The demo was the same slice of gameplay from the press conferences on Monday but having a developer explain everything went a long way to show off some of AC:U’s new features. As was plain to see in the demo, you can quickly and easily shift up and down the environment and several times during the demo we saw the character making very impressive leaps and swings down and up buildings. Never mind the impossibility of some of these maneuvers, it looks sweet. The new traversal abilities are easily controlled via the right trigger + A for up and RT + B for going down. Assassin’s Creed has always been about making parkour look and control easily and now they’ve taken it even further.
These abilities are going to come in handy because Paris looks a lot more dense than previous locations. Additionally, we were informed that all the buildings are on a 1:1 scale instead of being a bit smaller than their real life counterparts and they really do seem larger. This is most likely to incorporate the ability to easily go inside the buildings. It wasn’t clear if every building has an explorable inside, but it does look like there are going to be a lot more open windows this time around.
Filling this larger play area are tons and tons of NPCs. The amount of NPCs that can be shown on screen is remarkable but if you look closely enough you can notice that the ones further away don’t animate like the ones up close. Still, we were told that the game can handle up to 5000 NPCs onscreen at a single time. That’s ridiculous (and probably impractical to do) but it does show us that this time cities will feel a lot more alive.
Assassin’s Creed has always been about making parkour look and control easily and now they’ve taken it even further.
Something new to AC:U is factions and every NPC belongs to one. This means that helping/hindering random people can have other implications. Help someone of a neutral faction and he might not do much for you. Help one of your own and he’ll fight for you. What was shown was a little black and white but it is so much better that the AI has more of a human thought pattern. Plus, you can lead rivals together to fight each other which is always OK in my book.
The other major new addition was a stealth mode that can be activated via RB. This makes you crouch down and move silently through the world but it also lets you auto hide behind cover. During indoor segments this looks to prove invaluable. This new focus on stealth is nice to see because sometimes there can be a lot of fighting in a game that is supposed to be about silent killers.
The demo didn’t go into the new coop aspects but they cannot be forgotten. This will be a huge feature but there are many unanswered questions about it so far.
One final thing that impressed us was the setting. The French revolution was a very dark and bloody time and it looks like they are going into it headfirst.
With the new additions, gorgeous graphics, and impressive coop, Assassin’s Creed: Unity aims to impress. Make sure to check it out when it launches October 28 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.