Any new game in any series introduces new features of some sort or another. But the Assassin’s Creed series has been particularly eager to add interesting new stuff to its already awesome mix, from Brotherhood‘s multiplayer to Black Flag‘s high-seas adventuring. And Assassin’s Creed Unity is no exception: Here are seven particularly interesting new features debuting this time around.
While previous games have included cooperative objectives in multiplayer mode, Unity folds co-op directly into the main campaign. You can join up to three friends in many story missions, including some designed specifically for co-op. Or you can just meet up and wander the streets of Paris together. But don’t expect to see four identical Arnos leaping through the city, because Unity also now offers…
Custom Gear and Skills
Getting to choose your own weapons is nothing new to Assassin’s Creed, but how about gearing yourself up with unique armor and skills? Skills allow you to customize your abilities in stealth, melee combat, ranged attacks, and health. And both armor and weapons have specific bonuses that allow you to enhance Arno to complement your own play style. Based on what we’ve seen, there’s a pretty large assortment of gear to choose from, as well as a selection of color schemes to distinguish your Assassin from others.
Sure, a new setting is not unexpected in an Assassin’s Creed game; what’s different this time around is that Unity‘s version of Paris is very close to the scale of the actual city. A recent post on Ubisoft’s in-house blog points out that “It’s the first in the franchise to feature an almost 1:1 scale (In previous games the buildings were roughly three-quarter size). That’s significant, because ‘everything is bigger, larger, closer to real life,’ says [Senior Producer Vincent] Pontbriand.” In other words, to Arno, buildings look just as big as they would to you if you went to Paris in person. That’s a lot of climbing space!
And Paris isn’t just externally big; it’s loaded with interior spaces, too. Other games in the series have featured interiors, of course, but they were specific, story-based areas that often required load times to access. Not so in Paris: While Arno can’t explore inside every building, the game is loaded with interior spaces which can be entered and exited with no loading whatsoever. Just imagine the implications for the series’ standard chest-collecting feature!
“Black Box” Assassinations
In previous Assassin’s Creed games, key story assassinations tended to need a very specific approach. Not so here: you have the ability to take out your target on your terms, and in a variety of ways. These “black box” missions feature a variety of sub-objectives which can influence the outcome in a way that allows Arno to execute his target with a maximum of stealth and a minimum of risk. In one gameplay video, Ubisoft showed an assassination in Notre Dame, where Arno took out his target’s contact, stole a set of keys from local thugs, and then took the contact’s place in order to assassinate the target. But he could just as easily had picked a lock on a window and simply leaped down upon his victim, trusting his skills and smoke bombs to get him out safely.
Impressive groups of civilians have been a hallmark of Assassin’s Creed since the beginning, when Altair wowed gamers by sidling through crowds on his way to assassinations. But Unity is reported to up the ante here by an order of magnitude: Crowds in Paris are expected to number in the thousands. “We want you to feel that density, the chaos that was happening back then,” said Pontbriand at the Ubi blog. “Paris was a huge city, with almost a million people. So we cranked up our number of non-player characters.”
Historical Side Quests
Ubisoft has highlighted Unity‘s side quests as offering something new, too: Historical context. While all the Assassin’s Creed games have been rooted in history, Unity is focusing its side quests on big names of the French Revolution, including Madame Toussaud, Dr. Joseph Ignace-Guillotin, and the Marquis de Sade. Along with these historical personages, Ubisoft says, you’ll also have the opportunity to investigate cults and myths, and solve murder mysteries. We’ll say that again: murder mysteries! How cool is that?
You’ll get you chance to experience all of Assassin’s Creed Unity‘s new features when the game hits Xbox One on November 11. Don’t have an Xbox One yet? The Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle includes an Xbox One and a copy of Assassin’s Creed Unity, as well as a copy of the acclaimed Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, so sneak over and grab yours now!