25 Jun 2014

E3 2014 - Assassin's Creed: Unity

It's been mighty hard to write these days.

I'm in the midst of some pretty harsh evaluations (testing and interviews) for a great looking job. The next step is hopefully a final interview near the end of July. This would be the last step before they possibly offer me a job in September. That's a long way off and I'm still not 100% that I'm at the top of the list. This is the best result I've gotten since I started job hunting on 1 Dec 2012. I wish I felt more confident but I'm not...

With the above said you will understand that E3 has been hard to watch. Actually dreaming about anything in the future has been hard. It's hard to imagine that new miniature, new rules, new video game, etc ... when you're not sure where you're working when they are released. E3 has been hard this year because it's the year that the 8th generation of consoles (Xbox One and PlayStation 4) show us some real games.

Last year the offerings of those systems was counted on hands. None of the upcoming Next Gen games were worth the $399/$499 price tag of the new systems - even more so when many of those 'new' games came out on the current generation of consoles. AC4: Black Flag was the last new game I picked up - nothing else over the last 12 months has been anywhere interesting for me to say "This is a must Pick Up!". Watchdogs looks like fun - but it's not looking like it's enough to drag me down to the shop.

This E3 is the key where the industry shows me why I need that new Xbox or Playstation. There have only been a few games that have made me look forward. Assassin's Creed: Unity is one of those few games that elicited a warm reaction.

The trailer for AC: Unity was pretty slick. Set in Paris during the French Revolution the game seems to have returned to it's roots of exploring a city and killing folks. Gone is the Ship Battles of AC:3 and AC:4. Also missing in action is the sprawling wilderness that's slowly become a larger part of the series since the original AC. Now it's all about the city of Paris - and wow it looks good. I've be itching for an industrial revolution London but Paris during this time period is a close second.

So the video -

AC: Unity is the first game that has made me WANT a 8th generation console. Other games like Mass Effect 4, Halo 5, etc... have all promised a new game that I want to play but have shown me very little. AC: Unity has inspired me to play the next game born from the labours of the last console generation.

AC4: Black flag is my favorite AC to date. The exploration, sea battles, and game play improvements were all checks in the box. Now with co-op - AC: Unity has a feeling as I'm watching the trailer above that makes me feel the experience from Splinter Cell: Conviction who's co-op has blown away so many other co-op experiences.

Things I noticed was the downward movement. In past AC games you, simply let go to quickly lower yourself down a wall. You'd push a button and you'd catch the side of the wall before gravity's poison killed you. Now when you watch the video - notice the downward movement. It's just as smooth as the ascending movement.

I also like the variety of possible equipment and weapons that were shown in the demo. They look like they each have a function and feel. Adjusting your gear to meet your style of play is one of those check boxes I have for everything next to destructible environments and multipath challenges.

With AC: Unit and last posts Metal Gear Solid 5, E3 has finally drawn me for a closer inspection.