View Full Version : AC Unity Gameplay Rant

11-17-2014, 01:59 PM
WARNING: before you read this beware there are possible spoilers. I forgot to put this in the title so I edited it in here.

I love Assassin's Creed, and I want to see the franchise do well. However, getting on here and ranting about the past few games has become my favorite part of each annual release. That's how I know something needs to change. Ubisoft has gained a knack for hyping up each game. They seem to always catch my attention. Unfortunately for me, Unity has not quite delivered on what it marketed. I really don't think I have unrealistic expectations; I just go by what Ubisoft advertises. I guess I'm just hopeful that there will be a new title that will feel has fun as when I played the first Assassin's Creed game.

The gameplay did change this time, but to me it wasn't anything "revolutionary." The combat felt a lot slower. Amancio mentioned that they took inspiration from fencing, but it didn't seem anything like it. It was more difficult (something that was needed), and I'm glad that the kill streak is gone, but it was simply dull. All you do is parry and attack. Occasionally you dodge if someone is shooting at you. Maybe if it was more fast-paced the combat would have been fun. I knew when I saw the E3 footage that it would be this way.

I wish that the developers would take more inspiration from the awesome cg trailers for the games. If they could develop combat that is fluid yet difficult, that would be a step in the right direction in my opinion. It would have been cool to perform combo kills with secondary weapons. One thing that felt like a step backwards for the combat was the fact that you could no longer fight with your fists or hidden blades. It's always nice to have the on-the-go choice of how you want to take down your foes. Instead you can only fight with whatever you select as a primary weapon.

Another thing irritating about the combat was the leveling system for guards. Guards in some places could take and deal more damage than guards in other places. I understand that it helps with the new leveling system for Arno, but it limits how fun combat can be. Sometimes you're fighting ridiculously beefy guards and other times they are so weak they only take one hit. It felt like the kill streak was back when fighting those guys.

One thing the devs wanted to emphasize was stealth; well for me they accomplished it by making the combat extremely slow and dull. Also if you die in combat, you have to go through an even longer loading screen that takes you to a complete black screen that lasts way longer than the Assassin's Creed purgatory in the past games.
Free-running was revitalized a little. It looks more realistic as well. Having the parkour down mechanics was a plus, when it works properly. Sometimes the "controlled decent" had a mind of its own. There were countless times Arno would hit a leap of faith instead. I'm tired of the conveniently placed hay bells being in the game. What is a hay bell doing on top of a building anyways?

Stealth remains mostly unchanged, with the exception of the crouch and cover system, which is a good addition. However, I have grown tired of waiting on guards to walk their routes as if they are mindless. I wish they acted more natural. In the E3 co-op demo they made stealth look more realistic, but the actual game wasn't quite that way. If they have the capability to make the game more realistic, why not do it?

The new AC still has decent amount of irritating things that break emersion. Medicine is back in the game instead of regenerating health. It's stupid because you can stock up on it and use it on the fly in combat, and you have to constantly visit stores to get it replaced. Aiming the pistol and phantom blade is weird because you have to hit the left bumper and right trigger to aim. It used to be one button. Getting chased by guards is irritating because you're constantly getting shot in the back by an unrealistically accurate flintlock pistol. In a demo it shows Arno being chased, but of course the shots miss. It really adds to the cinematic feel if you're being chased and they miss, given that the guards are a considerable distance away.

Eagle sense range has been drastically reduced. At first I thought that it was a good thing, but there were a couple instances were guards that were out of eagle sense range could detect me. I hated the fact that you had to earn back all of the basic AC abilities in the past games such as double assassination, double air assassination, throwing money, and even blending on a bench. Yes Arno is a new assassin but that didn't stop Edward from knowing all that stuff.

The assassination missions were refreshing compared to past games. I enjoyed having a lot more freedom. You could find events in the area that trigger better assassination opportunities, or you could simply charge in like a Levantine assassin. However, the assassination missions still felt like they were on rails at times. It would be better if you could find the opportunities for yourself. Instead, Arno magically knows where to go via the traditional exclamation points on the map. It also feels slightly repetitive in each mission because there are always two opportunities Arno can use. Typically it’s a kill opportunity plus a distraction/assistance.

What was an extreme turnoff was the last mission. You have to infiltrate that same castle from the beginning of the game with Jacques de Molay. All I had to do was sneak past a couple of guards and stick to the tops of buildings to get to the target. The final fight was laughable. How does the Templar not know where you are hiding? You can sneak by visibly to him, yet he just stands there like he didn't see anything. One time I got to him while sneaking right in front of him. What's funny is whenever you stab him and you bounce off to the ground, he is shooting you before you even have the chance to get up. I don't know if that was intended or not.
Another stupid thing was implementing the nomad and initiates chests. To get a nomad chest you have to use that stupid companion app that doesn't consistently work. When I first saw an initiates chest I was relived since I had an account, but then it says I have to be a certain level to open it.

I may be wrong or ignorant for this, but I was skeptical about this game when I first saw that Amancio was the creative director. He was the creative director for Revelations, a game that typically AC fans aren't too fond of. I remember it had a partial focus on that bomb crafting system. What I'm getting at is that this game doesn’t quite innovate things. Animations may be different, the combat may be revised, and the parkour updated; but it doesn't quite bring anything new to the table gameplay wise. Combat felt like a step back and the parkour can be a bit clunky at times. This game will be known as the one that introduced co-opt. It is fun to play anything with friends, but we've been doing the same AC stuff for too many titles.