Assassin's Creed Unity's latest trailer isn't set during the French Revolution. Instead, it takes us to a different conflict: World War 2. Whaaaaa?
The trailer begins with Arno hopping around 18th century Paris like usual. Suddenly, the city starts to transform before his eyes into a darker, more modern version of itself. A voice tells Arno (or rather, the person reliving his memories) that the "simulation is collapsing" and he may wind up in a different time period.
The time period he finds himself in is World War 2. Paris is now under the control of the Nazis, who don't take too kindly to time-traveling Frenchmen. They launch an all-out air assault on Arno as he tries to climb the Eiffel Tower for whatever reason.
During the trip up the tower, Arno will get to wield some advanced weapons of his own. The trailer shows him briefly using a machine gun turret to return fire at the airplanes strafing him. Climbing seems like the focus of this mission, though.
The trailer shows some ball of light above the Eiffel Tower surrounding by green lightning. That mysterious energy probably has something to do with Arno getting thrown into a different time period. Is that what Arno's trying to reach? Ubisoft is being cagey about the feature for now, so we don't really know how this whole time travel thing's going to work.
It seems like Ubisoft is drawing some inspiration from Watch Dogs here. Watch Dogs's open-world was littered with Digital Trips, minigames that whisked players away to alternate realities. For example, one allowed them to go on a rampage in a spider-tank. This World War 2 section in Assassin's Creed Unity could, like Digital Trips, be a recurring type of side mission.
What remains to be seen is whether these time anomalies are limited to World War 2. Will we get to visit other eras as well? It's easy to imagine missions set in medieval times, the present day, or beyond. The idea has limitless potential - not just for this game but for any future AC title.
It's funny seeing Assassin's Creed Unity dip its toe into World War 2. A couple years back, creative director Alex Hutchinson said WW2 was one of the worst potential settings for the game, along with Egypt and Japan. I guess they found something to like about the era, after all. This feature gives the development team a chance to use time periods that they wouldn't build a whole game around.