Rin Reviews: Assassins Creed Unity

Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Rin’s thoughts and feelings

I haven’t played Assassins Creed: Unity since 2015. I know that I might be looking back at it through rose coloured glasses, but this review is purely my opinion, and I love my pink glasses.

This review also isn’t going to be a critical gameplay and story review, just more my thoughts on the game after four or five years, what I remember, and how it still lingers in my mind.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been having thoughts about co-op games that I played in the past, and Assassins Creed Unity was honestly one of my favourite games at that stage of my life. It was also the last Assassin’s Creed game that I finished, I played Syndicate, but never got around to finishing it.

Assassin’s Creed Unity came out while I was in secondary school. about the time Black Flag came out was when my friend, I’ll call him Jacob, introduced me to the Assassin’s creed series. he lent me all the games on Xbox 360 and I played through AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations before returning them to him. I never really played the first Assassin’s Creed game.

When the trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity came out, Jacob and I were excited to say the least. The world premier trailer still holds it’s place in my mind and is one of my favourite trailers. Along with 2 more of our friends, we were talking about the game every day on the school playground. We actually started team-building exercises playing other games together like Payday 2 and Left 4 Dead 2.

I pre-ordered AC:U, got the metal case a day early and installed it overnight. Went to school the next day excited to play the game when I got home. If anyone remembers the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, it had one of the worse receptions of a worldwide launch. the game was extremly buggy, including an infamous no face bug which was kinda disturbing. But, I didn’t experience any bugs. My game ran just fine.

The story of the game is a little bit lost on me all these years later. I remember trying to seige a castle in the first mission, a romance with Elise, some of the later missions too. the story was good enough to keep my attention for it. But, the story was something I didn’t really focused on. I was there for the Co-op.

The Co-op in the game was open world, with a handful of missions that had randomly generated elements, like where a painting was in a building or the route that guards took. the variation mission to mission made it fun and added a replay value.

We had all decided before hand we would all use different weapons, all look into different skills to be the best team we could. I was the Stealth girl. Jacob was the all-rounder, mostly a fighter. Then the remaining two of our group was the heavy weapons man and the ranged guy. Regardless of how you play the game, you’re still not limited to any specific path, which was helpful for Jacob and I.

The other two members of our group weren’t as active as we thought they were going to be. Our heavy weapons guy only played with us a couple of evenings, and our ranged guy had a curfew before he had to leave for homework each night. Most of the time, it was just Jacob and I. The several months we played bought us a lot closer together.

Jacob and I were driven, the games Social Clubs gave us a goal to aim for. For every assassination, every kill, the game gave points. the more intricate the kill, the more points it would get. We soon got to a point were we would run around a city, see two guards and with a word, we would assassinate our targets simultaneously. Every week, we aimed for the top of the leaderboard and moved up the ranks. after a month or two, we reached some of the top in the UK.

I also fondly remember part of a mission, while the mission was able to completed either in stealth, or as loud as we wanted, we set outselves to complete it stealthly. With the ever shifting guard patterns when we failed, we soon found that the best strategy was not planning, but playing it by ear. Our teamwork and individual skills combined allowed us to clear the mission, gaining a large amount of the points we sought after.

Looking back at the game, while it’s got a fairly contriversial name as being a bad game, I really did enjoy my time playing. I might even go as far as saying it might be my favourite Assassin’s Creed game. Not for the story, or the characters. But for the fun experiences I had with my friends.

In honour of calling myself a reviewer, I have to change the tone of this review. I can’t go on about all the good points of my personal experience, and fail to mention any of the bad ones. From my own view, there were very few bad things about the game.

One thing I wished while I was playing, was that there were more co-op missions. After a while, we had finished all the missions several times over in many different ways. there was only a handful of co-op missions, even after the DLC was released too. Everyone had wanted the whole story to be Co-op too. I really would have enjoyed the story being co-op, but I feel that the game was limited by it’s ties to real life, and it’s way to have set paths through missions.

The story also isn’t memorable. I only remember parts of two or three of the missions, I don’t remember what the goal was apart from something about the Sword of Eden, I don’t even really remember who the main antagonist of the story was either. If you played Assassin’s Creed for the story, I personally felt it had been going downhill ever since Assassin’s Creed 3. The story didn’t seem too important to the overall story that the games were telling.

