View Full Version : How does AC Unity compare to AC Syndicate?

10-10-2016, 09:07 AM
I am now at level 9 in AC Syndicate and enjoyed it a whole lot. It's a great game which played pretty flawless to me - beside a single "out of memory" crash once. None of the problems, some people state in their review videos was happening to me - absolutely smooth game play in beautifully rendered graphics - an awesome experience.

So far so good - now I am thinking of trying AC Unity - on PC that is - and I am wondering if Ubisoft has meanwhile fixed the problems Unity had. Can I expect a similar enjoyable experience like in AC Syndicate?- I am having a blast in AC Syndicate and I would love to try out Unity, if I would get some reassurance, that it is a playable game now.

So what do you guys think about it - is Unity now comparable in performance and enjoyable game play to Syndicate?- I have some doubts about the population density of NPCs in some scenes I have seen. How was this for you - those who played Unity - did those crowds get annoying during game play?

10-10-2016, 04:40 PM
Hey and welcome to the forums!

Now it's been a long while since I last played Unity and truth be told, Syndicate is better (atleast to me). But! (and this is from my experiance):
I bought Unity the day it was realeased and played it hard until 100%. I enjoyed it very much and I don't know if I was just lucky, but I didn't had much game-breaking issues/bugs/crashes. And like I've said, I've put in alot of hours so there were many opportunities for crashes/bugs to happen. I don't think I witnessed the infamous face/off glitch and there wasn't any truly game-breaking glitches-but than again, I guess you could argue it's a matter of perspective.

Ofcourse the game isn't perfect, the main issue I had with the game was the totaly bland and shallow characters<----plural (again, a matter of perspective).
I've even read the book Unity and the characters there aren't any better either. In my oppinion, they could have made better use of the time period. However they balance it out with some neat new mechanics (like the freerun-down etc...)
But than again, I think a full disclaimer is in order: I'm one of those guys who actually LIKED AC3...

All in all I'm not sorry I bought the game. But I would sudgest waiting for the game to be on sale or something like that. I would say somewhere up to 15-20EUR is still a fair trade.

Well, those are my 2 cents. Let me know what you decide and if you have any other questions :)

10-10-2016, 09:10 PM
Thank you for answering. I made a similar experience with AC Syndicate - so many say, the game has hilarious glitches and even showed them off in videos, but i personally had no issues with ACS (beside a single crash within 120+ hours spent playing). I think ACS is brilliant, I am now on my second play through and I have to say, the second time around is even more interesting than the first time. If Unity ran for you rather well, I hope it will for me too - I have the recommended hardware, so I might be good performance-wise, and I hope that other glitches (like falling through the game map) are fixed meanwhile. So I will give Unity a try - curious about the more difficult combat system, even my guess is, it wasn't that successful, why would Ubisoft otherwise have returned to a more streamlined combat system in ACS - which has been really fun, don't get me wrong.

I have chosen ACS, because I lived for a year in London and I really love this metropolis - and to see the central region recreated in ACS in the 19th century and the area around Tower Bridge start of the 20th century even is just awesome. Voice acting is pretty good as well, even it is a bit too clean - they have the characteristics, but not the local flavor. Speaking of language - I saw that random NPCs in Unity speak french, what would be sad, because I do not speak french (despite my french name) and I really like to listen what random NPCs have to say - it was often hilarious what they said in ACS. So my question is, can random NPC be made to speak english as well, or is this generally just french?

Another PC related question - it bother me a bit, that I have to press 3 keys to free-run-up or free-run-down, whilst consoles have a single button option. Is there a way to get this down to a single key press without to have to use a controller?

Ah, you wanted to know which decision I made - well, I will buy the bundle on steam - AC Black Flag, Rogue and Unity - and if Ubisoft would make the Enzio Collection available on PC, I would as well buy that. I have just played the original AC and Syndicate yet. So there is a lot to discover for me with AC games. I will just have to find the time to play them all, I tend to play a game for around 200 hrs each, and 3 new games will keep me busy for more than a year.

Edit: final question - hopefully - I bought the game on steam and I wonder how I can buy something from the e-shop in the game - it shows me helix packages, but I cannot buy them, because there is never any request to put in my payment information. Maybe I can just buy via steam then or I have to fill in my payment information somewhere else - if you know anything about this, it would be nice to know.

I thought as well about AC3 - it is a different setting in colonial America afaik, what could be quite interesting as well - but my limit is my free time to play, which is just about 50 hrs/month at most. So I can eventually play 3 games per year and my decision, which ones, have to be good ones.

Thank you again for answering my question - I really want to see France before and within the french revolution.

10-10-2016, 09:46 PM
The gameplay (parkour and combat) is very similar. Unity is significantly buggier* but otherwise it's probably, though not by much, a slightly better game.

