Each new Assassin’s Creed brings certain key changes fans have come to expect. A new hero, for example. A new time period or setting, certainly. Maybe even a few notable gameplay additions, like hunting, henchmen, or open-world sailing. Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, looks poised to introduce some of the biggest and most striking changes ever to hit the history-spanning franchise. Just like Parisian society during the French Revolution, Assassin’s Creed is about to get a major overhaul, and some of its most familiar institutions will be replaced with bigger and better things.

Assassin's Creed Unity - Redefining the Familiar

Paris itself is an important part of that; not only does it look beautiful, but it’s designed to be the series’ most realistic setting to date. The crowds are bigger and thicker than ever (with up to 5,000 characters displayable on screen at once), making them an excellent hiding spot, particularly for four players. Famous buildings are 1:1 re-creations of the real thing, and they’re now modeled with seamless interiors, meaning you can enter through any open door or window and explore. You can also do the same in hundreds of less-important buildings throughout Paris, and this can lead you to useful items, helpful people, and new missions and side stories. You may even uncover a Social Club, which sounds like a multiplayer-related feature but is actually a den of sinister Templars, who you’ll be rewarded for clearing out.

As big an addition as the new interiors are, climbing around on the outsides of buildings is still a key component of Unity, and while it isn’t going away — how could it? — it’s changing in ways designed to give you more control over where you’re going. Where simply holding down the right trigger in previous games would prime your Assassin to run up walls and start climbing, you’ll now go back to holding down A (on an Xbox One controller) along with RT when you want to ascend. If you want a controlled, stylish descent like the one seen when Arno climbs down the face of Notre Dame — and you will, because Leaps of Faith into strategically placed haystacks are now more limited — you’ll hold B with RT. And if you just want to vault across, say, the outcroppings along the side of a building without rising or descending, you can just hold RT. The end result should be more control over how we get around.

Assassin's Creed Unity - Redefining the Familiar

Speaking of chases, it seems you’ll now actually have a reason to run from fights, because AC’s signature overpowered combat move — the counter-kill — is also going the way of the French monarchy. And without that particular trump card, escaping, hiding, and stealth in general now play a much bigger role. As in certain other open-world games, escaping pursuers is a matter of breaking their line of sight (which you can also do by ducking into buildings) — and you’ll know you’ve succeeded when you see a ghostly image of Arno pop up in his wake, indicating his last known position (yes, exactly like Splinter Cell). Your pursuers, whether blue-clad “protectors” (cops) or red-clad “aggressors” (enemies), will then hunt around that position, meaning if you can leave the scene or stay hidden while they do, you’re in the clear. We recommend sticking to the rooftops as the dev team has deemed them the Assassin’s hunting grounds, and cleared them of all patrolling guards.

Alternately, you could lay an ambush, which brings us to the other part of stealth. Sneaking in Unity isn’t just reactive; holding LB puts Arno in stealth mode, letting him crouch behind, and duck between, cover points. So if you’re looking to avoid fights entirely — or just get closer to unsuspecting enemies for a quick kill — it’s a useful tool. It’s also easy to see how it could come in handy while tailing a target, even if (thanks to Adaptive Mission Mechanic) getting spotted during those segments isn’t a deal-breaker anymore.

Then, of course, there’s co-op. Unity’s four-player action won’t supplant or replace its single-player story, but bolster it with new kinds of play. Wandering into a tavern, for example, you might meet an Assassin Brotherhood operative who offers co-op missions, and he’ll even tell you which of your friends are online and potentially ready to join. But while co-op can open up new side stories and missions (or just present a fun way to explore the open world of Paris), it’s not necessary to finishing the campaign, if you really just want to play solo.

Assassin's Creed Unity - Redefining the Familiar

Not all Unity’s changes are quite so sweeping. There’s still a mini-map, for example, but ascending to a high rooftop and calmly looking out over the city will now bring floating mission markers and other point-of-interest icons into view over their actual locations. Random fights, murders, and other events now unfold randomly in the street, inviting you to get involved — or just sprint past. Hey, the French Revolution was a chaotic period of societal madness; you can’t fix everything.

These might seem like big changes for longtime fans of the series. Those dramatic swan dives and insta-kill counters that left streets littered with bodies were some of the most satisfying parts of earlier games. But AC Unity offers a new approach that should more than satisfy franchise fans and newcomers alike. Without change, games can’t evolve. Without change, we’d still be governed by dainty bluebloods in foppish wigs. And who wants that? Not Arno, and certainly not us. Vive la revolucion!

