There were many games at E3, but not many surprises. As an annualised series, Assassin’s Creed was always bound to make an appearance, but with new hardware already in the hands of many consumers, the biggest question on everyone’s mind was how the series would progress on new tech. After witnessing a hands-off presentation, I’m confident that Unity will set a new standard for open-world gaming.
If you managed to catch Microsoft’s E3 conference, you’ll have no doubt been ushered into Unity’s new look and gameplay. With Ubisoft showcasing a four-player co-operative demo, times are clearly changing for the assassination series. Yes, now you can join with up to three friends throughout the main campaign. This means that death matches and other multiplayer modes are exiting, with co-op taking over as its sole online component. Oh, and now Paris lends its vistas as you patrol its streets during the French Revolution.
Whether you like it or not, Assassin’s Creed is returning this year for the seventh time. I have a lot of confidence that alongside its new co-op restructuring, Unity may just redefine what we know the series to be thus far.
Another example of how more powerful technology has helped the development team realise a more developed open-world, is the way buildings can be explored in a far greater manner than previously possible. I was told that at least one in every eight houses in a district will be available to enter and explore. Also, Unity’s world shares one massive space, meaning that loading screens are non-existent and the action will never take a break for area transitions as found in previous Assassin games.
There has also been an overhaul of the controls and free-run mechanics. If you’re like me, then you’ll have quite a few memories easily making your way to the top of a structure, but coming to a pit stop should you want to go back down. Now you have the ability to hold one button to climb down and one button to climb up, whilst aiming where you want to go. The controls looked like they operated a lot smoother. I look forward to getting my hands on the game soon in order to find out how thorough the changes really are.
With the demo up and running, one of the developers decided to show me the sights, alongside demonstrating how much easier it is to traverse the environment. It’s clear that having Unity solely on Next-Gen has allowed the game’s structure to open up and set itself free a little. With so much more power available to Ubisoft this time around, everything looks beautiful, and the large number of people roaming the streets were just one example of how the new tech has been put to use. Whereas previous titles would populate an area with a mere twenty to thirty NPCs, now there are hundreds gathered around various parts of Paris; whether that be at a public execution or some inspiring rally led by a crazy old man.