On the technical side, you get lots more interiors in Unity (so it might be a good thing you're playing the games the other way round, because, after Unity. where you can enter a large number of completely insignificant buildings, lack of that option feels limiting in Syndicate).

Also, you do get a lot bigger crowds. Some found them a bit overwhelming and thought it slightly repetitive to always have crowds in front of Notre Dame and non-stop guillotining at the Place de Greve, but I found the overall experience to be livelier, so it was a plus in my book. It makes for some interesting interactions too. For example, you may get into a place where there is an uneasy but still peaceful standoff between the protesters and the guards. In those cases, a single punch can often ignite the whole situation and it just feels so natural (even if, or especially because it won't always be something you caused deliberatelyand it won't always work in your favour). BTW, if you look at old, Victorian era photos of London, you'll see huge hustle and bustle that Syndicate lacks.

Also, Unity has underground tunnels, which, again, Syndicate lacks (despite London having hundreds of miles of sewage tunnels, some rather substantial, at the time). So quite a few things about the world have been toned down in Syndicate, compared to its predecessor.

Similar goes for the side quests where, for example, Syndicate's Secrets of London are the toned down version of Unity's Nostradamus Enigma, and also Murder Mysteries are fun and have no direct counterpart in Syndicate.

Other than that, I'm not thrilled by the main story, but side quests are interesting and the team did a tremendous job bringing revolutionary Paris to life. A small boo goes to a couple of instances of deliberate, yet unnecessary adjustments of historic facts in the game's "encyclopaedia".

*On bugs in Unity. The game was released broken, on all platforms, but it has been significantly patched up. It's still buggier than you'd normally expect, and you may occasionally have to restart from a checkpoint (usually because a vital NPC got trapped inside a wall, or simply its AI got locked up and it refuses to move any further, although in the latter case you can usually nudge it into action) , but it's not so bad that you won't enjoy the game.

EDIT: I don't know how many people still play Unity's co-op mode (you can also solo all of the co-op missions), but, while most people did just rush around to get kills for themselves, if you play with someone who really cooperates, it can be a blast, especially in a couple of harder missions and heists (some people went so far that they made up their own mini contests and the group then competed in who's going to perform more of a certain action etc, because, apart from special cooperative missions, you can also do a co-op free roam in Unity) and that's also something that Syndicate doesn't have.

10-11-2016, 06:54 AM
The co-op mode is not really something I am looking for - I want a somewhat immersive experience of the historical situation and a story line interwoven into it. I play too slow paced for most people, so co-op is not something what would be beneficial to my play style. With ACS it was London, what brought me into reading more about the gang history in 19th century London. You are very right about the sewers, those were well established at that time, but are mainly just in construction in ACS. 1868 is as well the year, where the tube opened in December to connect Westminster with Kensington. I found that there were 3 major gangs at that time in real life London, the only one which had women as well in their gang was Elephant and Castle - where the Elephant section was a female gang, so I guess this is what the Blighters are in ACS.

So with Unity I am looking for an interesting setting whilst the french revolution is undergoing, to get a feel for what it might have been like to live at that time - I know the game cannot really give this experience, but a bit of the flavor of royalists vs. revolutionaries and the increasing chaos in these times of change, that is what I am hoping for in Unity. I am as well interested in trying out the changed combat system - in ACS it is fairly simple, entertaining but in no way challenging. It does not have to be really challenging for me to enjoy it, but it should as well not just be counter and stun, which it basically is in ACS Nevertheless I am enjoying ACS a lot - Evie and Jacob are quite likable characters, so I hope for an interesting and likable character as well in Unity. I could just watch play through or game play videos, but I do not want to spoil my first play through, so I ask here instead.

Thank you so much for this extensive reply, it makes my decision far easier. ACS has been a great experience to me, even both characters were somewhat to similar in their abilities in ACS at higher level - Evie has some steath benefits, Jacob is a little tougher than her - but not much, I do not see that as a huge advantage over Evie. ACS has even replay value to me - I am on my 2nd play through and the story unfolds a little different for them, well, mainly because I know what it is like - this gives for more confidence.

How do you see the replay value of Unity?- In ACS are so many activities, which are not directly mission related, that spending some time in 19th century London can be a fun experience in many ways even if there is not that much time to play. Most of the mission-free activities range in the 5-10 minutes area - so it is even usable for very casual play. how are the activities in Unity?- Is it comparable or do you have to commit more time when playing Unity?

