Assassin's Creed Unity will make a huge introduction when it debuts this November. Not only will the game provide a new locale with the French Revolution, but it will also offer a cool multiplayer angle, where fellow Assassins join you in completing missions and turning the tide in the favor of the Resistance. Ubisoft recently invited us to go hands-on with the game to see how well the two-player co-op works.
With it, we were introduced to the heist missions. In these small but intricate levels, two teammates work closely together in order to break into a fortified hotel, steal the goods inside and escape without giving themselves away. Alert too many enemies and you've had it.
The first thing we did while in the stage was get a lay of the land by climbing the roof of a nearby farmhouse. This allows players to get an idea of their surroundings, as well as spot guard locations so they can work out a strategy to (quietly) bring them down. Remember, alerting a guard will only have him call for back-up, so it's best to shut him up before he gets the chance.
From there, the plan springs into action, with your two squad members collectively bringing down a pair of guards, then slowly working their way across the locale. As with previous Assassin's Creed games, Unity allows you to use cover to avoid detection and then whistle or use a distraction to get a guard's attention, in case you want him to come over before snapping his neck.
After moving through the courtyard and dispatching a few more guards, we made our way into a church through the lower catacombs of the hotel. While there are numerous ways you can enter a location, it's best to stick to the main one on the route, as there's less trouble that way.
That brings up another interesting point about heists. You can alert guards and take them on one by one using sword or pistol, but there's a price you'll pay. For every guard you alert or the number of allies one calls upon, the cash bonus at the end of the mission dwindles. Mess around too much and you could find yourself completing it for spare change.
Working your way through smaller hallways poses a challenge, mainly because of patrolling guards that pace back and forth. Luckily, there's a secondary room in these halls that you can weave in and out of. One Assassin can easily get the attention of said guard, while his buddy sneaks up from behind and kill him with ease.
Another cool aspect to Unity is a tweaked field of movement. By holding down the trigger button and moving around, you can actually climb down from tall structures rather than relying on landing in a haystack via a leap of faith. This mobility provides you greater options of following guards and, if need be, attacking them to proceed in the mission.
Once we reached the required treasure located near the bottom of the hotel, there came the task of getting back out without alerting guards. There seemed to be more lurking around on the way out, probably due to the disappearance of their fellow patrolmen. No matter. Working together effectively as a team allows you to dispose of them and eventually make your way back to the city streets, where you escape pursuit and reap the rewards that await from completing the heist.
This co-op mode presents a nice array of side missions to take on with your friends, although it helps to have teammates on the same page. By that, we mean someone who isn't going to go hack-and-slash on every guard he or she meets, thus squeezing the worth out of the reward you sought to collect. It helps to keep the classic Assassin's strategy in mind, using stealth to get the jump on enemies while also sabotaging nearby bells that can be rung to bring in reinforcements. Sure, it may take a little longer to complete the mission this way, but just think about how much sweeter the pay-off will be.
This mode is but one facet to the Assassin's Creed Unity experience, and we'll get a closer look at the game and provide helpful strategies when it arrives for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on November 11th.