooperative play, but there are some story missions that are set aside to be single player only.

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Premise

Characters

The main character of the game is Arno Dorian (Dan Jeannotte), a native Frenchman who was born in Versailles to an Assassin father. After his father is killed, Arno is adopted, unaware that his new family holds a senior position within the Templar Order, with his new father figure the Templar Grandmaster. Arno blames himself when his adoptive father is murdered, and so sets out on a quest of redemption that brings him into the Brotherhood of Assassins, where he slowly rises through the ranks, much like Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Ezio Auditore as seen in previous games. Arno's love interest is a Templar named Elise De LaSerre, the daughter of the Templar Grandmaster who adopted Arno, who also sets out to investigate more about her father's death and its role in a growing ideological change within the Templar Order that threatens its core values.

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Setting

Arno's story will be set in Paris on the eve of the French Revolution. The modern day setting will focus on the Assassins contacting the player and requesting their help to explore Arno in the past, as well as helping in the present. Co-operative multiplayer missions will follow the development of the Brotherhood of Assasains during the French Revolution.

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Development

Development for the game began shortly after the completion of 2010's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. On March 19, 2014, images leaked for the next game, titled or code-named Unity, showing a new assassin in Paris. The screenshots show new "parkour up" and "parkour down" buttons, a new navigation mechanic. The leak also stated that Unity, set during the French Revolution, would be released in late 2014 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and would feature an assassin named Arno. On March 21, Ubisoft confirmed the game's existence, having been in development for more than three years, by releasing pre-alpha game footage. They also confirmed the game's release date of Q4 2014, and that it would also see a release on Windows. Ubisoft writer Jeffrey Yohalem revealed that the French Revolution setting for the game was deliberately teased, along withAssassin's Creed III's American Revolution setting, in symbols seen at the end of Brotherhood. 

At E3 2014, trailers were released for the game, demonstrating the game's cooperative multiplayer mode for up to four players, a first for the series. The development team was able to use the new power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to improve the NPC crowds. Up to 1000 individual AI characters can appear in a crowd, each acting independently and reacting to each other as well as the player's actions. The PC version of the game uses Nvidia's GameWorks technology such as TXAA anti-aliasing, advanced DX11 tessellation and Nvidia PhysX technology, due to a partnership between Ubisoft and Nvidia.

In August 2014, Assassin's Creed Rogue was announced for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and was revealed to have ties to the story in Unity.

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Cooperative mode gender controversy

After the cooperative multiplayer mode was revealed at E3 2014, additional information about the mode was revealed by creative director Alex Amancio and technical director James Therien. Amancio stated that the mode did not include the ability to play as a female avatar, due to "the reality of production". Amancio added by saying, "It's double the animations, it's double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets. Especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work," which was echoed by Therien. Level designer Bruno St-André expanded on this by stating that an estimated 8,000 additional animations would have had to be recreated for a female avatar.

This caused dissatisfaction in some video game community outlets. Brenna Hillier of VG247 noted how there were nine development teams working on the game, and said "Ubisoft has here trotted out a tired, stupid, constantly refuted excuse for why it has perpetuated the cycle of sexism and under-representation in the games industry." Tim Clark of PC Gamer made note "that previous Assassin's Creed games have had playable women as part of the multiplayer component, [and] that Brotherhood had you supported by on-call assassins, many of whom were female, so it’s hardly like it can’t be done." Clark also looked to the way Amancio and Therien answered the question and felt how they referenced "how much the team wanted to include playable female characters suggests... that this is probably a decision which hasn’t gone down well internally." Former Assassin's Creeddesigner Jonathan Cooper responded by saying, "In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8,000 animations." He also revealed that Aveline de Grandpré, the female protagonist of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, "shares more of Connor Kenway's animations than Edward Kenway does." Fans also created petitions urging Ubisoft to change their stance.

Former Assassin's Creed game designer Patrice Désilets weighed in as well, saying that Amancio's reasoning was valid, but that Ubisoft should put in the effort to let players have gender options. The Escapist's Shamus Young wrote that reworking Assassin's Creed's wide array of complex animations for a female character model would take considerable work, but concluded that "This has nothing to do with how hard or easy it is to put females in the game, or how much it would cost, or how difficult it is to do mo-cap these days. Ubisoft doesn't want to put females in their games, they have no idea if it's something the audience wants, and they are avoiding any move that might shed some light on the subject." Conversely, Michelle Starr of CNet made note of the valid technical challenges a female character would present, such as their different skeleton structure and the environmental factors, such as how NPCs would interact with them, and said, "the issue is not that Ubisoft is lying about how much work it would require to add a female player character – it's that the idea was considered unworthy of those resources in the first place."

Amancio attempted to clear up any confusion, by stating, "I understand the issue, I understand the cause, and it is a noble one, but I don't think it's relevant in the case of Unity. InUnity you play this character called Arno, and when you're playing co-op you're also playing Arno – everybody is. It's like Aiden Pearce in Watch Dogs... Arno has different skills - you select skill points in the game, there are gear elements that have an impact and all these weapons that make the character you make your own. But you're always playing Arno... The reason we're just changing the face and keeping the bodies is we want people to show off the gear that they pick up in the game through exploration. That's why we kept that."



Thisarticle uses material from the Wikipedia article Assassin’s Creed Unity, which is released under theCreative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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