10-11-2016, 09:00 AM
Lignjoslav already answered you question about activities when he was talkjng about side quests: yes there is plenty to do/discover in Unity (like CAKE!!!), even the Helix missions aren't bad. But I do have to warn you, Arno is not an interesting character or likable (in my opinion).
Personally, I didn't replay Unity or Syndicate, maybe because I've put so much effort iin those perfect 100% that I didn't want to delet the only profile available... I don't know. Or might be that I just changed the pace and went for another game.

About the french language: I don't think you can change the random NPC language (this is explained/excused in the ACII manual, that the animus only translates dialog that is relevant to the protagonist)
Regarding you question about helix creds: I don't know much about microtransactions so I can't help you there.

10-11-2016, 10:16 AM
Replay value isn't bad, I think it's similar to the rest of the series. There aren't really non-linear elements in the main story and you don't get to steal and ride carriages a la GTA like you do in Syndicate, but it's interesting enough that, after I finished the first playthrough, even though it took me quite a bit of time (I went for 100% sync), I still wanted to spend more time inside the game world. For my second playthrough, I choose an approach more oriented towards the main missions and I was noticing stuff that I missed the first time round (partly because I could recognise things and people from the first pass, and partly because there are so many side activities that, if you try to do them all, the details from the previous mission are lost by the time you get round to doing the next one - maybe I should have done it that way the first time).

As Scystab said, you can't change the "minor" NPCs' language, but I do think that they give a sense of authenticity, even though I could understand only a little bit of their chatter (sometimes just enough that I really wanted to know what that particular NPC said to the other one :D). The first Assassin's Creed had soldiers from all those different nations yelling at you in their own language and it always felt to me like one of those nice details that made the atmosphere of that game so great (and AC II taught me a few Italian swear words). So, in the end, I even ended up switching the dialog language to French with English subtitles, because it sounded better than Parisians speaking Cockney.

10-11-2016, 02:14 PM
Oh, toi bad, that the language of random NPCs is fixed to french. This was a big part of my enjoyment with exploring London, that I could listen what random people on the streets, alleys and in the parks have to say and what they are talking about. A guy in Southwark were even telling a fairytale to children - the fairytale was told for quite a while, more than one normally would stay nearby to listen to it, if at all. To me this is an important part of exploration - not just in voice, but also all the music, which is not part of the official sound track but rather incredible at times in ACS - like a nice version of Bach's "air on a g-string" played by a brass instrument group at the promenade on the northern Thames shore - well, actually it is more the western shore, when i think of it, between Westminster and the Strand.

Some of the songs played in pubs with singers are quite interesting as well. Pub culture is so important in London and even there is life in the pubs in the evening, this is a part of the game, where it lacks some detail - ok, it is not really a metropolis simulator, but I like details like this. I like the flirting couples in parks or while waiting for the train to arrive in a station. Or the more grabby approach of a commoner in a back yard alley to seduce a young woman. Or a father explaining to his son how a steam engine works. Or friends, who have not seen each other for a long time and accidently meet each other at Trafalgar Square. Or just think of the adorable boys, who beg for pennies in Southwark and Lembeth,

And the of course the comments people make, when you empty chests, which are located in their flats. One even made me stop doing that for a while, he said "This was all we had and now you took it. I hope your hands will fall off". And quite a few other interesting different reactions of this type. This all makes it a living and breathing city, what is not the same the case for me, if I cannot understand what they are saying. I can understand though, that you played it in french with subtitles - I did that with metro 2033 on my 2nd play through, where I put the language to russian, just for the atmosphere of it. So I know where you are coming from with it.

I very much liked the escort and hijacking missions in ACS - actually I learned how to drive the carriages by doing these missions - cargo carriages are better controllable than the lighter and more agile carriages. The Growler is in the middle of it, It's handling is fine, as long as you can drive it fast enough, but it is hard to control at lower speeds. when it comes to navigation I will have to learn to look at navigation across roof tops in a different way than in ACS - I found that I developed a pattern to look at the roof tops in a way, which can be done with the rope launcher - in Unity I will have to climb and free-run again on roof tops. This rope launcher is addictive, it is hard to get back to just climbing.

Thank you both for replying - I am now pretty certain that I will enjoy Unity in a similar way than ACS - I am prepared though, that there might be more glitches than in ACS.

10-13-2016, 10:55 PM
Glad to hear it.
Yes you will be experiancing some disappointments in the gameplay mechanics, because you are playing the series backwards. As you said, the rope launcher is an example of that, but if you go further back there are even more stuff like that (like climb leap or double assasinations if you go from ACII to ACi). So do try to keep that in mind, you are playing backwards.
One thing regarding the languages: I completly agree with the authenticity aspect of the NPC language. ACII even inspired me to take up italian. It was fun to replay the Ezio trilogy after I completed a 1 year language course.

