Don’t Kill AC Unity Off Until You’ve Tried Dead Kings
Even the biggest fans of the series would admit that Assassin’s Creed Unity was a big bust. From a story standpoint it was completely lackluster. From a gameplay standpoint it was released broken, and has plenty of mechanics to complain about. Even from an achievement standpoint, while easy to complete in theory, takes hours upon hours of running in circles picking up collectables and finishing at least 100+ very repetitive missions.
But this is not the roast of AC Unity; this is its redemption. I’ve decided to write a review of the FREE AC Unity DLC that dropped last week, Dead Kings, because it was so great I want everyone to give it a chance. I’m going to review it on 4 categories: story, delivery, value, and achievements.
I won’t go into detail explaining the story of Dead Kings because its actually good and I want you to enjoy it. To give you a very general idea, Franciade is where the kings of France were buried, and Arno has received word of another artifact hidden in these tombs that he needs to keep the Templars away from. There are more emotional scenes in this 6 mission DLC than the entire main game. And there are numerous interesting new characters, and interesting character developments from familiar ones, such as Arno and Napoleon. Arno also shaved. Which sounds like a minute detail but its oddly extremely noticeable. He was meant to be older, but winds up looking younger for it.
The only real negative I have to say about the story was the end makes complete sense historically, but had me kind of confused. It just seemed random and made me feel as if I missed something, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t.
The game is also, like all AC games, filled with little details in all the side missions and database entries that are super interesting to history buffs. You’ll probably never bother reading most of it, if any. But its there, and it’s cool.
If you are like most people, who abandoned this game early on and basically never went back to it, Dead Kings is a bit of a breath of fresh air. The glitches that plagued Unity’s release are long gone. No more falling through the floor in the middle of a chase. You might honestly forget you’re playing the same game you abandoned in the first place. The map is beautiful and diverse. There’s and entire underground map filled with interesting challenges. Interesting for several reasons.
There is a new group of enemies in Dead King’s, Raiders, who are just a bunch of dudes trying to find treasure in Franciade’s crypts and tombs. What makes them interesting is that these raiders, with a strong enough weapon (which you will undoubtably have if you finished the main game) will die in one hit. It reminds me a lot like the mechanics of older AC games, where killing people was easier and less of a nuisance. It makes me wonder if Ubisoft did this on purpose to make up for the pretty shitty fighting system in the game overall. Like in older titles, you can easily change between your different targets and one-by-one take them out in a sweet little combo. Each group of raiders also has a leader, who if killed causes all the other guys to run away in fear. Raider leaders are some of the strongest enemies in the game.
What I found also great about Dead Kings’ underground was that it had more problem solving puzzles in it than the entire rest of the game (having more of something than the whole rest of the games seems to be a recurring theme in this DLC). Like in the older days of Assassin’s Creed, you will have to solve various puzzles to progress through certain doors.
The parkour required in this underground is also the best in the game, and some of the best since earliest AC titles. The puzzles and parkour in the undergrounds reminds me a lot, in a good way, of AC Brotherhood, which also had a lot of puzzles, parkour, and undergrounds. Of course, these aspects don’t appeal to everyone, but they appeal to me, so…
Guys, the damn DLC is FREE. Its about 7.5 GB, which is pretty meh, but the game is short enough that after you complete it in 3-8 hours or so, depending on if you just finish it or complete it, you can delete it and its no big deal. If it was a paid DLC, I would not be recommending it so highly. Its fairly short, and a paid DLC cannot make up for everything that Ubisoft screwed up in this game. But they made it free. And because it was free I downloaded it and I loved it. It totally restored my faith in the next rendition of the game being worthwhile.
For those so inclined to care about achievements, they’re very easy. Its only worth 300, but thats more than the average DLC and much easier to complete than the main game’s achievements, and most other AC game’s achievements. Yes, it has its fair share of collectables, but I found almost every one of them simply by playing through each of the missions. By the time I was done, I had maybe 5 left. And the map is small enough to be able to find the missing ones pretty easily. 100% sync on the main missions is very simple, but also fun and challenging at the same time. The co-op missions can be completed with some patience by oneself if need be. All in all, the achievements are very obtainable and if you had no other reason to get this DLC until now, let this be your reason. I wrote a (really solid, if I may brag for a moment) guide for getting 100% in the DLC over on TrueAchievements.com, here’s the link. http://www.trueachievements.com/a195884/hydrogen-bonded-achievement.htm
So here’s my review score:
Seriously. Get the DLC. It’s worth it.