Editor’s Note: Assassins Creed: Unity was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 platform and all the bugs for this review are specific to that console. GiN waited a full week before running the review, hopeful that a patch would fix many of the bugs, glitches and errors.
When I started up Assassins Creed: Unity for the first time, I was very excited, finally a game that will push my PlayStation 4 to the limits and be fun all at the same time, that I’ll be able to play for an extended period of time. I’ve seen the PlayStation’s power while playing games like Infamous: Second Son and Destiny. I’ve seen the beautiful lighting and special effects that can only be performed by the current generation of gaming consoles and high end PCs. Sadly as of writing this review, November 14th 2014, I’ve seen only the ugly side of Unity.
This game is plagued with bugs and glitches, some of them amusing, some downright terrifying, and most just frustratingly annoying. I’ve seen the game stutter during cutscenes, which is downright unacceptable; this issue is something I haven’t seen since I played Warcraft 3 on a first generation Mac Mini, a machine that is most definitely not suited for playing games on.
Gameplay: I’ve gotten through the first six or so missions in the game, and while I’ve enjoyed playing it, except for the frequent stutters during gameplay, I’ve found that the new free-running mechanic is less than spectacular. I really enjoy the free-run down button, but I wish that it was as easy to free-run up as it used to be in older Assassin’s Creed games. I may just need to spend more time with the game, but until the issues I’ve mentioned are fixed I just don’t really want to spend all that much time playing a broken game.
The reason I’m so adamant when it comes to these issues is that when the game stutters and after freezing for a second in combat, I’m suddenly dead because I missed dodging or parrying a hit from an enemy. It is incredibly frustrating to have this happen to you a couple of times.
Music: It’s standard Assassin’s Creed, and while I really enjoy all the ambient sounds I noticed in the few hours I’ve played the game I just can’t have fun while the sounds are skipping ahead of the animation. It feels like I’m watching a bad bootleg movie where the audio track is completely out of sync compared to the rest of the movie.
Art: Other than the numerous graphical bugs/glitches that are sometimes hilarious or frightening, the game is very beautiful. I just wish it wasn’t as buggy so I could really enjoy the artwork that Ubisoft has put into the game. One special note I should make is that the scale of the buildings is huge compared to the previous games. This is a huge improvement, especially since nearly every fourth building has an interior I can pop in and out of while free-running across the Parisian streets and roofs.
Plot: I’m not one to go to much into plot for games for fear of spoilers, but I’ll say that while it has me hooked, it hasn’t hooked me enough to make me slog through the graphical issues of the game. It is standard Assassins Creed however, with you playing as part of the Brotherhood fighting against the Knights Templar. I mention this because for the previous generation consoles and PCs in early 2015, Ubisoft released a separate Assassin’s Creed game subtitled Rogue where you play as an Ex-Assassin turned Templar.
This all said I definitely like Arno Dorian a hell of a lot more then I ever liked Connor or even Edward Kenway. Arno reminds me of Ezio, and that is a very good thing, and his love interest Elise is just as interesting.
Overall: I would wait until all of the game-breaking bugs and the framerate issues are fixed until buying this game, at least on the PlayStation 4 where this was reviewed. I’m sure once everything is fixed it’ll be a good game. It just isn’t worth your money buying the game right now.
I understand that Ubisoft wants to get the most out of the holiday shopping season, but they could have easily pushed the game back more than just a couple of weeks and still have made plenty of money off a new Assassin’s Creed title. Quality is important when you are getting into the 8th entry in a long running series, especially after making an excellent one previously with Black Flag. Against Black Flag’s amazing pirates, Unity just can’t hold up.