Now onto some more positive notes. For the first time in an Assassin’s Creed game, I felt like I had my own character, and I wasn’t playing as someone else. And I think that might be a reason why there wasn’t a strong story or characters. not being bound to the Assassin’s code like many of the former assassin’s not out for revenge like Connor, or out being a pirate like Edward. I felt like I was free to make my character my own. I picked up the spear as my main weapon, also using the hidden blades a lot too. I customised my outfit rather than just having the colour changed or a slight difference. While I moved around the city, I wasn’t calling my character Arno, I was referring to myself. I was immersed in being my own character.

The skill trees I wasn’t too sure on at first, but after exploring the game with my friends and carrying out missions, I felt like I had worth in a team. With two players and three enemies, my double assassinations were needed. While I lacked the chance to have openings in main combat, I was able to fill in by throwing a smoke bomb. The way I played my character was different from how Jacob played his. If I went back to play the game again today, with a new save file, I would feel different from how I played before. and that’s the experience I love in a game, that I’m making my own story, not fufilling someone else’s.

Since I played Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a lot of things have happened in my life. Four years is a long time and no time at all. I look back at my time playing Unity and I did thoroughly enjoy it. I think it’s a shame that the game was so badly recieved.

I know ever since Unity, there hasn’t been any Co-op Assassin’s Creed games. Since the games went back to being set in the BC timeline, I haven’t had the urge to pick it up and play the game. I don’t have enough understanding of the games to properly review them, but as a player, I do have my own thoughts on them.

The current Assassin’s Creed games and my own thoughts

Origins and Oddesy never took my interest because they had a setting I’ve personally never been interested in. I’ve never thought about wandering around Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece. My first thoughts were that the Assassin’s Brotherhood was started in the 12th century, so going back 1200 years just felt illogical to me. However, I do see their issue after Syndicate, not being able to move too far forwards in time due to it catching up with where we are now.

From how I understand the games, they’re much more of an RPG game. you have to collect skins and pelts and other materials to create new armour and weapons. And while a lot of people like RPGs, myself included. I feel that the game stepped away from being about Assassins. The story that was built up from Altair to Ezio, through to the Kenway’s just felt like it had been abandoned. I still don’t know if the “Modern day” story has been developed any more since Assassin’s Creed 4.

While I liked customising my character in Assassin’s Creed Unity, I feel like i’m contradicting myself. But the main reason I haven’t picked up the new Assassin’s Creed games is the same as why I haven’t played Skyrim for several years. I don’t like playing games alone, and I don’t see a point of customising a character that no-one will see.

I had a lot of fun with Ezio’s games, and fun with the Kenway games. but Unity was the most fun game for me.

Due to my own contradicting thoughts and feelings on the games, and a currently unused Level 3 extended diploma in games development. I thought it would be a good idea to tell you all about what kind of Assassin’s Creed game I would play.

The game would be set between the 16th and the 18th century. Probably falling towards the later end. During this time, and as seen in previous games, firearms are just being developed and are in their flintlock stage, and bladed weapons are still about.

I won’t go into the story or character of the game. However, the player would be able to decide their gender, and some characteristics, like hair colour, skin colour, and eye colour. I would also have to do some market research into either keeping the main character un-named, thus breaking story immersion. or having two names, one for a male character and one for a female character.

The player would be given a skill tree, where progression through story or exploring the open world would grant them skill points. the player can then use this to decide what skills they want to unlock. However, the skills would not be essential to progressing any missions, that is upto the skill and smarts of a player.

The player can also decide what weapon they want to use. From hidden blades to battle axes. if a player wanted to be stealthy, they would have to use a smaller weapon. allowing them to quietly enter buildings or even walk into areas where players with noticable weapons would be denied.

A smaller weapon would mean less damage and less openings to attack, but would allow for stealthier kills, a larger weapon would allow for more openings and damage, but throw out all chances of a stealth kill. This would be where the Co-op system of the game would come into effect.

