Assassin's Creed Unity: XBox One Review
Platform: XBox One
Released by Ubisoft
The Assassin's franchise gets another outing with the first of two games being dropped this year.
It's to France this time though for the series as the Ubisoft open play world explores the French revolution with some trademark style and stealth as you'd come to expect from the series.
You take the lead role of Arno Dorian who becomes entangled in tracking down the truth of the Revolution as time goes on, taking on missions, assassinations and occasional stalking as well as some parkour to try and get to your aim.
It all begins with the apparent murder of your father in your early days (the first mission sees you stealing an apple before the death comes - a kind of innocence passage of rights) - but as ever with the Assassin's series, there is a shady organisation both in the past and in the present trying to shake things up.
There's plenty more stealth involved in this latest iteration of the game with you having to check places out before you go hurtling in-making the piece feel all the more considered rather than an ad hoc free world to explore. Emphasis is also on customisation of Arno as well, which is a nice progression for the series.
The core experience of the game is still there - hurtling across rooftops, surveying landscapes and scaling walls in an attempt to get away or just to kill the time. The world of Paris and the sumptuous luxury of the French revolution is beautifully rendered with Ubisoft crafting a landscape that's well worth stopping and admiring for all the little details and the size and scale certainly impresses.
However, it also provides a few glitches here and there from crowd issues to placing Arno in some precarious positions from time to time. Occasionally when on missions, I've walked into walls or when hiding, there's been parts of Arno's arms sticking out, which is somewhat odd to note. Ubisoft's promised a patch to deal to these issues, but early indications from the game are that these aren't just a few issues here and there. That said, it has the most realistic kissing scene witnessed so far in computer gaming technology - with tenderness and a graphical delivery that impresses.
If the storyline feels a little familiar with the usual tropes of the Assassins and the Templars thrown in, then that's fine and to be expected. This is the eighth game in the series and seems unlikely to change too radically from within. The storyline's relatively engrossing, but it's the world around that serves the best part of Assassin's Creed: Unity as that's where the sandbox open world potential opens up.
All in all, Assassin's Creed:Unity deserves to be praised for its scope, and its size with the developers clearly wanting to maximise the best potential for the next gen consoles. For that. it's unmissable. But for some small glitches with play and rendering, it merely fails to fully realise its potential.