The Assassin’s Creed series may be known for many things – its blend of history and science fiction, its roguish heroes, and its third-person parkour – but its talent at romantic plots isn’t exactly one of them. More often than not revenge is the driving force of both player and character, but with Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft Montreal is trying something a little different. And according to the game’s creative director, the love story at the heart of Unity may prove to be the team’s biggest challenge in moving to next-gen.
It became clear when the most recent cinematic trailer for Unity showed that new hero Arno Dorian would be putting his life on the line to rescue Elise – a Templar. The romantics out there may easily accept that love knows no bounds, and far crazier things have happened. But in the world of Assassin’s Creed, fraternization between the two orders generally leads to conflict at best, and murder at worst.
As creative director Alex Amancio explains in the Game Informer interview embedded above, these are all reasons why the team was apprehensive about tackling a story like that of Arno and Elise. We heard of Amancio’s hopes for the plot firsthand, but with a fusion of story and gameplay the top priority for the next-gen Unity, it’s hard to know just what to expect.
What players can expect is a change of pace from the typical ‘story in cinematics’ method that Ubisoft has largely used to this point. Amancio spoke at length (and still does) about the desire to tell the story in, and through gameplay. The motivations for both Arno and Elise to pursue their respective orders have been detailed already (spoiler: betrayal and revenge are key factors), but how that translates into gameplay remains the most intriguing prospect.
How will an assassination mission play out when Arno (and the player) has a specific goal, while Elise (an accomplice?) has goals of her own? How long will their paths intertwine, or intersect? Will players have a say in how the story is told, or will gameplay be tailored to help tell a linear story? And lest we forget, both leads will be picking their way through (but not necessarily guiding) key moments in the French Revolution.
That wealth of questions may be proof that Ubisoft has picked the right story with which to kick off the series’ next-gen chapter. Just months ago fans and observers would have claimed that all aspects of Assassin’s Creed were known quantities; now, the narrative and love story alone show that Ubisoft might – might – have a few formula-breaking tricks up their sleeve. We, like the fans, hope that it’s a risk that pays off.
Assassin’s Creed Unity releases October 28, 2014 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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Source: Game Informer