Setting up a mission without co-op, Assassinating a target in a well guarded building. A player who likes to play in a brutish style would either have to find different access points to the building so they can get in with their large weapon. from there, they can brawl their way to the target fighting enemies. A stealthy player would walk into the building, unassuming. after a pat down from the guards they’re gained entry to the building. they scour the room looking for the target, soon finding them alone. after a quick stab with a hidden blade, the player walks out of the building once again as the chaos starts to unfurl inside.

If a player wanted to do this mission in co-op. they could either both fight through waves of enemies. these ones in larger numbers and strength than in single player. or the two assassins could sneak in, dispatching the now guarded target of the assassination quietly. or if a combat heavy player and a stealthy assassin work together, the fighter would cause a ruckass, causing the guards around the target to leave their post to try and stop the fighter, giving the assassin an opening to strike.

Those conclude my thoughts on a game I would like to play. While a story is important to many games, the gameplay is what really counts. The game can be marketed towards a Co-op game, with single player support, rather than a single player game with co-op support.

Closing thoughts

Thank you for reading my ramblings on the Assassin’s Creed games. I had the sudden urge to play the games again and none of them installed on my computer. Let me know what your thoughts on Unity is if you’ve played it, or what you think of my own game idea.

Please feel free to follow my blog! It really lets me know if you’re enjoying these posts! I also have a twitter: https://twitter.com/RinCrowe I tweet whenever I post a new blog. I also have two more posts in the work. One reviewing one of my favourite films; Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. and another one talking about my favourite Webseries/Anime; RWBY. If you want to hear my thoughts on either of those, it might give me energy to get on with writing them.

Thank you once again for following me on my writing journey!

Inception Review

I want to start this review with a small apology, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks to care for my own mental health, and I haven’t had anything to write about. I’m starting to get into a better mental state, so I thought some writing would help me get back on track.

When I mentioned that I hadn’t seen Inception, my adoptive sister exclaimed in shock. So, once she left for her own home, I sat down and watched Inception that evening. It was… fairly confusing. but I think I got my head mostly wrapped around the story.

The world shown in Inception is magical to me. I love the concept, using shared dreams extract information from other people, or as shown later on, plant an idea in someone’s head. I love the concept of the story, I love how it was pulled off. However, I can only name three characters; Mal, Fischer, and Saito.Mal is a short name, and as the malicious antagonist, it was easy to remember, Fischer I saw written down once, and Saito reminds me of my art program, Paint Tool Sai.

The amount of character development in this movie is questionable. Our protagonist for this story is Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Dominick Cobb. Cobb is an Agent? Freelancer? Whatever his profession, he’s skilled in the art of “Extraction” easily able to go into someone’s dreams and take out desired information for a variety of reasons, but mainly espionage.

We learn fairly early on that he is a dad of two children, that he can’t visit because of “work” But we soon are told that he’s on the run from authorities for apparently killing his wife. Cobb tells us that he’s falsely accused and he didn’t kill her.

One of the most important character for me was Ariadne, portrayed by Ellen Page. She’s the every day character in this film, and while she seems to be pushed to the side for the action scene, is important in two ways. First, She designs the ‘Levels’ of the dream. Crucial to the story. In addition, she’s our door into the story. The story is explained to her so we can learn what’s going on. Ariadne is a relatable character for me, and I would guess many viewers. She’s driven by her curiosity, She enjoys creating the dreams to a certain extent. Who hasn’t wanted to change the world just with their thoughts. If Ariadne’s character hadn’t been introduced. I still wouldn’t know what the plot of the movie was.

Moving on to our Antagonist, Dominick Cobb. While people will say that Mal Cobb is the antagonist, it is the version of her is created by Dominick Cobb’s subconssious. Mal, played by Marion Cotillard, is the personification of the guilt and anger that Cobb went through. We learn later in the story that Cobb was responsible for her death, by planting the idea that her reality isn’t real, and was in heavy denial of this fact. Due to his guilt, Mal became a phantom. Invading any dream that he goes into. She sabotages the plans that they create. I may have missed something, but she never really has any intention than just to cause trouble. She doesn’t try to get Cobb stuck in Limbo with her, she only attacks his friends. Mal’s character seems like a moving hazard. Her real life version has a bit more development.