By the way, Unity has some wierd easter eggs, keep and eye out for them aswell :) If any more questions pop up, let us know. Or if you need a hand with any coop missions. I'm a bit rusty but it could be fun.

10-13-2016, 11:17 PM
Thank you - it is downloading now - Black Flag, Rogue and Unity - and the season pass and steampunk pack for Syndicate. I have played the first AC game, so I am used to lesser technology in older games. But I will do it backwards, simply because I am so curious about Unity and it's combat and customization system. I will see if I can pick up some of the language from the game - I am not very good with learning languages (beside formal languages which I can learn over a weekend) - well, beside english, where I am somewhat fluent in since a few years. It is not my native language, but it is my main language now, where I live in a more or less english spoken country. I think and dream in it even.

I had to learn afrikaans just from listening to people, which is a form of old dutch. I can understand it, but I have a hard time to speak it myself. I tried this with french as well, but I wasn't successful with it so far. People mock me all the time, because I have a french name and cannot speak or even understand the language, beside a few phrases, which are useful if I am in a french spoken country - which is rarely the case. To me french is as complicated to learn as if I would what to learn Xhosa with it's click sounds in it. We have some Xhosa women in our staff and they demonstrated to me several times how these click sounds are made while speaking, but I simply cannot copy their method. Learning languages is really none of my strengths.

The download will complete in a couple of hours, I started it 2 days ago - we have just 4 Mb/s internet here so it has been taken a while - 85 GB to download in total.

10-15-2016, 07:02 AM
I had a chance now to play into Unity - I can run all the Nvidia Gameworks features on highest settings, but I had to tone down on textures (just very-high, not ultra) and environment (just high) to get Unity to a smooth performance on full HD 1920x1080p. With these settings it runs very smooth even in crowded areas on my Nvidia 760 GTX. It is not that I could not use very-high environment, but then it doesn't feel smooth - maybe just like 30 fps, which is a bit too low for comfort - what is not the case if I reduce it to just high - then it runs very well. Rendering of the Nvidia Gameworks features makes up for this, top anti-aliasing and smooth natural shadows let the gameworld look quite nice.

Free-run is awesome in Unity, I have absolutely no problems to get around in the city and get Arno to do what I want him to do. I changed the key-bindings to make better use of the free-run feature on PC so that it is easy to move around - my "jump" resp. "free-run-up" is on R, my "sprint" on SPACE - so that "up" and "down" is side-by-side on the keyboard and not far apart. I reload with ALT and moved firing the gun to G, F is prone to misfiring, too near to the D key. And reload and sprint can be done with the thumb this way.

I have to say, the design of the city is basically made for free-run on the roof tops and most blocks are conveniently connected with rope bridges. So I started out with emptying chests and seizing synchronization points and have amassed quite some money, but I wonder where I can buy gear with this money. All the shops I found are just selling consumables. With this I have to say that I did not do much of the first sequence - Elise is still at the party and I did not sneak in yet to meet her. I thought I will first care for the financial side and get the map revealed - I am nearly done with that part, but I need some proper gear, Arno is still in his black servant outfit in which he started out. Maybe I should care now for meeting Elise at the party, but can I go to a high-society party in a servant costume?- Well, I will see.

So far I have fun in Unity ... but I am just about 3 hours into it and not done much in respect to the story content. Just wanted to give feedback as far as performance goes.

10-15-2016, 03:46 PM
I'm really glad you like it. :)

Yes, the people who designed the maps did a great job in providing good, long freerunning "strips". You're still very early in the game, so I don't think that you can buy weapons yet. Your health and the damage you can deal are very low at the beginning of the game too, so combat is best avoided (I found myself jumping into the Seine a few times to get out of a fight going badly during the first sequence in Paris). Fortunately, Arno is a quick learner.

One remark regarding the game performance: don't be too disappointed if you have to take the settings down a notch once you get to Paris. The city is just immense, which is awesome, but that just has to come at a cost. It shouldn't be too bad, but maybe you'll have to sacrifice some AA. At least that was my choice, as the advanced graphics options are really well used in this game, so it's a pity to turn one of them off.

10-15-2016, 07:03 PM
Yes, I had to complete sequence 2 and become an assassin to be able to buy gear and acquire some skills. I am not that scared about having to lower AA, because I have an Nvidia card, where highest quality AA is hardware-supported by Nvidia Gameworks, same goes for smooth natural shadows. I am not sure, if PhysX is supported as well, but I will see. Not all Nvidia features are always performance neutral, I had for example hair physics activated in Witcher 3, what was quite an fps drop. For the most part the game runs fine and I can live with downgraded environmental features (high is not the worst), So I am good for now performance-wise.

