There’s plenty I admire about Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
Certainly not creative director Alex Amancio’s backpedalling when it comes to the presence of female playable characters in his game. But on the whole, I admire Unity’s renewed open-endedness. I appreciate the expanded choice the player now has, the gameplay variety at their disposal and indeed the re-doubled effort to redesign the series from the ground up.
One thing though – those crowds, those bustling Frenchies, those rabble-rousing revolutionaries, they’re basically just retooled shrubs from Black Flag, right?!
Don’t get me wrong, they look good, they’re immersive, they give that much needed illusion of population. But it’s not like they’re individual NPCs. It’s not like you can interact with them beyond blending in and passing through them. They are essentially animated clusters, designed to look like down on their luck commoners as opposed to lush vegetation. And whenever decidedly male (all the time, forever) protagonist Arno Dorian enters said clusters, the game treats him differently, like the Kenways before him.
I could be wrong here, but I doubt it. Just coz.
But even if I’m right, it’s no biggie. It cool. It cool. Like I said, the rabble looks hella atmospheric, certainly moreso than the alternative – unkempt wads of jungle shrubbery growing amid the streets of Paris!
In fact I only point it out because it’s yet another instance of that next generation power being used to spruce up a game’s flash, as opposed to a game’s substance.
Regardless, Unity is starting to remind me of Dishonored. A slightly humourless Dishonored, devoid of all personality, ill grant you, but coming from me, that’s some high praise.
Assassin’s Creed Unity hits PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 28th.