The story starts way before the film. Mal and Cobb fall in love and have children. At this point, Cobb is already a professional in his field of Extraction. His training is only emplied by him being at a school in france… I could be wrong, this is what I infer from the story. if it was said how he became an Expert Extrator, it was glossed over. Some point in their life, Mal and Cobb enter their dreams, and visit Limbo. Yet again, not stated how they got to Limbo. they build a world that they love. Mal loves the new Limbo world so much, that she becomes obsessed with it, and doesn’t want to leave. She makes herself think that Limbo is reality. This is visualised in the story by her locking away her totem, An object that ties you to reality. After a while, Cobb wants to return to the real world, but Mal thinks that Limbo is her reality. Cobb finds her totem and sets it spinning. This is his symbolism of telling her that this isn’t reality. planting an idea called an “Inception” Mal believes that she’s in a dream world, and the two leave Limbo together.

Mal, still with the idea that “This isn’t reality” still thinks she’s dreaming. The only way to wake up from the dream, is death. Mal, malcontent with life, Kills herself. She thinks she will wake up in the real world. But, she is wrong and is killed for good. Cobb is accused of killing her and he goes into hiding, working as a Extration Thief.

During one of his missions, he meets Saito. Failing to retrieve Saito’s information. Saito recruits Cobb for his own needs. Saito offers Cobb his family back as a reward. How he does this isn’t explained, but by the end of the movie my brain was too frazzled to question it.

Cobb puts together a team and explains what you shouldn’t do in a dream world to Ariadne, which is soon revealed that Cobb does all of these things. During this segment, we learn most of Cobb’s story. He has a simple motivation, he wants to see his kids again. He’s guilty about the death of his wife. And that’s all of his development. I wasn’t too satisfied with his story. Maybe if I had kids of my own, I would feel a bit more motivated. It’s an admirable motivation… but it’s hollow. We hardly know Cobb, We only know the names of his kids, the kids seem to mostly accept that they’re not getting their dad back too. I can’t really put a moral on the story, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.

The next part of the story is the heist. Things go wrong as expected, Cobb breaks more rules. This time was more enjoyable. Watching Cobb convince Fischer that he was in a dream was rather amusing. Pushing forwards, they get close to their goal. Cobb ends up in Limbo again with Mal. And nothing really happens. I think Cobb finally moves on. but I really can’t tell. If I had to put a moral on the story, it would be “Letting go of the past allows you to reach for the future.” but Cobb doesn’t really let go of the past. He gets to live with his kids again, but I don’t think he really got over loosing Mal, not truly.

As the movie comes to the end, We are given an ambiguous ending to the story, Cobb is not shown to be in reality, but not shown to be in a dream. To me, that felt cheap really. Either the hard work paid off, or it was all for nothing. and we aren’t given the satisfaction of knowing either. Personally, I felt that he was in reality by the end of the film. that way the story actually has some kind meaning.

To conclude this mess of thoughts, I feel the characters haven’t got anywhere near as much development that is needed for a good story. I’ve mentioned four of the main characters, I think there were seven people in that heist and I’ve only had to mention half of them. the rest of them are only kinda important to the story, we aren’t told anything about them really. I do want to add, Even though I disliked most of the characters, The actors played their roles flawlessly. Leonardo DiCaprio captured the character of Cobb and played him amazingly. I’m a massive fan of Ellen Page, and Ariadne was one of the better characters. She seemed grounded, and while she had no development at all, we had her motive and was the only relatable character for me. Mal portrayed by Marion Cotillard was excellent in her role of the ambiguous antagonist. I also loved Cillian Murphy’s character of Robert Fischer. As the Target of the heist, the character managed to fill the role of being suspicious about the dream, but also trying to understand what was happening. Ken Watanabe playing Mr Saito was a great cast too, easily being a believable business magnate.

I also loved how dreams were shown. the dream world seemed believable and made sense. While most of the rules of people in the dream are broken, the rules around the dream world are set in stone and easy to follow. I had no trouble following the dreams, only the characters and plots. Great Actors, Great Concept, Character development and the plot are shaky.

That about finishes my look at Inception. While the CG of the film looked revolutionary, the plot only seems significant because it’s confusing. I didn’t have much emotion for the film. However, this is my review. People have different opinions, and what I want to do is use films as a way to learn about story telling. As a learning experience, this film has plenty to teach.

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