Two review round-ups in one day? There really are more games than most people can physically play coming out all at once – but then that’s Christmas. Hopefully our round-ups are helping you to decide where to spend your money, though the standard of releases so far this autumn has seemed especially high. Up for round-up right now is the latest entry in Ubisoft’s biggest franchise, Assassin’s Creed Unity, which is appearing exclusively on new generation consoles and PC.
The seventh main-line instalment in the series, Unity sees the historical action shifting to Paris in the time of the French Revolution. Early footage has shown some spectacular graphics, but the question is whether the gameplay itself has advanced significantly from the 2007 original beyond the inclusion of four player co-op.
It seems as though critics have decided that it’s a solid if uninteresting entry in the series, despite the visuals and the well realised setting.
IGN – 7.8/10
“Assassin’s Creed Unity leverages the new-generation consoles to add spectacular new sights and successful co-op multiplayer, but in doing so, it’s created some substantial new problems instead of solving the series’ most persistent ones. The scope is stunning, the customization is satisfying, and the multiplayer touches upon some really ambitious ideas. But the lack of a strong main character or interesting take on the Assassin’s Creed universe costs it momentum and excitement, and the persistent control problems are still a thorn in its side.”
Eurogamer – 7/10
“As the seventh major instalment in the series, though, not to mention the first designed for new console hardware, Assassin’s Creed Unity feels like a missed opportunity. Going back to basics at this point may have resulted in a less substantial game than recent years have led us to expect, but it might have delivered a more satisfying one. As it is, mild improvements in traversal and combat are quickly overwhelmed by the creaking systems onto which they have been grafted. Revolutionary Paris is one of the most beautifully realised environments in a series that has had its fair share of them, but the game you play doesn’t really do it justice.”
Destructoid – 7/10
“My lack of enthusiasm for the multiplayer is mirrored by my experience with the rest of the game. Unity does take a few extra strides towards advancing the series, but in many ways it feels like a step back from Black Flag. It was fun to roam around Paris looking for trouble and ogle at the power of current-gen consoles, but the game lacks that grand sense of roaming the uncharted seas in Assassin’s Creed IV, or even the open-ended feel of the wilderness in Assassin’s Creed III. In other words, it struggles to make its own mark on the franchise outside of the new French Revolution setting.”
Joystiq – 2.5/5
“Assassin’s Creed Unity is the best and worst of Assassin’s Creed. It’s hard not to appreciate everything that it gets right, and you’ll have a good time if you can wrangle some friends for co-op, but it’s impossible to ignore where Unity falls tragically short.”
GamesRadar – 4/5
“Beautiful visuals, a likeable Assassin, and fully customisable skills and equipment: you’ll spend months on your virtual trip to the French Revolution. Mind your head.”
Gamespot – 7/10
“Is it the next-gen Assassin’s Creed game we’ve all been waiting for? Not quite. It’s very good, maybe even great in places, but the story’s smaller focus has come at the expense of its exquisitely rendered backdrop. The grandness and spectacle that so often graces the finest Assassin’s Creeds is sadly sorely lacking here.”
Game Informer – 8/10
“Inordinately long load times, repeated onscreen notifications, and a couple of hard freezes prove that Unity is a complex game that hasn’t yet had all of its bugs smashed. However, Unity’s frequent missteps are balanced against an astonishing array of engaging content set in a stunning world. Even as I tallied problems, I marveled at the game’s breadth of gameplay and richly realized world. I encourage fans to give Unity a try, and leave your expectations at the door. For both better and worse, Assassin’s Creed is moving in a new direction”
Polygon – 6.5/10
“The ingredients are all here for a spectacular new standard for the series on Sony and Microsoft’s new machines. But in the quest to build something that looked and sounded “next generation,” Ubisoft Montreal failed to fix the problems that have accumulated over so many annual release. Combined with an uninspiring story, and a long list of considerable technical problems, Unity falls short of the fresh start Assassin’s Creed needs.”
CVG – 8/10
“Ubisoft’s true new-gen innovation has been to make a real place for one of their templated games to play out in. That game might be entirely (and occasionally dully) familiar, but the scenery is like little else we’ve encountered before. Ubisoft’s been Forrest Gump-ing history for years in an attempt to get us to engage with it, but we’ve never felt more like we were a part of the old world than in just walking those streets.”
God Is A Geek – 8/10
“Assassin’s Creed Unity is immensely good fun to play, even though an average story combined with a number of smaller issues let it down. That said, the improvements to free-running and combat make the experience very enjoyable. The best part of Unity is Paris itself, and just how good everything looks. The city is full of interesting things to do, and when you factor in some enjoyable co-op and the brilliantly overhauled assassinations, you’re left with a solid adventure that just isn’t quite as revolutionary as you might have hoped”