This year's E3 revealed some extremely exciting games to the public for the first time, and one that was anticipated by many was the next-gen version of the long running Assassin's Creed series, Assassin's Creed Unity.
Ubisoft have got into a routine of releasing a new Assassin's Creed game every year, and last year's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was a standout hit, with gamers able to command ships in a near open-world experience, as well as undertake awesome side-quests, getting their hands dirty hunting sharks and whaling, for example.
So what does Assassin's Creed Unity have to offer?
Well - and this may not sound *that* promising to those gamers who thought Black Flag was the best game in the series so far, one of the main motivations behind this year's game was apparently to enact a return to the core Assassin's Creed experience of stealth and interacting with a living, bustling city.
But does that mean the end of the open world experience is Assassin's Creed: Black Flag?
Well, let's take a look at everything we know so far about the new game.
Ubisoft's 4 Years of Development
Assassin's Creed Unity has been built by an entirely different team to the one that made Black Flag, so while Ubisoft pumping out a new game every year might seem like it might ultimately lead to diminishing returns (unlike a developer like Rockstar, for example, who allow several years of work to go into each GTA game, not to mention Valve and Half-Life) there has in fact been years of work on Assassin's Creed Unity.
One example of the incredible effort that has gone into this game is the Notre Dame Catherdral, a full scale replica that took more than a year for developers to perfect.
One can only imagine the possibilities contained in an entire city.
Another point of improvement, and it was overdue after Assassin's Crred IV: Black Flag, is the graphics. This is the first game in the franchise to take advantage of the new power of the Xbox One and PS4, and it leads to some pretty spectacular moments.
Paris: Assassin's City
One of the most noticeable things about this new Assassin's Creed is how well it does crowds. Every trailer for the game that has dropped so far has featured this element of the game, and rightly so. Paris was one of the most populous cities in the world when this game was set, and both the plot of the game and the gameplay itself rely to a great extent on having the player interact with a living, breathing city.
Incredibly, this game in one of the first to eliminate any loading time when you enter a building, allow you to jump in and out of windows and roam through the city in a freer way than ever before.
It might be that you are ONLY in one city, but isn't any city. It's revolutionary Paris, and whether you want to get lost amongst the masses, or whip them up into a frenzy and storm a palace, the only limitation will often enough be the imagination and ingenuity of the gamer themselves.
If you want to see the new game in action, check out the trailer below!
Unity and Co-Op Play
Perhaps the most eye-catching addition of Unity's gameplay is the new co-op system, allowing you to team up with 3 other players, conduct missions and infiltrate restricted areas in tandem with each other.
In order to connect with your teammates, you visit a tavern, where you are able to select whichever mission you want to undertake. And while you can also do these mission alone, Ubisoft have said that a third of the entire game has been designed with the new co-operative play in mind.
Check out the new gameplay in the video below!
Assassin's Creed Unity: The Plot
You begin Assassin's Creed Unity as Arno Dorian, a Versailles peasant of French/Austrian descent with incredible skills of stealth, agility and disguise.
The most impressive about this game might be it's setting, and the story is keen to delve deeper into the world of the French Revolution. As the game progresses, you will encounter historical figures such as Louis XVI, the Marquis De Sade, Robespierre and even Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
And, as with so many plots of Assassin's Creed, as the game progresses you begin to suspects there is some mysterious organization or force behind the Revolution. Could it be the Templars?
Better Than Black Flag?
Assassin's Creed Unity gives gamers the ability to interact with a city is a way that feels extremely free-flowing and comprehensive.
Players will enjoy the co-op mode and the little improvements on previous titles such as the Phantom Blade, which has replaced with the Hidden Blade and is now a projectile weapon that looks extremely cool.
The combat system has also been improved. Fighting is harder, and gamers will be encouraged to attempt more missions through stealth, rather than simply turning out and taking out multiple guards with brute force alone.
The denser crowds add to the playing experience, and the customization of the main character is something everyone will enjoy.
However, a few doubts remain: will the streamlining of the game mean there is less scope to roam around exploring the world than in Black Flag, for example? It is how the developers manage to balance what you are expected to do and what you feel like doing at any given moment that will determine whether this game is a true step forward, or simply another title in a long line of titles that some gamers will fear are running out of steam.
But what do you think Assassin's Creed Unity will be like? Are you excited about the possibility of leading the charge in the French Revolution? Write in with your thoughts below the line!