Assassin's Creed Unity
has had a fair amount of coverage since its announcement in March. Amongst other things, we've had a look at the four-player co-op
, an introduction to a new character
, as well as a look at the streets of Paris
. Ubisoft's latest Q&A covers all of the above topics, as well as a much more detailed insight into the customisation options that are available to the player when developing their own unique Arno.
Could you please introduce us to your customization aspect of Unity?
In Assassin’s Creed Unity, players have the opportunity to deeply customize the gear, tools and skills of Arno. We really wanted players to shape their character how they wanted him to be—to have their own unique version of Arno.
Gears are clothing items: we allow you to change Arno’s hood, coat, boots, gloves and belt. We have around 200 individual gears you can wear in-game, which means there is a very high chance your Arno will look truly unique depending on the combination you choose to wear. And this is not just about making your Arno look unique, this is also about the way you play. Each gear will have gameplay attributes that will contribute to define your playstyle.
Weapons are melee or ranged. We have around 85 weapons in game such as swords, axes, spears, blunt weapons, pistols and long guns. Tools are consumables, such as medicine, bombs or lockpicks. The weapons & tools you pick will truly support your playstyle.
And lastly, skills are abilities you unlock as you progress through the game. Your skills fall within specific categories which again you can balance to support your playstyle.
The upgrading system is quite interesting; could you please tell us what the possibilities are? What are the body parts that can be upgraded?
You can upgrade everything that Arno wears on his body, broken down in 5 categories: head, legs, arms, waist and chest.
• Head items change the visuals of your hood. They can change variables such as decreasing guard proximity reaction speed and increasing your Eagle Sense radius.
• Leg items change the visuals of your pants & boots. They can Decrease Fall Damage, Decrease Running noise, and give you additional health.
• Arm items change the visuals of your hidden blade. They can give you increased melee damage, increased Phantom Blade capacity and increase the duration it takes you to revive your friends.
• Waist items change the visuals of your belt & sash. They mostly impact your carry capacity, such as increased cherry bombs, increased smoke bombs, etc. They can also increase your HP.
• Finally, chest items change the visuals of your iconic Assassin’s robes. They change your defense, blending time (while hiding in crowds) and the time it takes for a guard to detect you.
How did you implement the skill system in ACU? Which skills can be acquired and how?
In Assassin’s Creed Unity, you're playing Arno's story, but when you start you're not an Assassin. Customization is Arno’s progression, meaning his journey to become a master Assassin. As Arno grows into the role of an Assassin, you pick up skills, and you acquire weapons and gear – all of which affect the way you play the game. And because Assassin’s Creed Unity continues to be built around a strong narrative and will deliver a seamless cooperative experience, it makes sense to maintain the same character in both solo and COOP play.
You, the player, can therefore specialize through the skill system or through his equipment. The team worked very hard to implement this new system and we are very proud of it! The skill system will add depth and give more freedom to the player. It will reinforce the way the player plays the game.
How important is customization in the shared experience?
Customizing Arno is an important part of the Assassin’s Creed Unity experience, whether playing alone or with friends. Customizing your gear and skills will help you reinforce your strengths and play the game the way you want to play it. Because Unity is designed to be more open ended in its mission design, this makes a real difference.
Having a specialized Assassin also opens the door for complementarity. Consequently, if you’re playing with your friends, you’ll be able to choose complementary skills in order to become more powerful as a unit. If you want to be the stealth player, you can choose skills and equipment that will reinforce this approach.
For example, I might use my fully-upgraded eagle sense to share tactical information with all my teammates. Or, if combat is more my angle, I can choose stronger weapons and armor.
All in all, we have four specialties to choose from: “Melee” focuses on offense, “Health” focuses on defense, “Ranged” is all about Navigation and Assassination, and “Stealth” is about pure stealth.
How’s the game being adjusted to co-op? Do missions differ from single player or is there a higher difficulty level?
To ensure players are aware of the challenge they are getting themselves into before starting a mission, we implemented a star rating system. In order to evaluate and choose his missions, the player will also be able to check his personalized Arno’s rating - thanks to a newly designed algorithm reviewing his equipment and skills.
Can you tell us more about Élise?
Élise de la Serre, born in 1770, is a strong-willed and intense new character, affiliated with the Templars. The only daughter of François and Julie De La Serre, Élise grew up in a modestly wealthy but incredibly privileged environment. As a member of the aristocracy in the waning days of the Ancien Regime, she had access to the finest tutors, medicine, and food available. After her mother’s death in 1778, Élise spent a great deal of time traveling, including several years of study in Paris. After her father’s death, she seems to vanish from documented history, likely as a result of Revolutionary efforts to purge records of the nobility.
As far as her hobbies are concerned, the fiery Templar enjoys acrobatics, fencing, horsemanship, ... and manipulation!
What is the relation between Arno and Élise?
Arno and Élise grew up together. As children they were friends, but the friendship matured as they did. Élise and Arno are two sides to the same coin. She is extremely driven, fiercely independent and deeply in love with Arno. Their choices and events around them have brought them to this point but while Arno is on a quest for redemption, Élise is driven by vengeance.
What can you tell us about the diversity of Paris’ districts in the game ? Does the atmosphere really differ from one place to another?
The game takes place in the massive and multi-layered city of Paris. It is composed of seven districts, but they’re more than just districts. They are cities within the city, with different atmospheres, unique visuals and original gameplay themes. The district you are playing in will directly impact the theme and tone of missions and side content.
For instance, a player exploring the “Ile De La Cité” district which is a more religious and medieval district, will have a totally different experience than a player exploring “Le Marais” or “La Bièvre”, two districts also very different from one another. In “Le Louvre”, the player will discover large monuments and open spaces crowded with barricades and soldiers. As for the military district, it will be even more open, which will contrast with “Le Champ de Mars”, a district essentially made of large buildings. Finally, “Le Quartier Latin” is more artistic and full of students. And there are also richer environments where the player will be able to explore nobles’ villas. All in all, the player will experience a great variety of structures and landscapes when exploring the different districts.
As well as the new screenshots, we have two new pieces of concept art for the title, showcasing a strike on the Bastille and Paris' Place de la Grève.
During Gamescom, Ubisoft brought Unity
to the event for a lengthy single-player demonstration. Creative Director Alex Amancio provides the commentary as we witness a full single-player assassination mission.
Once the demonstration was over, Microsoft's Aoife Wilson managed to collar Producer Vincent Pontbriand to ask a few questions about the game's campaign.
You can try out the campaign for yourself when Assassin's Creed Unity
is released on October 28th.