It won’t be long before Assassin’s Creed Unity takes its place in Ubisoft‘s flagship franchise, ushering the series into not just a historical setting long requested by fans, but a new generation of home consoles as well. With little of the finished game still unexplored (beyond the story twists and turns the developers would prefer come as a surprise), the newest trailer focuses on the talent behind the game’s characters – while providing a few more details about the core cast, and the occasional glance at new gameplay footage.
It was a previous trailer that revealed famous French military leader and politician Napoléon Bonaparte would play a role in the game’s story, among many other names and places sure to be worthy of note given the French Revolution backdrop. Though it’s unclear what role, if any, Unity hero Arno Dorian will play in the life of the French revolutionary, as the developers have stated time and again that it’s Arno’s personal journey that will take precedent, not an attempt to re-write history.
So although figures like Bonaparte or the Marquis de Sade will be counted on to inject some unexpected plot twists or insights into what France must have resembled at the time of the Revolution, players should expect that their interactions with Arno will be based around his own ascent into the Assassins; a rise sure to be reflected in Paris around him.
The trailer also continues to emphasize that if Unity is a story about anything, it’s that of Arno and his friend-turned-romance, Élise. The studio has remained tight-lipped about where the relationship between the two will head, once she has joined the Templars in search of answers surrounding her father’s death, and Arno has begun his training to one day join that Assassins. The performers behind the roles aren’t helping to solve that mystery just yet, but it’s the writers providing the story of Unity that will ultimately feel the pressure of doing the setting justice.
Lest we forget, there’s also the question of the modern side of the story, which, as usual, has received no place in the game’s marketing whatsoever. The signs seem to point to Ubisoft finally cutting out the middle man entirely, and placing the player themselves as ‘the subject’ experiencing the genetic memories of Arno’s descendants. It will be an interesting shift in the narrative if that’s the case (and the Abstergo employee handbook being released at launch suggests as much), and one that will make it clear Ubisoft is more focused on the past than the ‘present’ of the Assassin/Templar conflict.
Will you be picking up a copy of Unity when it’s released, and if so, is it for the story and setting, or simply a dose of next-gen Assassin’s Creed?
Assassin’s Creed Unity releases on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 11.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.