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“Hey guys, it’s your boy Dante, (aka Victor Freeze, in the Fight Game community), back to give you latest buzz and hype in all things gaming!”

It’s almost Fall again, which can only mean one thing, there is a new Assassin’s Creed game coming soon. The announcement of “Assassin’s Creed Unity” was made a few weeks ago at E3 2014 by UBISOFT (as expected), along with in my opinion, the most exciting videogame trailer since Mass Effect 2! And every fan of the series lost their collective minds!

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This time, we fight together! [image property of Ubisoft]

BEFORE I GO TOO FAR INTO THIS:

“For those who’ve never played Assassin’s Creed before, this might not be the post for you for the simple fact that because the series is six titles deep, I don’t want this article to be the length of a novel. So I’m not going to get into what the series is about, other than, you are a trained assassin, you kill people, and you look cool doing it! This is article more for fans whom have played at least one or more of the games in the series.

NOW, WITH THAT SAID

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m pretty much a “Jonny-come-lately” to the Assassin’s Creed series. I started playing about 2 years ago and though I played AC2 and AC Brotherhood, I have to admit, I wasn’t overly impressed. Don’t get me wrong the games were gorgeous; beautiful graphics, fluid game-play, you name it. But I just wasn’t as pulled into the story as much as I wanted to be, and I wasn’t connected to the game’s lead character, “Ezio” (or even Altair from the original Assassin’s Creed and AC Revelations) all that much either. I know that’s considered heresy to the millions of Ezio fans out there, but that’s just the way I felt. Although, I will admit, I did like the idea of being able to play Ezio and Altair together in Revelations.

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The streets run red with blood! [image property of Ubisoft]

What did bring me around eventually was Assassins Creed 3. I really dug the story, and the direction UBISOFT was taking series. Even though AC3 had mixed reactions with the fan-base, and Conner, the new Native American assassin introduced to the series was not met with open arms, I still found the story and he as the protagonist interesting enough to pull me in. And by the time AC Black Flag came around, (where you play as “Edward Kenway“, an assassin/pirate)… I was all in!

SO LET’S GET INTO UNITY

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Your fist mission: Kill the Marquis! [image property of Ubisoft]

This time we are out of Rome, out of “colonial” Boston, and have found our new assassin, “Arno Dorian”, in 18th century Paris during the height of the French Revolution. What sets this apart from the rest of the series is for the first time ever… You will be able to play “CO-OP”” with your pals, in the “actual” campaign! Hence the name, “UNITY”!

Multi-player itself is nothing new. It was introduced in AC-Brotherhood, and has been a regular feature in the game since. But, it was just a side feature, separate of the main campaign where you hunt down others online and make random kills. Now in unity, we get to experience not just the story together, but depending on what choices we make, we’ll experience different outcomes! We also get to play with a wide array of new weapons, such as the “Phantom Blade” which is a hidden blade that becomes a mini-crossbow.

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Coordinate with your squad for more effectiveness! [image property of Ubisoft]

As far as combat and the actual game-play, “Lead Game Designer”, Alex Pedneault said that they have basically started from scratch. Even though some things will be familiar to fans of the series, they wanted to keep the combat evolving with the new consoles. The game-play not only had to be exciting, but it had to feel real, and the consequences for certain riskier moves had to have some weight to them! Not every kill can be handled the same way, depending on whom your target is, you will have to really consider what your strategy is going to be to pull it off successfully. For example: If you are stuck in a fight with more NPCs than you can handle, use a “Berserker” dart to cause confusion and give you time to flee.

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Stealth is still your Best weapon. [image property of Ubisoft]

The combat system has also added Fencing to the series. This is where your timing and parrying skills really get honed as you cannot simply hack and slash your way through an opponent. We’ll have more details on Fencing a little later.

As always, stealth is vital to any Assassin’s Creed game. The new stealth system allows you to now blend and use light cover, so you no longer have to go into combat from a “crouch” position all the time. You can also run to cover spots and hide from your opponent. They have introduced a “Known Position” system, so when you run around a corner you’ll see an outline or a ghost of Arno’s Last Known Position and that’s your moment to hide, whether it’s by blending in a crowd, jumping into a haystack or getting onto a roof as fast as possible. So, it’s really about that loop of: if you’re detected, break line-of-sight. And with combat being much harder in this game, it really forces a player to use the stealth feature a lot more often.

NOW HOW DOES THE CO-OP WORK?

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Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide! [Image property of Ubisoft]

Basically, once you’ve entered the game, you need to find your teammates (if you are playing with a team) they are easily found by the glowing notification symbol above their head. Once together you each have a map to get to your collective target or targets, and this is where strategy comes in to play. You will need to really communicate with your squad and back each other up during the mission. One mistake could easily leave your “brother in arms” exposed and vulnerable to multiple attacks. All the story elements and cut scenes you would experience in normal single player, you will not experience together. The only down-side of the multiplayer is that you are not playing as different assassins, but the same assassin with varied clothing and weapons. But from what I’ve seen of the game so far, this can be easily overlooked.

FINAL WORDS

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Fencing is one of many new tools in your arsenal! [image is property of Ubisoft]

This is probably the game I’m most excited about this year! There is so much to learn and discover as you’re “parkouring” around Paris, unlocking or finding new weapons and equipment, and story to delve into. Not to mention, as with all Assassin’s Creed games, plenty of DLC to keep this game fresh until… well, until the next title in the series. Assassin’s Creed Unity is slated for fall release on October 28, 2014 on PS4XBOX ONEPS3, and XBOX 360.
It’s time to kill again! But this time, you’re not alone!