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Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Unity

Assassin's Creed: Unity is the seventh major title in the Assassin's Creed series. It is set to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 11, 2014, being released concurrently with Assassin's Creed: Rogue. Unity is the first non-numbered title to feature a new Assassin hero, Arno Victor Dorian. It will take place during the French Revolution, and chart out the course of that epoch defining historical event, from the fall of the Ancien Régime to the Reign of Terror.

In addition to this, a post-game DLC set in 1794 has been announced. Dead Kings takes place in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris which hosted the Royal Necropolis of French Kings across history until the destruction of its ossuary during the Revolution.


Tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer:
    • The real-life Paris sewage system in all its cavernous glory can be accessed for a speedy entrance and exit.
    • The necropolis beneath Saint-Denis in the Dead Kings DLC is another.
  • Accent Adaptation:
    • The developers deemed it unnecessary to voice the various characters depicted in the game with French accents, as they felt that the player would be fully aware that the characters are French due to the game's setting. Everyone appearing in the game is therefore voiced with an English accent, which vary so as to correspond to the character's social status. So for example, the aristocrats are voiced with typically plummy RP accents, whereas the rioting rabble are voiced with stereotypically working-class Cockney accents.
    • One issue of this simplification is that it removes several vital aspects of famous historical figures, widely documented ones. Napoleon is shown speaking in an upper-class English accent when in real-life he spoke French with a thick Corsican accent, since it was far from being his first language note . One reason why his rise to power was so shocking was that he was an outsider to French society, indeed subject to racist mockery for his accent as a student and only got the opportunity for advancement thanks to the Revolution.
  • An Axe to Grind: Arno can wield axes.
  • Animal Motifs: Arno Dorian's first name, his prenom if you will, means "The Eagle's Strength" in German, which mixes both his French and Austrian descent.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Since this game depicts the French Revolution, you'll be killing a lot of corrupt nobles. Though the hero Arno Dorian is a nobleman himself.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • According to Ubisoft, each member of a crowd has its own AI and will react to how you play.
    • The guards are also a lot smarter, and more completely avert Mook Chivalry by mobbing Arno in combat.
  • Artistic License - History:
    • Robespierre's physical appearance is highly different from recorded history. It's based in part on a recent reconstruction, using Madame Tussaud's death mask as a reference. Said reconstruction is regarded as highly dubious by major scholars such as Peter McPhee because Madame Tussaud's death mask of Robespierre is not considered authentic, since she was a show-woman and the circumstances of Robespierre's death made casting a mask a questionable event, since after his execution his remains were immediately burnt and the mask lacks the famous jaw injury that disfigured his face at the time of his death. Likewise he's shown to have dark eyes, when he was widely known for having "sea-green" bright eyes, augmented with green-tinted glasses that he wore all the time.
  • Aura Vision: A new mode called Eagle Pulse that is closer in style and function to the Dark Vision/Void Gaze of Dishonored.
  • Badass Crew: Arno and his fellow Assassins are a deadly four-man squad.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Assassin Arno and Templar Elise, at the end of the SDCC 2014 cinematic trailer.
  • Bigger Bad: The long dead Jacques de Molay, the new Templar Grandmaster wants to revive his vision during 18th Century France by shifting power from the aristocracy to the rising middle class.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Arno notes that there's plenty of evil to go around regarding both the nobles and the revolutionaries.
  • Blade on a Stick: Arno can carry spears into battle.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: From the look of the E3 Co-Op trailer, that's where this game is going. For example, the player character does a cover assassination that, unlike any other time in the series, leaves blood on the walls nearby.
  • Call Back:
    • The first trailer's execution scene is evocative of the one in the original Assassin's Creed trailer. The launch trailer for the Co-Op mode is evocative of the trailer for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood with the different Assassins getting the jump on guards.
    • The second trailer has Arno taking out an officer the same way Altaïr did in the original Assassin's Creed trailer.
  • The City Narrows: The real-life Parisian underworld, the Cour des Miracles, featured in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables.
  • City of Adventure: Paris would get its much beloved reputation as this from the years during the Revolution. A series of side-missions called "1000 Stories of Paris" (though not literally) will offer an expanse into all kinds of urban legends, historical events and iconic figures who lived in that time.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: You have more range of options in this, notably jumping off the top of a guillotine in broad daylight in front of a large crowd and a pack of soldiers. When discussing the assassination of Sivert, Pierre Bellec describes this as the "Levantine Approach", a Suicide Mission of charging at your target in an action that will doom both.
