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‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’ completely redesigns combat, counter mechanic removed

Assassin's Creed Unity
Assassin's Creed Unity
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission

Gamers who enjoy methodically waiting for the opportunity to counter enemy strikes in the Assassin’s Creed franchise have reason to question whether this fall’s new-gen only installment of the series will be worth getting after Ubisoft announced that they are removing the ability for players to counter enemy attacks in Assassin’s Creed Unity. While detailing how many classic Assassin’s Creed gameplay systems will be reworked for the upcoming title, Gamespot reported on Aug. 9 that the developer has confirmed that Unity will not be bringing back the combat counter mechanic that was popularized in the series’ previous entries.

Assassin's Creed Unity
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission

Unfortunately for those who like the kind of counter-driven combat that is found in franchises like Assassin’s Creed or the Batman Arkham video game series, Ubisoft’s new gameplay design for Assassin’s Creed Unity has completely reworked combat systems. Recently speaking to Game Informer, creative director Alex Amancio revealed that he believed that Assassin’s Creed should fundamentally, be focused on stealth rather than having players charged in to fight a dozen opponents at once. The developer felt that the counter mechanic allowed players to too easily fight through enemies rather than try to successfully avoid them as a master assassin.

It was stated that the redesigned combat system of Assassin’s Creed Unity will force players to be more reactive to each attack in the absence of a true counter button. Contradicting himself at times, Amancio told Game Informer that Unity makes stealth-based systems integral to the series while later saying that gamers can avoid stealth and simply focus on combat. Adding more confusion, he later mentioned that fans can still simply fight large groups of enemies if they don’t want to engage in stealth then he turned around and admitted that the combat redesign will make it hard for those don’t sneak around.

Despite the fact that Amancio says that gamers will be given the freedom to play Assassin’s Creed Unity however they want, the director’s words contradict that idea since it appears that the use of stealth will be fundamental. Amancio stated that he feels that stealth should have been a core to the series since the beginning but it was never successfully implemented. However, the redesign is a risky move as it takes an element on a series that fans may enjoy in order to instead focus on an opposing mechanic that might not appeal to the franchise’s long-term supporters.