It shouldn’t have surprised anyone how broken and buggy Assassin’s Creed Unity was upon release; Ubisoft pulled the same stunt with Assassin’s Creed III, and they released patch after patch fixing everything from the horrendous frame rate to fundamental flaws in mission design. But by the time the patches started to roll out, many gamers had already finished the game, hated it, and vowed never to buy another Assassin’s Creed game at launch again. Almost two months after Assassin’s Creed Unity released Ubisoft is still scrambling to plug holes. Like a lot of you, I’ve been tentatively interested in seeing how the game will play once it’s functional. Since the recent fourth patch fixes most of the game’s worst issues, we can finally see some semblance of the game Ubisoft originally intended to make.
So how is it? It feels like a new game that could probably use a patch.
Unity is more or less stable at this point. The frame rate still dips now and again, but true to Ubisoft’s word it seems related to certain parts of the city rather than the crowds of thousands that roam the streets of Paris. The game never feels fluid by any means, but it’s pretty consistent and always playable. There are still all kinds of animation hangups and NPCs break left and right, but at least their faces stay on. None of these bugs directly affected my gameplay experience outside of forcing me to stop and have a quick laugh at a guy embedded in a bush or floating above a crowd. Arno’s not exempt from bugs either – you can see above the result of my attempt to dismount from a wall.
Other things did have a negative impact on my enjoyment. I connected to an online co-op mission where the other player had either broken or gone AFK and I had to do the mission by myself, which involved stealing some documents and freeing a guy from the guillotine. At the end of the mission, I needed to find that guy in a crowd using Eagle Vision and talk to him, presumably so he could thank me and end the mission. Unfortunately he disappeared completely and the game marked a random noninteractive pedestrian instead. I ran around killing guards and trying to find the right guy for ten minutes until I finally gave up and disconnected.
The game’s technical problems interfere with single-player missions too. One mission has you pick a hiding spot to lie in wait for your target. I ended up in what must have been the absolute worst hiding spot of them all with a sniper looking directly at me. After trying and failing to make it work for the better part of an hour I decided to restart the mission completely and choose a new hiding spot. After screwing up at the new spot I reloaded the last checkpoint, but the game glitched and I spawned at the first hiding spot – right in front of the sniper. Moments like that shouldn’t crop up in a 60 dollar game, especially not one that’s been “fixed” four times already.
While still prevalent, Unity‘s technical issues at this point have been lessened to the point that they no longer ruin the game. If the technical issues are keeping you at bay, then I’d say this latest patch makes it safe to jump in and try Unity for yourself. Whether or not you’ll enjoy it is a different matter.