I like the story so far, even the Abstergo part is not really after my liking. I would rather prefer to not be pulled out of immersion. Ubisoft has done well in this regards with Syndicate, where this is basically reduced to a minimum. I am still a bit confused about going forward and backward in time, but I hope I will get used to it. The interface (UI) of Unity is inferior to that of Syndicate, Unity is clearly designed for consoles and not so much for PC and this can be felt, whereas Syndicate has an interface more suited for mouse and keyboard.

I am fine with the combat system, not that different from that in Syndicate, even the time window for parry is a lot shorter IMO - or maybe I just lack the skills yet for it to be longer. I might not be able to do much damage, but I am quick and have fast reactions, so I can avoid being hit in melee if I have just a few opponents. More than 3 are stressful though, because it takes quite a long time to get them down with rather dull weapons and this drains my ability to concentrate and to avoid being hit. So I try to stay away from combat, but sometimes there is no way around it. I will have to see what weapon is a good one for me - I think I will stay away from slow and long weapons and rather go for faster ones. To wield larger weapons would require that I can take a couple of hits, what is not the case currently where I have to trust into my reaction time rather than weapon damage.

Well, I am fine so far - just desynchronized once during the initiation to the brotherhood the drugged sequence, which is not really a valid death, so I am fine. I try to get through the game without to die, so I am overly careful sometimes and play slow paced. I am not the type who wants to die in a game, I want to get through it without it happening. I will see how far I will get with it - I managed to achieve that in Syndicate, and I hope to be able to do it in Unity as well - but we will see, all is so new still and I am very careful. I was near to death a couple of times, when running from guards who shot at me, but I made it and it taught me to be very careful and not just walk around town for sightseeing purposes. Or if, then in a crowd and blended into the enviroment, and not exposed - well, I guess, I will be fine, don't worry about me, i will get along well with the game.

10-15-2016, 08:37 PM
Getting the sword with the highest overall stats for Arno's current level worked best for me, even though other types of weapons were fun to try out. Keep upgrading his abilities and combat will get easier and more interesting. :)

I don't think they had a good idea about what to do with the present day/Abstergo storyline in this title, so they reduced it to a little bit of narration that will occasionally, but fairly rarely, pop up during play. It shouldn't be too much of a distraction. :)

10-16-2016, 12:23 AM
I am using the Fleur-de-Lys, a quite fast and well balanced sword. I was wondering if this would make me suspicious to be a royalist, but no one really seem to care. The lily, after which it is named, is a white flower and white is the color of royalty in the tricolore, so I expected that this would matter in a way, but it doesn't. As far as I know the fleur-de-Lys is as well a symbol in heraldic and so I certainly expected to be seen as a royalist, but no one seems to take notice of this. It can be seen in the stained glass windows in the cathedral of Notre Dame, symbolizing royalty, so I thought it would matter, but it doesn't. It is a decent sword, fast and with (for my level at least) acceptable damage.

Edit: Oh, quite interesting - the Fleur-de-Lys is still a symbol of (former) royalty, it's the symbol of the state of Louisiana, which is named after king Louis XIV.

10-16-2016, 11:49 AM
Yeah, there are tons of interesting little facts/details in the game and history itself. Glad the game runs smooth. I agree with Lignjoslav, they didn't had a good plan for present day, but it doesnt pull you too far away from Paris :)

10-16-2016, 04:09 PM
Unity is without doubt worth playing - the story is incredible and I have lots of fun. Nevertheless I like Syndicate more - maybe I am biased towards London and that is the reason why, but when I walk down the streets of London, I find always something interesting, what is not always the case in Unity. It can as well be that is is about language, i do not understand french and so I have no clue what people are talking about on the streets and alleys of Paris. Or maybe there are more interesting details to find in Syndicate, like all the music groups which play in parks in London or along the Thames promenade. In Syndicate it is actually enjoyable to walk down the streets instead to run, because there is always something happening or interesting to find, which makes me want to just walk and take in all what is happening around me - I do not have the same feeling in Unity. It could as well be the blueish tint in Unity, which looks so cartoonish compared to Syndicate. Both are awesome games, don't get me wrong, but I personally prefer Syndicate over Unity.

Edit: an example what can be found in Syndicate - somewhere along the Thames promenade between Westminster and The Strand is a brass instrument group which plays Bach's "air on the g string" on brass instruments like this group


10-17-2016, 02:57 PM
Both games have their strengths - for example, I like the mission design in Unity better, it takes a bit more thought how to approach things and it is far more stealthy than most missions in Syndicate. On the other side most of the city in Unity is full of NPC, which are basically good for nothing else but blending in - and that is sad really. This experience of a living breathing city is not achieved by putting mass amounts of NPCs into it, which are nothing else but obstacles or places to hide in. Less would have been more here.