    Pierre Bellec: "Sends a powerful message."
  • Corrupt Church: One of the main causes of the French Revolution, and one of your targets is Charles-Gabriel Sivert, a "Templar Thug" who is actually quite open about the Church "leeching off the people for centuries" while engaging in the selfsame corruption himself, hoping that his activities will get a nod from the Grand Master.
  • Cute Kitten: One of the more funny moments in the Notre Dame demo is when Arno hides in a haystack, which has a tiny, mewing kitten in front of it. One of the guards comes forth to take the standard position for the haystack assassination, only he comes forward to pet the kitten instead, right before being killed. Arno hates Cat Lovers.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Apart from what's mentioned in Bloodier and Gorier above, Unity seems to be shaping up to be far darker than previous Assassin's Creed games, highlighting the similarities between the Templars and Assassins.
    • The Unity DLC Dead Kings is described as being the darkest story told in the franchise yet, and St. Denis has a much darker feel compared to Paris.
  • Destination Defenestration: At the end of the multiplayer trailer, the player characters throw a corrupt marquise out of the window of his palace, to the hands of a raging mob.
  • Do with Him as You Will: Some of the released footage shows the Assassins not finishing their main target. Instead, they let the public decide their fate — a fate far more painful than the end of a Hidden Blade.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The target of the E3 trailer ends up having this done to him along with a few other unlucky aristocrats at the end.
  • Enemy Civil War: The French Revolution provides a backdrop to a change in leadership of and ideology of the Templar Order from the enlightened plutocratic aristocracy to the more interventionist commerce-minded businessmen. Both Élise and Arno are caught in the middle of this, which caused the death of the former's father.
  • Follow the Leader: The multiple-pathways approach to the mission design, with side-missions providing alternate methods of entry and exit, and different techniques of assassinations is quite similar to the level design of Dishonored.
  • The French Revolution:
    • The main game takes place during the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror. Some of the co-op missions however will take a Time Skip and chronicle the early years of Napoleon.
    • The DLC Dead Kings covers the aftermath in Saint-Denis.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The E3 trailer cuts to black as a line of French soldiers fires into the charging mob. The next shot is of fallen bodies. Others are content to show the mob getting shot, however.
  • Grave Robbing: The Raiders, a faction in Dead Kings indulge in this by desecrating the historical tombs of the French Royal Dynasties.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Assassin versus Templar conflict will be much more complex and intricate than before.
  • Historical-Domain Character:
    • The developers have promised appearances by Mirabeau, Maximillien de Robespierre, the doomed Royal Family, Marquis de Sade, and a certain young Corsican captain. Pre-order DLC — Chemical Revolution and American Prisoner — offer you the chance to meet legendary chemist Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier and Thomas Paine. Likewise, a series of side-missions involving detective work and crime solving revolves around plucky Street Urchin Eugène François Vidocq, future criminal turned crime-fighter and the inspiration for classic literary characters, Jean Valjean and Vautrin.
    • One demo shows the Assassination of Charles Gabriel Sivert, Baron de l'Espérance, a real-life governor of French colonies Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: One of Arno's finishing moves has him stabbing his sword straight through his opponent's neck.
  • It's All About Me: When he's cornered by the Assassins near the end of the Co-Op trailer, one of the targets, Marquis de Buillon, actually tries to plead for his life by saying "They're only peasants!" Cue Destination Defenestration.
    • Napoleon doesn't care much about the French Revolution's ideologies except in so far as he can survive it with his life and career intact.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Napoleon essentially says as much to Arno during a meeting where he asks him to kill a rival whose connections to influential people make him practically untouchable. He even remarks that "few in France would suffer. My career certainly wouldn't."
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Guillotine Gun in the Dead Kings DLC
  • Off with His Head!: Madame Guillotine is slated to appear in this game, and the target in the E3 trailer ends up getting beheaded via sword by an angry mob. In first person.
  • Power Walk: The box art depicts Arno and his fellow Assassins doing this.
  • The Queen's Latin: For some reason, everyone so far in the game speaks with an English accent, including Arno himself. According to Word of God, this was because since the player knows the characters in the game are French, accents were deemed unnecessary. Though, crowd chatter includes French phrases and the Church Mass is conducted in Latin, just like Pre-Vatican II.
