'Assassin's Creed Unity' Demo Shows New Mission Design

Assassins Creed Arno Leap Screenshot


Cinematic trailers and expensive ad campaigns have their place in AAA games marketing, but when it comes to next-gen, the proof is in the pudding. So it's no surprise that fans are eager to see as much of Assassin's Creed Unityin action as possible. As part of Gamescom 2014, Ubisoft has now released a guided walkthrough video of one of Unity's very first assassination missions, showing off the new mission design allowing players to craft their experience with more control than ever before.

We got the chance to see the mission played before our eyes recently, and now creative director Alex Amancio can provide the same level of insight to audiences everywhere. Focusing once again on how Unity's gameplay will depend on the crowds of Paris and the improved traversal, the video lays out the steps of an entire mission from start to finish. Thanks to the "blackbox" design, there's a good chance no two players will tackle the task in exactly the same way.

Where past games would have given players a sequence of steps to check off one after another - find a source, tail him or her, attack, sneak, and finally execute - Unity is being approached differently. Players are presented with an overall goal, provided a few hints to get them thinking on their own, and left to interact with the game systems as they please. And take our word for it that not every mission will be executed as smoothly as the one shown here.

Assassins Creed Unity Demo Video Gamescom

The video does a good job of showing the benefits and potential drawbacks of Ubisoft deciding to essentially rebuild the series' core gameplay and mechanics from scratch. While the traversal, crowd movements, and attention to detail in the buildings themselves have never looked better, there's no question that Unity isn't the finely-polished gem of recent games (thanks to multiple iterations on the same engine).

That's not a concern in itself, since glitches or rough spots here and there show that the developers have truly stretched their abilities to push the franchise forward. And if the larger game systems and mission design can deliver on Amancio's hopes - and this video's best moments - then players will be willing to overlook many faults.

Unfortunately, the victim's flashbacks have been edited to keep the game's story (and the real powers at work behind the revolution) under wraps. But Arno is unquestionably the star - and his rise from apprentice to master of his own fate is surely meant to mirror that of the player. Do you think you're up to the challenge, or will you hesitate without a mentor's hand guiding your every step?

Assassin’s Creed Unity releases October 28, 2014 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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