When I look at Syndicate in comparison, it does not have this high density of NPC, nevertheless the city looks very much alive and because I can listen to conversations in english, it feels as more than just a background, it has meaning and people do things, which have to be done (like working) or which are for pure leisure (like playing cricket in the parks, go on a date or meet in a pub), which I cannot find in Unity (do people do anything different from standing around and complaining) - mainly because i do not understand french, I guess, and if, i doubt that they have something interesting to say anyway. So even Unity is crowded with NPC, it feels like an empty shell to navigate in - whereas London in Syndicate is a living and breathing city, where I feel highly comfortable in. This is why I think Syndicate is the superior game overall - Paris in Unity is too crowded, but pointless - as in dense crowds are purposeless.

10-18-2016, 08:34 AM
Well I think Syndicate SHOULD, in every way, be superior to Unity, because it's a fresher part of the franchise, meaning it should have learned from Unity's perks and quirks. And yes I know the games are in development many years, not just those 12 months between releases, yet somehow we still expect the next game to be more epic than the last :)

I think your findings are accurate. But atleast one aspect that Unity is better (in my opinion), are the murder mysteries. Both games have them, but I think Unity has them much more detailed/polished.

10-18-2016, 09:15 AM
That was what I meant with that most missions in Unity feel more challenging and fleshed out than in Syndicate. I am in favor of Unity, when it comes to the mission part, but I felt more freedom and an overall better and more alive city in Syndicate, which caught my attention outside of missions, whereas in Unity I did not have the feeling, that spending time in the city of Paris just for the city itself would be interesting - and this despite the incredible detail level in Unity. I mean just look at Notre Dame, this is an incredibly detailed remake of the cathedral and regardless where you climb around on and in this cathedral, it does not lack detail. The landmarks of Paris are great, but otherwise the city is so colorless instead to be colorful and the crowds do not change this. Whereas when I walk through the different boroughs of London, it feels alive and extremely immersive. Unity on the other hand feels more like an artificial environment (well, it basically is one, but you know what I mean), which cannot give the same level of immersion to me.


what both games have in common though is a terrible ending of the main story, which is either unfulfilling or not what one would expect from a game, where one is supposed to be the hero(ine). It is not that bad in Syndicate, but it is not fulfilling and you do not feel accomplished - Ubisoft has to work on this a lot.

10-19-2016, 01:14 PM
Ok, after having played a while and playing around with the graphics settings of Unity, i came to the conclusion, that it was actually a good suggestion in this thread to tone down the AA settings instead of the texture and environment quality - as nice as Nvidia Gameworks features look, they are a real performance drain in Unity. Same goes for soft shadows, high quality is good enough and gives about 10 fps more. So I have now actually ultra textures and ultra environment with just FXAA and high shadow quality instead of the Nvidia Gameworks features. But what was a real performance hit and a surprise, is Ambient Occlusion, after I have turned this off, my game runs very smooth and looks overall better, because it is less blurry. I think this is due to that TXAA achieved better AA by blurring the scene in motion - which is hardly recognizable if you run, but when you walk or sneak it is noticeable.

So I hope this will be fine now, because I am starting a new game now and will pay attention to all the little details and play more slow paced - with immersion in mind and less goal-oriented. Better texture and environment quality might do the trick and let me immerse into Paris more than before - it looks more defined, more detailed and better rendered now - this might just do the trick for me and let me immerse into the game. I am willing to give Paris a real chance and put aside my bias towards London - I like Unity, but i want to love it. I know the main story now and nothing really can rush me to progress fast in this play through, this one is in favor of all the little things and side-missions, all the stuff which I let out in my first attempt - I am not liking the outcome of the main story anyway.

10-21-2016, 12:50 AM
Well, now were I play slow paced the 2nd time around in Unity and pay attention to all the little details and side missions, I see all the things, which I missed out on whilst focusing on the main story in my first attempt with the game. I see all the things happening in the streets and alleys in the districts, which I did not recognize before. Unity is actually an awesome game, just too sad, that i have to tone down some graphic settings to have a smooth experience - i wish it would run as good as Syndicate on highest settings. Syndicate runs like a charm, Unity unfortunately not, I had to tone down graphics settings, what is a shame, Unity is such a good game otherwise - the side missions are actually enjoyable. And even better, I am getting used to random NPCs speaking french. Maybe after a while I might be able to pick up one or the other thing and understand it from it's context. Well, there is a good chance that I will.

