Assassin’s Creed Unity throws you into a crime-ridden, renaissance Paris

Assassin's Creed Unity Ubisoft

While a trailer of Ubisoft’s next Assassin’s Creed game, Unity, was on show earlier today, as part of Microsoft’s presentation, the publisher saved an extensive demo for their own show. It showed how revolutionary Paris is a much more detailed, vibrant, and living city compared to previous games.

They started things off with a luscious cinematic trailer, showing off the new four-player co-op

Next came the live demo:

The demo opens with our new Assassin, Arnaud, sat on a rooftop looking down on a huge crowd of people below. Tensions between civilians and the guards in the square below are building to a head, you’re even offered a mission to protect the people by killing the guards. The person playing the on stage demo is a little callous and left them to their fate. Between your main targets there are a slew of minor missions you can complete.

On the way to his real target, Captain Xavier, the player had the chance to chase down a thief (he didn’t), investigate a murder (he didn’t), and catch a killer (he didn’t). I think what we’re learning here is that Ubisoft are fine with stepping aside when criminals need accosting.

The artwork Ubisoft have put together for Unity looks like something straight out of a Rembrandt painting, all those soft varied colours and detritus-filled scenes.

Arnaud reaches the house where Xavier is meant to be hiding out. He sneaks in through the front door, hiding behind chairs, desks, and even a man playing knife games. Up in the attic Arnaud fins not Xavier but someone he points him in the right direction. Arnaud turns and leaps out the window to the roof of the next building over. The whole thing is seamless and shows how detailed both the exterior and interior environments can be.

Outside in streets Ubisoft who off how large the crowds in Unity can be. The series has always dealt with large numbers of people, it was one of the main innovations in the original game. Here, in Unity, they look fuller, more active, and like they’re made of individuals – in short, making for a more exciting world.

When Arnaud dives down on Xavier, stabbing him in the neck, the people run screaming from the square, leaving him alone against a slew of guards.

We’ll have more info on Assassin’s Creed: Unity in the coming weeks.