Assassin's Creed Unity: Guide - Games Weekly

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity: Guide

If you have a burning desire to escape the tedium of your life, then why not try jumping into the Animus this November? 18th Century Paris is the stage for Assassin’s Creed: Unity;a time of political turmoil, where even the most skilled assassin will struggle to make it out alive.

On the eve of the French Revolution, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a bustling, aggressive, Parisian culture and journey through the life and times of Arno Dorian. Sounds fun, right? Well, there are a few things you need to be aware of before pre-ordering.

It might bea bit of culture shock, especially if you’ve become accustomed to the high sea adventures last experienced in Black Flag, because Unity is old school in its design. In fact, fans of the Assassin’s Creed II will experience a strong, nauseating sense of déjà vu. Abstergo Entertainment has for better or worse focused on making sure your experiences engaging in combat, sneaking around environments and navigating across huge structures is as entertaining as possible. Unity is all about refinement and, like a mistimed strike of the phantom blade, it doesn't always hit the mark. Still,

for those still interested in taking a dive into the Animus for the seventh time in as many years, here is the ultimate assassin’s guide to Paris.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR PARKOUR ENTHUSIASTS
ALL WOULD-BE ASSASSINS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION
Even the most cynical parkour enthusiast will find something to enjoy climbing over in  Assassin’s Creed: Unity . From dense city streets to some of Paris’ dizzying heights, this really is the biggest and most engaging city you’ve ever encountered inside the Animus. Buildings have been designed at a 1:1 scale, so acrophobics beware: you’ll really feel that height when you’re standing atop the Notre Dame to get your bearings and synchronise. You should take the opportunity to learn Paris’ layout as you can finally parkour  down structures. While free running still feels as automated as ever, you are now able to effortlessly sweep from wall to wall, from building to building, like never before and without the added hassle of having to keep one eye on haystack placement in the streets below. After all, there’s no telling what secrets you might uncover on the rooftops of Paris.
…your hand at a little home invasion. That’s right, you can now enter over a third of the buildings in  Unity, perfect for quickly navigating Paris and finding new ways to avoid the city’s guards.
THE LOCAL FASHION
CUSTOMISE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Come for the stabbing, stay for the threads. Paris is known as the heart of the fashion world, so be sure to make the time to dress for every occasion. Do you really want to assassinate high-ranking Templars and Kings dressed in tatty robes? Of course you don’t. If you’ve got the coin, then you can get yourself some clothes fit for a master assassin. It’s essential to make sure you stand out in cooperative situations too. Of course, being that this is a totally next-gen experience, your clothes aren’t the only things you’re able to customisable in Unity. You’ll also be able to equip yourself with a variety of weaponry to suit your play style and use XP to further your specialisation within combat and stealth skill trees. It’s a limited system, but it works well. You’ll spend a fair bit of time in these menus, but it’s well worth your time. The opportunity to so heavily customise aspects of your digital
self is liberating.

DON’T FORGET TO BRING…
A PHANTOM BLADE
What assassination attempt would be complete without a Phantom Blade? Getting up close and personal has its benefits, but there’s something satisfying about sticking it to a guard 20ft away. It’s basically a mini crossbow on your wrist; frankly, there’s no situation we can think of that wouldn't benefit from that.

MEDICINE
The streets of revolutionary Paris are a deadly place for the wayward adventurer, so bring a healthy supply of medicine to keep your spirits (and health) up. Regenerating health is so 2013, Unity demands would-be assassins be vigilant at all times and keep an eye on their health like a professional.

MONEY
You’re not going to get very far without some serious bank. If you forget to get your money exchanged, you can always earn some by completing missions. It’s essential for buying new threads and buying souvenir items on your trip. Keep a tight hand on your purse so you can splash out on some fabulous clothes.

A TOWEL
Word of warning: things get messy in Unity. The life of an assassin has always been somewhat violent, but attacks now leave blood splattered across environments and your clothes. Nothing arouses suspicion faster than a blood-soaked figure shoving their way through a busy crowd.

PSA: AVOID COMBAT
FIGHTING ISN'T RECOMMENDED
We feel like we must once again remind you that every assassin should do their best to avoid combat where possible. In Unity. Abstergo Entertainment has made a valiant attempt to make the combat more challenging and engaging, but it might not be ready for all just yet, particularly if you’ve enjoyed how easy other Assassin’s Creed games have been. You are no longer able to parry to victory as easily as before, nor are you able to take on more than three guards at once unless you want to risk dying before your time.

Please be aware: You have the option of using a variety of long and short range melee and ranged attacks, but be sure to keep a few smoke bombs in a handy pouch. They are integral for getting out of a tight spot alive.

