Fun and Murder in virtual Paris

Hello, friends! First of all, I offer my apologies for the lack of a Music Friday this past week! A lot of things happened in real life and I wasn’t very focused on the gaming/fun stuff. I haven’t even logged much in XIV, missing some T13 farming with both Syv and Arma. What I did get some time into was a game I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I am: Assassin’s Creed Unity.

First things first: after a hefty patch, the game hasn’t presented any invisible men, skinless faces or other funny glitches. Framerate is decent – I wasn’t expecting it to be buttery smooth or to never dip below the 20s when there’s dozens of people on the screen – and only a couple of times I’ve had a couple of minor glitches, like a destination marker being under the ground and impossible to reach (which fixed itself after leaving and re-entering the area).

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The game’s environment are pretty good looking!

The game itself? It’s actually fun! Doing the series trademark parkour is still a bit clumsy and easily prone to react the wrong way to your commands, but that’s standard AC fare at this point; I must admit, though, that it’s pretty fun to move around in this virtual Paris – the city is amazing, with fantastic exteriors and interiors on most buildings. There’s an ambience to it all that just works. The new engine allows for a lot of people in the streets so the city feels livelier than in previous ACs.

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Everything else looks pretty great. Textures can (maybe, possibly) look like they have a tiny amount of vaseline on top of them but otherwise they are not bad. Lightning and ambient contribute to make the world a delight. The screenshots in this article were taken from my PS4 and while the share function lowers quality quite a bit, one can still see the overall look of the game.

Unity also does something I hadn’t seen since ACII: it has a likeable character. Arno is no Ezio, but he’s interesting and fun enough to wonder what the story holds for him (sadly I cannot say the same for III’s protagonist which I found dull – and I haven’t played Black Flag). The characters surrounding him are interesting and well done, too! The Assassin’s all look and act believably. And I really like the Marquis de Sade’s portrayal.

And finally, I am having fun doing assassinly things. It feels different, more streamlined. The addition of a crouch button (to sneak around) makes it feel like a new thing, and assassinations are quick or fun to pull off.

*SPOILERS*

Tasked with killing the King of Beggars in the Paris sewers, I came into his court, where enemies were waiting, hiding and ready to ambush. After killing a sentry I started climbing some stairs only to be jumped by several henchmen and the King himself, who was himself hiding perched atop a tower, holding a rifle. For my next attempt, I went around the stage silently picking each of the henchmen and then went up another stair, up to a broken pillar on the other side of the room. There was a nearby soldier with a gun, but he hadn’t seen me. I decided to try something fun: I used a dart that confuses enemies. Hidden, I was hearing the guard mutter incoherent things and then I heard a gunshot – the guard in his confusion had shot the King! After dispatching the confused guard I went to the agonizing figure of the King of Beggars and ended his life – and the mission. That was a lot of fun!

I can draw parallels with ACII, and that’s a good thing – it’s my favorite game in the series. You can even unlock Master Ezio’s garments somehow, which I think is a cool little detail. I am enjoying an Assassin’s Creed game, something I had not done since II. Go figure!

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