For more on Assassin’s Creed Unity, check out the Ubisoft E3 Hub and give these stories a read:

Assassin’s Creed Unity – 9 Things You Need to Know

Assassin’s Creed Unity – A Revolutionary New World

Assassin’s Creed Unity – Introducing Co-op

Assassin's Creed Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity

Release date — November 11, 2014
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Paris, 1789. The French Revolution turns a once-magnificent city into a place of terror and chaos. Its cobblestoned streets run red with the blood of commoners who dare to rise up against an oppressive aristocracy. Yet as the nation tears itself apart, a young man named Arno will embark upon an extraordinary journey to expose the true powers behind the Revolution. His pursuit will throw him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation, and transform him into a true Master Assassin.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
the author

Mikel Reparaz has been an editor at GamesRadar, PlayStation: The Official Magazine, MacLife, and Official Xbox Magazine. He now works as a mercenary games journalist because that sounds cooler than "freelancer." Follow him on Twitter: @Wikiparaz

38 comments
Chris2K
Chris2K

I've not seen anything about hunting wild animals in Unity which really pleases me (it was something I hated doing in AC3 and ended up being the reason I didn't buy AC4) - I just hope that the lack of discussion about it means that its been either removed or significantly tuned down for Unity (I know it's still a big part of Rogue so I'm not getting that).

Evon
Evon

I've never seemed to enjoy AC, I played blackflag a few times but didn't seem to enjoy it. (Guess I don't like pirates) but Unity seems like a great AC game, guess I'm a AC newb. Oh well, my stealth skills from WD will probably come into Unity as well :D

josh
josh

i know one assassins name is arno but what is the other ones

vinay
vinay

Can i play only with guns ? because i am not good at swords or i don't like them much :p

DannyBoy2k
DannyBoy2k

COMPLETELY as an aside...you know the classical Assassins icon? The 'Alpha' letter?

Take the 'Digital Trips' icon from Aiden Pierce's smart phone. found here: http://i.imgur.com/fOQFZa8.jpg

Now, turn it upside down...

Dylan Houchens
Dylan Houchens

This reminds me of when they began showing off Assassin's Creed II. A big departure from preceding game, with some new, unexpected twists (badass Phantom blade!). Cannot express just how excited I am to get my hands on this game. My big question, though it may be early to ask, will Ubisoft retain the "tradition" of having a group of similar AC games released for the next couple of years? Such as ACII through Revelations, and the Kenway games...

Sam
Sam

One thing I would like to see in this is some sort of notoriety system, one that ACTUALLY changes the gameplay experience.. for example if you are bad, meaning killing alot of civilians and allowing thieves to get away, you will start working with the Templars and becoming a Templar, maybe get chased by assassins every now and then.. and if you are good, meaning saving civilians from being executed, catching thieves etc. You will move your way up and up the hierarchy of the Assassin Brotherhood. I reckon it would be a nice twist to the game

Sway
Sway

I'm A HUGE AC Fan, I Have Bought All The Games And I'm Definitely Going To Get This One. Quick Question Ubi - Am I Going To Be Able To Customize My Assassin Avatar; Or Is It Going To Be Like In Watch Dogs Where I See Myself As The Main Character But I See The Online Player As A Model Of The World, Or In This Case One Of The Other Three Assassin's?

hgoel0974
hgoel0974

Now if only I had the hardware to be able to play this (and everything after brotherhood) when it comes out...

EA
EA

This is looking really great. More and more like an RPG.

One thing bothers me--stealth mode. Having to hold down LB seems cumbersome. I would rather toggle it. Maybe you could give us a choice on that?

Sam
Sam

I am really excited for this game, I dont understand why people are hating on it so much... and everyone is saying no multiplayer? how the f*** do people know this? I havent heard or seen anything about no competitive multiplayer.. and I find it sad they are going crazy about not having a "female protagonist"... it wont hurt anyone whether they have one or not.

MOHAMMAD
MOHAMMAD

paris without horse is not real isn't it ?

MOHAMMAD
MOHAMMAD

why ubisoft don't put horse in unity

they don't have time to do that

OskiCoronaQueens
OskiCoronaQueens

I love the assassin creed Everything lol ..u guys keep up the Awesome and Excellent work ,cant wait till assassin creed V drop ..new guy Arno seems and the whole french revolution thing Definetly is interesting. ...once again thanks for the work and remember" Nothing is True,Everything is Permitted" :D .....P.S. Why does anyone make this a Movie Fronchise ....SMH ...

