Amid the churn of 30 second CGI trailers and cleverly cut (but mostly useless) 'gameplay' videos, it's nice to see Assassin's Creed: Unity played for a full 12 minutes with no interruptions. The video above details the new installment's revamped stealth systems, and demonstrates the increased freedom afforded to players this time around. It also looks pretty damn fine.
Assassin's Creed: Unity
Microtransactions are an effective monetization tool in large part because they seem so innocuous. A dollar here, a dollar there—tiny amounts that nobody's going to miss, but they add up, sometimes alarmingly quickly. The free-to-play model is built almost entirely upon microtransactions and it's starting to turn up in major triple-A releases too, including Assassin's Creed Unity, which will allow players to "fast track" unlocks instead of earning them through gameplay.
First up during Microsoft's Gamescom press conference, Assassin's Creed: Unity. This time, we get a nice montage of game footage, as Arno runs around, above and through buildings, before the trailer cuts to some impressively populated crowds. It's not the most action-heavy of trailers, but it shows off the setting and tech nicely, and hints at some Assassin-based lore nonsense.
To answer the most important question that surrounds any CGI trailer for the Assassin's Creed series: the song is The Golden Age by Woodkid. As for the video, it—via the medium of acrobatics and violence—introduces a new character: Elise. Described jointly as "an independent young noblewoman" and a "fiery Templar", she's rescued by Arno, Assassin's Creed Unity's lead character, for purposes unknown.
So, you want to give gamers a quick primer to the historical backcloth of the French Revolution, but can’t afford to send them all a copy of Les Miserables. What’s the plan, hotshot? If you’re Ubisoft, the not entirely obvious answer is ‘hire Rob Zombie’.
According to Ubisoft's latest Assassin's Creed trailer, Unity is an experience materially different from anything Ubisoft has designed before. A truly immersive experience revolutionized by new-gen technologies and a next-gen engine that brings characters alive like never before possible. Is it visceral? You bet it is.
The empty buzzwords may fly fast and furious in Ubisoft's new "experience trailer," but they're paired with five minutes of exciting footage from Unity and some cool glimpses of the Anvil engine powering Assassin's Creed. The scale of digital Paris is especially impressive. I don't know if Notre Dame is a triumph of digital architecture, but I definitely want to climb it.
The newest gameplay trailer for Assassin's Creed: Unity features all the blood, oppression, and guillotines you’d expect from a game set during the French Revolution, though it falls distinctly short on actual gameplay. The start of a new narrative arc, the game’s protagonist, Arno, is featured doing what we’ve come to know from Assassin’s Creed (stabbing, jumping, and climbing things, mostly) but this time with some new tricks—including a wrist crossbow to go with his hidden blades.
Assassin's Creed is a video game series about a procession of rakish rogues (and Connor) exterminating historical wrong'uns. Assassin's Creed is also, for some reason, a video game series about magic internet wizards, an evil corporation and using improbable VR machines to stop the Sun from breaking. For Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft have wisely decided to drop much of their meta-fictional baggage, marking what they say is the series' "best entry point" since the first game.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Assassin’s Creed. It’s a polarising series, and some of you probably bubble with hatred every time the name is mentioned. But the thing that has always attracted me to the games is being able to explore a well realised historical setting. Ubisoft have taken me from Renaissance Italy to the pirate-filled seas of the Caribbean, and although the series has varied wildly in terms of quality over the years, the world design has always been top notch.
Evan and Wes are back from E3, joining Tyler and Cory to discuss the best games they saw. The list goes Far Cry 4, No Man's Sky, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Dragon Age Inquisition, Assassin's Creed Unity, Evolve, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Oculus Rift DK2, and a game designed just for Evan, Rainbow Six Siege. Read up on all of them in our Best of E3 Awards.
Seeing a synchronised murder squad butcher their way through an 18th Century Parisian ballroom was my first ‘wow’ moment of E3. I watched Microsoft’s press conference huddled around a TV in our office with staff from various magazines and web sites, and as the hooded assassins continued cutting a swathe through French noblemen, a female colleague from our video department noted that at least she’d be able to play as a woman in the co-op mode. Another colleague made the point that it still meant playable female characters were being segregated outside the main mode, or only allowed to star on niche formats like PSP. It turns out they were both being too optimistic.
If you're part of the world's non-male population who likes to play as non-male characters in video games, then you're out of luck: Assassin's Creed Unity will not feature female playable characters in cooperative mode. That's as confirmed by Ubisoft creative director Alex Amancio, who told Polygon that the lack of female representation comes down to studio resources.
After getting duly excited about yesterday's big reveal of Assassin's Creed: Unity's four-player co-op mode and NPC-packed setting, we sent Sam sneaking past the guards at E3 to bring us more info. He spoke with Alexandre Amancio, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, about the changes Ubisoft is making to the way Assassin's Creed handles freedom and complexity. Here's the transcript of that interview.
Ubisoft showed Assassin's Creed: Unity co-op gameplay earlier today at Microsoft's E3 2014 press conference, but outdid that demo at its own conference with both a hyper-dramatic cinematic trailer and a long single-player gameplay demonstration in Unity's "systemic open world."
A few Assassin's Creed Unity details leaked earlier this year, causing Ubisoft to announce it early. This is how it must have intended to reveal it: a gameplay demonstration at Microsoft's E3's press conference which shows off four-player co-op, a first for the series.
Between Microsoft and EA we're well into E3 2014's trailer assault by now, but wait, there's more! Ubi always put on an odd show, but it'll worth enduring the onstage awkwardness if we get another good look at Assassin's Creed: Unity and its four-player co-op mode. We're expecting Far Cry 4 to break cover as well, and Ubisoft also showed its promising apocalyptic survival shooter, The Division, at the Microsoft conference. There may also be some breakdancing and a cabaret of some description, because Ubisoft. Prepare thyself.
A big draw for the Assassin's Creed series has always been the setting. Whether in ancient Rome, Jerusalem, or the pirate-city of Nassau, the look of the world helps make the game's sometimes strange mix of alternate history and sci-fi a bit more comfortable. With the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Unity taking place in revolutionary France, it's a great to hear the game's first released footage is truly "in-game," according to Ubisoft.
Ubisoft has announced Assassin's Creed: Unity, the next major game in the series. Unity, which we'll now have to constantly confuse with the Unity engine, is set in Paris during the French Revolution. It's a comfortable period (and architectural style) for a roof-running murder-'em-up series that's no stranger to revolutions. And if this brief teaser is representative of the final game, we'll be leaping across the prettiest virtual representation of a historical setting filled with powerful artefacts and suave murderers yet.