10-21-2016, 12:51 PM
I loved Unity (TBH I loved every AC game ;) ) as for the co-op I had never played any game online multiplayer before (although having friends in kenways fleet helped but not real multiplayer). But the option of playing with just a few or 1 meant it wasn't a mad melee with nobody knowing what was happening, people could pause and make plans, decide who was going where and who to kill. I met hundreds of people from all over the world and the thing I found was that AC fans all seem kind, helpful and friendly... I got so much help and advice it was brilliant. The solo game had some excellent missions especially the murder mysteries but I only played it twice even though I spent 7 or 8 hundred hours in co-op for the club competitions. it is a great game. Syndicate (well I'm English and lived in London for a while so) it has an added special quality. I loved the gameplay and the switching between Jacob and Evie was great ** and I liked the characters but I think Unity might just be a tiny tiny bit ahead for me, although I don't know why.

** Switching characters. For ages I have thought the best way to use the travel through memories is along DNA/ rifts. At the start of Unity it looked as though I was getting my wish, it seemed s though there were many peoples memories and times in which to play. I would have liked a game where we could jump from Altair to Jacob to Ezio, then Connor steal some of Charles Lee's DNA and jump into his memories.... uncover and unlock new people to track an artifact through time to the modern day. There could even be multiplayer with assassins versus Abstergo agents, setting traps and assassinating each other making them desync and rejoin the memory. It would be nice to go back and play as Yusuf or Sofia or Elise or a Templar... even desmond again. It would also bring back the modern day in a way that would be acceptable to those of us who are not really keen on the story of the 1st CIV and Desmond etc.

10-21-2016, 09:22 PM
IMO AC games are mainly focusing on stealth game play - or at least when it comes to co-op missions and you want to do them alone, stealth is the way to go to get through them. I mean we have so powerful tools - smoke bombs, stun grenades, poison bombs, phantom blade and so on - that are really powerful tools and weapons, which can be used form stealth. I see no reasons to expose myself in open combat, if I do not have to. Certainly it can be played in a berserk style as well, but open combat is risky, stealth assassinations are not really any dangerous - and if you have to escape, a smoke bomb or a stun grenade do the trick and give you the edge when you are overwhelmed by a reason. I pretty much never use my pistol in Unity, I guess I have fired like half a dozen shots in open combat and that was it. I am not even using a powerful blade, I go for assassinations, I am an assassin, not a warrior, this is how I see that.

Syndicate supports assassination in a more streamlined way than Unity, in Unity I sometimes failed air assassinations, simply because Arno did not jump in the way in which I intended but did something else instead, which put me in danger. Assassinations should not put me in danger. I perform it, smoke bomb or stun grenade, if the assassination is exposing me, and I am off again - the shadow which cannot be caught, this is how I like to play it. Co-op would make this difficult. I try to be in control of the situation, and co-op is more chaotic.

Edit: this said, the enemy AI needs an overhaul - it is kind of ridiculous, that I can kill a bunch of enemies in the same way, just because all of them go to a corpse they see and I just have to crouch and wait for them to show up to kill them on the same spot. I mean, if there is already a pile of corpses, shouldn't the next guard be a bit more careful and eventually call in some reinforcement before he is investigating the pile of corpses?- I mean if so many died in this very spot, he is likely to be the top of the corpse stack next, isn't he?- So he should stay the heck away from the corpse pile and instead go to call for help.

10-21-2016, 11:05 PM
Well stealth is an assassins best weapon, the whole idea is to get in and out unseen and only kill the target. Which is why I love assassin and stealth games, I like to plan my route and distract or pass guards when they stop or turn, it adds to my enjoyment :) .

there were the odd time when I would try to jump down and Arno would jump left or over but the game is trying to guess what we're trying to do and all the times it gets it right makes the one or two not important... while doing the achievements and club competitions I met people who taught me some great tricks for stealth kills from cover, haystacks, ledge assassinations and air assassinations. You are absolutely right, Syndicate assassinations are a bit more streamlined I guess I just adapted to Unity over the many hours I played.

Enemy AI is something that is a problem in almost every modern game... I think because games look so real now, we forget it is a game. But I know what you mean, I cannot think of a game that guards find a body and search for an hour and bring more guards and turn on all the lights... (although the forts in AC3 were tough if an alarm was set off as guards came from all directions) But Shadow of Mordor they see a dead body and 5 seconds later say "well I never liked him anyway" Mafia 3 they see the body and pretty much do nothing. But then that is the arcade style not real life.

I'm certain Ubi are putting a lot into the next AC even though I was very happy with the series direction. Perhaps there will be a difficulty option as some have asked for it. maybe making AI more alert and for longer. removing the HUD and certain weapons or skills. :)

10-22-2016, 07:22 AM
Hm, that would be the wrong way to do it. One does not change the AI by removing abilities or weaponry from the player. NPC would behave in the same silly way and making this state even longer with even more NPC, would not help the situation, but make it worse. The option to remove the HUD or part of the HUD is already present in modern AC games, who wants to do it like that, is free to do it already.

