E3 2014: Assassin’s Creed: Unity Looks Truly Next-Gen

E3 2014: Assassin's Creed: Unity Looks Truly Next-Gen

Ubisoft showed off the first gameplay for its upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity video game at E3 yesterday. It’s a stunning leap forward in graphical fidelity from even the PS4 version of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Streets are crowded with people—more people than I’ve ever seen in an open-world game. There are throngs of people in Ubisoft’s Paris. Mobs. Hordes. And few of them look happy.

(Check out the screenshot gallery at the end of this post.)

The game is set in Revolutionary France and the city of Paris is built to scale according to Ubisoft (or at least to historical scale.)

Better yet, it’s all seamless. Walk into a building—and now there are many buildings to enter, rather than merely run past or scale—doesn’t require a load screen.

Free-run parkour /4/not change the game fundamentally, but it should make traversing the city a lot more fun.

Ubisoft has also finally added an actual stealth mode to the game, allowing players to tackle objectives without the need to find bushes or haystacks. You can hide behind objects now, like a proper stealth game. (I’m still baffled that this was introduced several games ago.)

Combat is also receiving some new touches, but I can’t muster too much hope that it will become anything more than the casual affair it’s always been. While I really loved Assassin’s Creed IV, the game’s combat—outside of naval combat—remained too simplistic. It felt okay, and the animations were great, but there were no bones beneath the skin. No challenge, and very little substance. I’m rooting for something meatier without getting my hopes up.

Speaking of naval combat, I wonder if this is cut completely from Unity or if we just haven’t seen it yet. The setting certainly doesn’t lend itself very well to naval warfare; to my knowledge, the revolutionaries didn’t sail against the French monarchy (though a Napoleonic-era Assassin’s Creed could make use of that, and so much more.)

Here’s the E3 demo:

Perhaps most interesting of all is a new co-op story mode, allowing two to four people to play in tandem online, completing objectives together. This is a nice addition to multiplayer, something I’ve always felt left much to be desired in the franchise. Here’s the co-op demo from E3:

Very curious to see how this plays out.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 28th. The series has sold over 76 million copies to date.

Ubisoft (UBI) is up 0.43% as of this writing following the company’s E3 conference Monday.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity (E3 2014)

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