PSA: PLAY STEALTHILY
KNOW WHEN TO STAY IN THE SHADOWS
Assassin’s Creed has always been a stealth game at heart, but  Unity is the first game released from Abstergo Entertainment to really let you embody the role of an assassin. Take heed of the gigantic crowds lining the streets moving between disgruntled groups of persons will now automatically make you hidden! Nice, right? What isn’t so nice is the dedicated stealth button. The idea is sound; let you drop out of sight quickly and provide ample encouragement for staying your blade. While clinging to cover is great, moving around and/or over objects is a nightmare.

Please be aware: While moving through the huge, 5000 NPC crowds of  Unity, don’t be afraid if you see a few people looking alike. 18th Century Paris has a remarkable amount of identical twins.

PSA: BE A GOOD CITIZEN
MURDER IS FUN, BUT THERE’S MORE TO PARIS
One of the best things to do in Paris is to sample its wonderful selection of side-quests and stories. As you’ll no doubt come to see for yourself, crime is running rampant as the revolution begins to kick off, and the city is in desperate need of a Sherlock Holmesian figure. If you stumble across a murder scene, use your eagle vision to find clues and then set out on your very own investigation!
Once you’ve spoken to the suspects and made your decision, you can “J’accuse!” the perpetrator and get them locked away for good!

Please be aware: Due to your position as master assassin of the order, you can get the innocent locked away. Be careful who you “J’accuse!”; you wouldn't want your conscience ruining your good times, now would you?

DON'T FORGET TO TAKE A SELFIE
NO TRIP TO PARIS IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A LITTLE SIGHTSEEING. PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPONS FOR A FEW MINUTES, PICK UP YOUR CAMERA AND VISIT THESE WONDERFUL LOCALES.

NOTRE DAMN
The Notre Dame cathedral is a sight to behold. Not only does it look bloody impressive, but it’s an absolute joy to climb and conquer. This should be one of your first destinations in Paris, if only to know that you’ve clambered all over the beautiful architecture. The synchronisation point gives you a great view of Paris, and there’s plenty of insertion points to sneak inside too.

CAFÉ-THEATRE
You might recall The Villa in Assassin’s Creed II and The Homestead in Assassin’s Creed III. Well, the Café-Theatre serves a similar purpose while you’re spending time in Paris. Not only does it serve a deletctable latté, but you can also purchase and upgrade the location earning extra coin, missions and altering the crowd ecosystem for your efforts.

ASSASSIN’S HQ
Hidden in the catacombs beneath Île Saint-Louis is the Assassin’s HQ. What trip to the big city would be complete without stopping in here to purchase new supplies, catch up with your fellow master assassins and grab a few new missions? You’ll become incredibly familiar with this location during your time with Unity.

THE BASTILLE
The Bastille was deconstructed in 1789, which means that, at this present moment, Unity is the only opportunity you’ll have to investigate this fascinating French prison. Not only is it a wonder to climb, but it’s full of secret tunnels and corridors to discover, you might even find some hidden loot inside just be sure to bring a few lockpicks with you.

INTEGRATE YOURSELF WITH LOCAL CULTURE
BY SPENDING TIME IN PARIS’ WONDERFUL PUBS

HAVE A DRINK ON US
No trip to a new city is complete without sampling its selection of pubs and taverns. You’ll find plenty in the city, and, surprisingly, they serve a purpose beyond getting tanked in a foreign land.

SOCIALISE
If your friends are in town and looking to socialise in a co-op mission, you’ll find them sat at tables in Parisian pubs. Don’t be shy: walk up to them, take a seat and invite them to party up and play.

MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
Pubs are also a great place to overhear new mission opportunities. The local drunks are gossipy, so you might even overhear new info on murders, or the location of new collectibles.

BAD CLIENTELE
Beware of shady figures in taverns. We hear the cult of Baphomet is using pubs to bring in new recruits with the promise of lucrative loot and missions. There’s no telling what joining one might lead to…

THINGS TO ENJOY
There’s plenty of great things to see and do in Paris, which makes for a worthy distraction from the meat of the single player campaign. The streets are alive with activity, from the fights erupting on street corners to the public executions happening in the city’s hotspots. Taking a stroll down to a beheading is a great way to meet new friends, find new side-quests and locate a new Templar to hunt and assassinate. It’s these sorts of public spectacle events that bring the world of  Unity to life, and make it the ultimate destination for any assassin making the leap into the Animus.

PLANNING IS THE KEY
Abstergo Entertainment wants your time in Unity to be enjoyable, and so it has gone to great lengths to minimise desynchronisations as much as possible. This means that the fetch-and-follow quests end in less frustration, with many mission parameters shifting if you’re spotted. Be ready to battle at a moment’s notice, give chase or drop into the shadows. Missions feel more open, but this is Assassin’s Creed , after all, and you’ll still find yourself completing mundane tasks to get to the good stuff like stabbing a corrupt ruler in the neck from a 40-foot leap

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