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Assassin's Creed Unity will have modern-day sections like previous games. However, players won't be returning to the offices of Abstergo Entertainment from Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag.
From the first Assassin's Creed game through Assassin's Creed 3, players controlled a modern-day Assassin named Desmond who relived his ancestors' memories through the Animus machine. In Black Flag, Ubisoft turned this formula around. The player character was an employee of shadowy corporation Abstergo Entertainment trying to comb Edward Kenway's memories for material on an interactive film.
In Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft plans to take a different approach with the modern-day segments.
“So you played this third-person character in the present, and we wanted to go one step beyond that," Ubisoft Montreal senior producer Vincent Pontbriant told gamesTM. "We decided that you’re actually, you the player, are the pilot of the Animus. So you start the game and then at some point you get contacted by the Assassin order to explore the memories of Arno through the Animus, and basically figure stuff out for them in the present."
"We made a few twists but we understand that this is the seventh game, so the story is becoming complicated; as such, we wanted to reintroduce some of the main elements of the narrative in a different way.”
Assassin's Creed Unity is the first game being released exclusively on PS4 and Xbox One. It seems like as good of a time as any to make a big change to the series. Cutting out some of the clutter from the story to make it easier for newcomers to jump in seems like a smart move. Also, as Pontbriant said, there have already been six games in the main series so the narrative's getting tough to follow even if you've been playing since the first AC.
Honestly, I've been hoping that Ubisoft would ditch the modern-day sections altogether. They always end up being the weakest part of whatever game they're in. I understand their purpose; they tie together the stories of these different Assassins into one over-arching narrative. I just wish this frame story was fun in its own right, though. Maybe Ubisoft will have more luck with that in Unity.
Assasin's Creed Unity also makes some other drastic changes to the series. It's the first entry to support four-player co-op within the campaign. The game takes the franchise to Paris during the French Revolution, a setting and time period that haven't been explored by prior games. Unity will also be ditching the competitive multiplayer from prior installments.
gamesTM will publish their full interview with Pontbriant in their next issue. Issue 150 will go on sale July 17th. Assassin's Creed Unity, meanwhile, will hit stores worldwide on October 28th.