  • Reimagining The Artifact: The stated intent of the game is to update and correct some of the aspects of the series which have become The Artifact:
    • By the time of the French Revolution, a lot of the Assassin traditions have bowed to practicality. The Assassin Council featuring Mirabeau, Dumas and Bellec wear the classic White Hoods for ceremonial reasons only in the style of Masonic initiation rites but otherwise wear practical 18th Century gear. Arno is the first Assassin who does not wear white robes as defaultnote , but rather sports a dashing navy blue longcoat that were it lacking the hood would pass as totally normal 18th Century fashion. The only continuity is a white inner-vest and a red Classy Cravat.
    • As written below some of the more unrealistic elements such as the post-kill deathbed conversation with your victims will be replaced by more practical but equally surreal gimmicks, such as the ability of Arno's Eagle Sense to show him the final thoughts and visions of his victims, including snatches of memories that further the plot and backstory.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: As with the Truth in Television regarding the revolution. The teaser trailer shows the Assassin hero overlooking an execution by guillotine, and in the E3 trailer the Assassins end up throwing their target to the crowd to be executed.
  • Royal Rapier: It's only natural you'll be able to use this kind of sword.
  • Scenery Porn: The Next-Gen graphics and the architectural treasure trove of 18th Century Paris promises more than enough scenic beauty. Notre Dame Cathedral, supposedly a 1:1 representation with fully integrated interiors and exteriors is a thing of beauty with its gorgeous Gothic design and flying buttresses and gargoyles rendered in HD glory.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Unity has a different control scheme so as to privilege stealth over combat. The counter button has been removed and it's no longer easy or feasible for players to go One-Man Army. Some of the co-op missions even feature a difficulty rating.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The first gameplay trailer ends with a nobleman getting decapitated by a mob, who promptly place his head on a pike. We actually see this through the nobleman's perspective. Believe it or not, after a decapitation, since the brain is left intact, death is not instantaneous and the decapitated person in question remains conscious for a few agonizing moments.
    • From the gameplay trailer, the French nobles in the manor being stormed by rebelling peasants continue their little gala right up until the rebels smash their windows in. This also happened in real life during the French Revolution. Even as their doors were being broken down, the nobles refused to give up their extravagant lifestyles.
    • Haystacks in church? Actually very common during the revolution. Very convenient for feeding horses... and a leap of faith.
  • Translation Convention: Via Animus, this is enforced in the trailer, but especially after the quasi-Italianate accents of the Ezio Trilogy, it's really jarring to hear Frenchmen speaking in English accents in what is after all the glorious moment of French nationalism.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Since it's the French Revolution, these will likely appear in spades. The E3 trailer has a group of them holding a party as an angry mob is breaking into the property. The illusion that everything is well is shattered by a volley of bricks through the window, one of which strikes a woman on the head just as she says that there's nothing to be worried about.
  • White Void Room/My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Developers state that because of Arno's crude Eagle Vision, he will not be able to engage in the usual deathbed conversation with his targets, and instead he will, somehow, get a glimpse of their final thoughts or see flashes of their memories before they die. This involves the First person perspective of the decapitated Marquis de Buillon and snatches of memories of Charles Gabriel Sivert, after his death in the Confessional.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: According to developers, Paris will be the biggest map of the series, dwarfing the combined island landmasses of the Caribbean in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and providing far and away the biggest city in the series (with Rome in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood holding the previous record), very closely approximating the Paris of the late 18th Century, boasting of a 1:1 representation of Notre Dame de Paris. For the first time, the series will feature fully integrated interiors and exteriors, with no loading times between moving from one place to another, a major leap from the Quick-Time Event movement in the earlier titles.
  • Wretched Hive: 18th Century Paris gives off this vibe, with murder and thievery running rampant during the worst days of the Terror. Vidocq discusses this with Arno, when he tells him that the lazy and corrupt officer who is serving as his warden has zero interest and capacity in actually solving crimes. Arno asks why, he, a petty criminal himself, is interested in solving crimes:
    Vidocq: Because that stinkin' stupid pig of a policeman doesn't have the stinkin' stupid sense to do anything that might give even a grifter like me, hope that someday...this city might not be a shitty place to live. [Beat]. And because I'M BORED OUT OF MY BLOODY MIND.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Arno gets hurled into the Bastille after being framed for murder. In jail, he meets Master Assassin Pierre Bellec, who immediately starts training him in sword fighting before springing free on 14 July, 1789. While in Prison, Arno also meets the Marquis de Sade before the Prise de la Bastille note . The Marquis even takes a shine on him:
    Marquis de Sade: I feel it my sovereign duty to aid all those who suffered in cruelest bondage with me at the Bastille.


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