Nick
Nick

Everything looks amazing. All I want to know though is how much the game can be played or repeated indefinitely?

ceekay
ceekay

It's "Vive la révolution!", not revolucion...

Bijin06
Bijin06

A playable female assassin would be cool. I like the 4 guys, but: a woman can be badass too :P

joshua
joshua

I just know this game is going to be awesome i have been a fan ever since AC 1 and all these changes Ubisoft is making my friend and I just cant wait already preordered it an cant wait to play it Day 1

Emanuel
Emanuel

I'm so glad with all these changes although it was fun to counter kill after a while I was starting to think the combat was not challenging and I would always want to fight huge mobs but I really like how you have made the combat harder :) and I'm soooo excited for the stealth mode I have always wanted a better stealth mode for the assassins creed series :)

Mladen Mihajlović
Mladen Mihajlović

I absolutely love your games. I can't wait to play all of the new ones coming. The amount of detail you guys put into them should be absolutely respected. I wanna thank you guys for all the experiences.

Chris
Chris

Me and my many friends decided to do not buy it. (we all have all 4 AC). We understand the changes in a game, but no way you decided to end the multiplayer.... so we are going to call of duty...maybe next year ubisoft uh.

Evon
Evon

Danny just saying, that's not the brotherhood symbol. That's Defalt's symbol, an antagonist of Watch Dogs, symbolizing that Defalt invented digital trips.

Bijin06
Bijin06

wow... come down, ok? I don't understand why you are hating on people who aren't happy with some things.... lol You are not better than them. It is a bit sad, that the MP is taken out because it was a lot of fun and I already have problems with the Watch_Dogs MP because I somehow can't connect with the Ubi-servers. But AC MP always worked fine. So I am afraid, that I won't be able to play AC Unity on coop because the ubi-server doesn't like me somehow. And that reason with the female protagonist IS SAD, because ubi said, that IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH WORK. This is the first time I think, that it would have been better to wait one more year than gettin' recycled Arnos... I mean: I pay 70 Euros for a game where the developers were too lazy to program female animations, come on. I will still buy this game, but that "too much work" thing is so stupid....

Sam
Sam

Its technically one guy..

DeafAtheist
DeafAtheist

Call for Money: Recycled Warfare, huh? Have fun with that.

Sam
Sam

I am still confused, where the hell did Ubisoft actually confirm that there was no multiplayer?

Cláudio
Cláudio

You cannot be serious. No one buys AC games just because of the multiplayer.

PS: HUGE multiplayer gamer and fan right here.

Jayce
Jayce

Lol @ Many..... LOLOLOL @ COD

Steve
Steve

There are 7 Assassin's Creed games.

Anna
Anna

*facepalm*

Sam
Sam

Didnt think I came off as crazy.. and I am not hating, I am just not understanding.. thats all.. I see now that someone from Ubisoft has actually said something about the No multiplayer thing, which clarifies some things for me.. and I do think it was a little lazy of Ubi to say that "animating women is too much work" but I mean, the main reason why I sort of snapped at people crying about it, is because from my perspective it sounds really stupid to be sulking over the fact there is not a female playable character, thats all.. I mean I would love to see another female playable character through the main story.. but I am not sulking they arent doing it. I am really excited for this game, and I will be excited for the next bunch of AC to come, women or no women, MP or no MP.. I will still be buying it

DeafAtheist
DeafAtheist

As much as I love the idea of 4 player coop. Having all 4 players play the same character kind of kills the continuity. In using the Animus you're supposed to be accessing the memories of someone who lived in the past. How do you explain 3 other identical clones of you albeit with diffent weapons or outfits? It would make more sense for continuity that the coop players were DIFFERENT people.

Bijin06
Bijin06

Yeah I know, like in watch_dogs, but seeing another female assassin would be good enough. Just to see, that the assassin order isn't just guys :P

Reece
Reece

Biased much?

Bijin06
Bijin06

Maybe it is like in black flag, where they all use the blood of desmond. And the animus just changes the other 3 assassins to different looking guys to "avoid confusion".... I am pretty sure that it'll be like this lol

Suhaimi
Suhaimi

@Bijin06 their creative director had explain about the customization..its gonna be problem when ur customize your character.watch dog does'nt hve customization..