To me it is less about difficulty, when it comes to NPC AI than about that they behave in a more natural way. If they see a pile of corpses and no other NPC is nearby, they should try to get help and move away - this would give the player a time window, to do some stuff, but he would know, it will not take too long, and there will eventually be more NPCs on the way out. Think about how it was in AC1. Once the assassination was done, the whole district of the town was on alert and it was a challenge to get away from the crime scene back into the safety of the assassin's bureau. Whereas in modern AC games, what do you do instead?- Escape the area it says, but what you actually have to do is just get some distance (not even 100m) and become anonymous again and it is done.

I could think of a couple of effects this could have, when an NPC is going to get help - firstly the distance you have to make on the way out could progressively get longer, the more time it takes you to get out, and secondly the density of guards in the area could increase and they could be more observant of anything what looks suspicious to them for a while longer. As it currently is, they return to their normal schedule far too fast, what looks strange if they do business as usual with corpses of their comrades still piling up nearby. Now, on my second attempt with Unity, I am doing all the little things and play more slow paced and try to do all the side missions and crowd events and so, I am really enjoying myself in Paris now, it is a lot of fun.

Of course it could be that the escape from the area aspect was toned down by Ubisoft by intention. I have recognized in other games, that quite often the route out is quite convenient and just available after the mission objective is achieved. But in AC games, the escape part should matter, but as it is, what you do - especially in Syndicate - is fire your rope launcher and get up on the roof tops and free-run away with ease. Given that is fun to do, I love the rope launcher, but I like as well the difficulty in Unity to actually have to think where and how to get up again, some surfaces do not offer a chance to climb up with ease and this would matter if an NPC runs away to get help, because it would get increasingly more difficult to escape, the longer it takes to find a route out of the area. But like I said, it might be, that players do not enjoy this part and it was toned down therefore.

This said, I trust into the ability of Ubisoft developers to deliver an enjoyable fun to play game - they did not always achieve it, but the AC series is really fun to play, given that I have just played 3 out of the many yet, but I will certainly try AC2, Brotherhood and Revelation as well as Black Flag and Rogue - the later two are already in my library and waiting for me to play it, after I will have done Unity in full. But like you, having lived in London for a year, Syndicate has a special feeling and this will be my favorite AC game for quite a while. London is my favorite metropolis and I enjoy Syndicate a lot. But the more I dive into Unity, the more I like it, especially now, where I finally got to run it smoothly.

10-24-2016, 03:49 PM
I agree but over the years I constantly see people on here asking to turn off things like the mini map, eagle vision and restrict the weapons or remove Evie's chameleon camouflage invisibility... my reply has always been "do not use those weapons/ skills." but perhaps they'd prefer an option that prevents them from being tempted to use them when it would help.

I've played lots of games where people have said something was too easy while others have said it is too difficult which is why having a difficulty setting for the game and the A.I. plus making things optional should please everyone.

I like your ideas for density of guards and longer exit routes, I think those and other things could be set as an option to increase difficulty. And I think that would please a lot of people.

10-24-2016, 06:47 PM
I see AC games not as combat games, even we are killing quite a lot of people in them. An assassin is not a warrior, he/she should eliminate targets unseen, be a shadow warrior in a way, but without to have an open fight. I love street fights in Unity, but I have the gear for doing it, what slows down the reaction time of enemies after they detected me, what basically means, I can do the first 2-3 targets head on, then throw a smoke bomb and get another 3 down by assassinations. I basically do not fight, I use my gear to take them down efficiently. This is what an assassin does, kill quickly and efficiently and then vanish as if he/she was never around. I do not see where a difficulty slider would help with it.

As it stands we are meant to be superior and it happens already after a few sequences in the main storyline - we are clearly OP and so I see AC combat more in an arcade like way than as a real challenge. It is meant to be fun and it is fun. In the end it s a stealth game and to expect something different from it, is not the fault or a flaw of the game, it is in the expectation of the player. I have never used the invisibility skill of Evie, she doesn't need it, she is knife master and has extraordinary stealth anyway (nearly 80% more than Jacob), she can kill a huge amount of enemies silently at range with double the amount of throwing knives. i see no need for an invisibility skill, she is already a power house of destruction.

The whole arsenal we have in Unity is making things very easy - what is not wrong, it would anyway not be too dangerous, done in stealth. The advantage is nearly always on our side. And the arsenal is clearly OP - take poison gas for example - quite easy to pick an enemy in the middle of a group as a target, take him out at range, the group around him will go to his corpse (that is where the AI is lame) and then they are all in a tight area, where the use of poison gas is immanent - an effective and efficient way to take a group down - and it is rather cheap and does not include any risks.