Earlier this week, we talked about the four-player co-op in Assassin's Creed Unity, where you work together with friends to execute the perfect heist, reaping the rewards in the process. However, this forthcoming chapter of the series also comes with a huge single player campaign, as you fight your way through the French Revolution seeking revenge against enemies that wronged you.
You portray Arno, a man with bloodlust on his mind when his father gets murdered following a conspiracy that includes shadowy figures. Working alongside others in a chateau hidden underneath Paris' sewers, your job is to carry out the execution of those involved – a task that's easier said than done considering each of them is heavily guarded.
Fortunately, as with other Assassin's Creed games, Arno comes with a number of skills. For Unity, you now have the ability to move vertically as well as across rooftops and patios. That means you can climb up and down buildings with ease, and even get the drop on unsuspecting foes. Be careful, though – the AI has been promptly beefed up this time around, and some soldiers will be tougher to bring down than others. You shouldn't be too hasty when it comes to entering a fight right away.
In addition to fighting skills and parkour, your assassin is also armed with a number of goods that will prove handy over the course of each mission. Some provide the ideal distraction, including smoke bombs, which can cloud your getaway so you can regather and continue the mission; and noisemakers, little firecrackers that may divide a group long enough for you to finish them off.
Of course, weapons are an assassin's best friend in Unity, and there are plenty to choose from here. Along with the signature hand-blade that makes a close range assassination convenient and (in most cases) quiet, you also have access to a number of weapons, including a two-handed axe and a variety of swords. The axe is a more powerful weapon that takes time to swing, but is much easier at cutting enemies down to size. If you're just getting started, however, a sword will suit you just fine until you level up.
The Phantom Blade also comes into play. This is an arm-mounted crossbow that enables you to fire a number of projectiles at enemies with much more convenience than a blowpipe. Poison darts can go a long way into making an enemy collapse, but it's more fun to use a berserk dart, which will drive one of your foes crazy enough that he'll begin hacking away at his fellow soldiers. This is ideal for when facing off against large groups.
The name of the game, however, is stealth. The less your enemies know about your whereabouts, the better, and the first mission we tackled showcased this. It takes place in a large Notre Dame style cathedral, where your target is in the middle of prayer service, carrying a large axe and surrounded by guards. Going in through the front door is suicide, so you'll want to find another way, either by lifting a key off someone and going in through the roof, or using one of the hidden glass doors.
From there, discretion should be used so that you don't get the guards' attention, so hiding in haystacks or finding cover behind objects becomes a key tactic. From there, you can quietly take them down and hide the bodies, work your way to a nearby confessional booth and wait for your target to slip in, only to jab him quickly in the neck and learn more about the dark conspiracy at hand.
Getting in is just half the battle, though. Once the guards realize what's up with the dead target, you'll want to get out in one piece. Fortunately, you can leave the same way you came in, or you can even create a distraction long enough for you to bolt out the front door. It's your choice, but the front door is riskiest, as guards can easily pursue you and, if you're not careful, put a bullet in your back.
Discretion is just as vital to the assassin as the tools he possesses, and the missions included in Unity will certainly put you to the test, whether you're tailing a potential target without giving yourself away or trying to fend off five to six soldiers using your advanced combat techniques. The more you grasp your abilities at hand and learn the ways of the assassin, the better you'll be at turning the tide of the French Revolution.
Assassin's Creed Unity releases November 11th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.