November 26, 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity Content Rundown

I have no idea what the title is supposed to mean since there's absolutely no "Unity" to be found in the game but oh well...

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Verdict: Caution Advised (For Strong Bloody Violence and Sexual References)

Release Date: November 2014

Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

Genre: Action-Adventure

Areas of Concern:

Potential Emotional Triggers:

--The game features a scene where a man's leg is cut off for the sake of attracting more pity when he begs on the street; the scene is quite cruel and somewhat upsetting. His cries of pain are heard. Gore is also visible, albeit very briefly.

--A scene at a party shows a young woman, who appears to be teenaged, being caressed by an older man. The scene carries a subtext of subjugation, which might be disturbing. 

--The game contains an execution scene, by means of guillotine; the head is shown to the crowd afterwards, who cheer. This scene is not very graphic, but still disturbing.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Players wield swords and knives against enemies; you can silently stab enemies with knives, we see the knife plunge in with a blood squirt and they cry out in pain.

-Players perform a variety of moves with swords, such as: 

-Stabbing the enemy through the neck/jaw, soaking his mouth and face with blood.

-Hitting an enemy and throwing him from a ledge, a thud and a crack heard when he hits the ground. 

-Chopping them in the neck, kicking their legs and breaking them, a snap heard and then stabbing them through the throat, gore soaking their necks as they stand uncertainly and slowly keel over. 

-Jumping from a height and striking them against the ground, stabbing them while doing so. 

-Stabbing the enemy through the face and then removing the sword, an arterial blood squirt and a crunch heard.

-Impaling them through the back into the ground, a crunch heard and a spray of blood shown.

Players can also use axes and clubs against enemies; crunches are heard as players chop/beat with the weapons. Axes are impaled into the bodies of people, with a crack being heard.

All of this features a lot of blood sprays (which soak the bodies of opponents) and graphic sound effects as the sword slices flesh. Cries of pain are heard.

--A beggar's leg is sawed off with a...saw; we see a man begin to cut the restrained beggar's leg and hear the beggar screaming in pain for quite some time before passing out. (His cries are muffled by another man.) Afterwards, we see a huge puddle of blood, and the man keeps sawing at the now partially dismembered leg, bloody flesh and tendons visible, before finally chopping the beggar's leg off into a bucket. The last part is shown clearly. 

--A man's head is chopped off; we see the blade strike his head for a split-second with a flash of blood, and afterwards the head is held up and shown to the cheering crowd, blood still dripping from the neck.

--We see severed heads, stuck on pikes. Additionally, a couple of environments are stained with blood, corpses littering said areas, soaked with gore.

--There are several sequences where explosions go off, destroying the environment with lots of wreckage.

-Players open fire on three enemy planes; when they are shot enough, they explode, with wreckage shown.

--A man is shot in the cheek; we see a bloody bullet hole and blood splatters on his face, clothing and the surrounding environment. 

--Players can shoot enemies; we see a brief splash of blood, they clutch their bodies and keel over in pain, dying.

--A man is burned to death at the stake; we see the flames swarm him and hear him scream, but this is not graphic.

--A man stumbles around, his throat slit; we see some blood around his neck, and he falls over, dead.

Context of Violence: Shock Value, Justified


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A couple of references to sex; a prisoner asks if you "F**ked" someone important, a man sarcastically states that a man should add bestiality and a lecherous priest to his story of conspiracy and he'll have the "beginnings of a beautiful novel", and a man talks about "seven nuns seducing a priest into debauchery" and an "enormously-endowed Benedictine sodomizing a goat".

--A couple of men are shown shirtless at a party, surrounded by women, who wearing revealing dresses, exposing their shoulders and cleavage. 

A woman at the party has most of her dress missing, exposing her cleavage, bare midriff and her bare legs. She appears to be teenaged, and a significantly older man kisses her hand suggestively, which she seems to be terrified by. The scene carries a light implication of subjugation.

--Marquis de Sade, a famous personality from 18th Century France, is featured in the game; His first appearance is in prison, naked. We only see the sides of his buttocks, which are mostly obscured.

Context of Sex/Nudity: Shock Value


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Uses of F**k, S**t, A*s, B**t**d, P**s, C**p, H**l, and D**n.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Context of Language: Grittiness

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man kneels inside a circle, surrounded by candles. It's made clear that this is a Knight's Templar ritual.

--A man curses another man to the "thirteenth generation" of his "blood".

--The Templars believe in a being called "The Father of Understanding", which happens to be a possible origin for the name of Baphomet.

--As part of an initiation ceremony into an order, a man drinks from a cup and sees an extended vision. He is then "reborn" into the Order.

--The Ankh appears as a symbol in the game.

Context of Spiritual Content: Symbolism and References Only


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--In one scene, a man goes to steal a barrel of alcohol; the whole scene shows his distorted vision, which sways to and fro. He is shown drinking vigorously as well. 

--A man says that another man's brain has been "scrambled" because of his time in prison. The man replies: "Drink took care of that a long time ago."

--A couple of people drink alcohol at a party and stagger around drunkenly.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Grittiness

Emotional Scenes:

--A boy finds his dead father; the expression of shock and sorrow on his face may be somewhat sad to see.

-Later on, a major character dies, which might be emotional for some gamers. 

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

While there is a lot of assassinations, as the title implies, it's more along the lines of "violent vigilantism", as the player only kills criminals and people who are harming others. Honour and commitment are shown to be worthy traits.

Morality Type: Shades of Grey

Thoughts & Impressions:


That's the best word I can use to describe this game as a whole. Why a term related to shivery temperatures and not something else? Well, it basically sums up the way AC Unity treats its story, setting and characters: With an odd form of "coldness" which pervades the entire game, detracting from the warmer aspects in major ways.

The infamous French Revolution is featured as the backdrop for the story of Unity, featuring yet another rivalry between the Templars and the Assassins, but this time with an interesting alliance between two lovers, both on opposing sides of each other: Élise and Arno.

Remember what I said about the "warmer" aspects in Unity? This is the biggest contender. The relationship between Elise and Arno is filled with honour and friendliness not common to stories in this genre, which elevates the otherwise average story to a whole new level.

The coldness of the setting also helps to make them stand out far more, due to the fact that the game plays out more like a history lesson than an actual story when it comes to the French Revolution.

For what it is, Unity works for the most part and produces a story worth playing, especially with the romance between Élise and Arno being the greatest reason to pick up this game...

...Up until the ending. I don't know why they decided to go the route they went, but it's become an incredibly tiresome cliché Ubisoft loves to use, which was just infuriating when it was used in the ending of Unity.

I won't spoil what happens, let's just say that it leaves you with a major gut punch, in an attempt to carry across a warm emotion, but succumb to hypothermia halfway through the motion and just came off as an incredibly "cold" slap in the face.

All in all, an average entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Not a masterpiece, but not terrible either, although emotional gamers may have a hard time getting the bitter taste out of their mouths when the credits roll...


Notice the new "Potential Trauma Triggers" section? There's a long story behind my decision to finally include it into my bi-weekly reviews, but let's just say that I thought it was about time someone spoke on a more personal basis on how violence triggers us in games and movies.

But anyway, hope you guys like it. :)

Violence wise, AC Unity is noticeably bloody, and gory in two notable scenes, with lots of swordplay, featuring realistic blood splatter and arterial sprays of gore. Pretty average stuff for an Assassin's Creed game, but still noteworthy.

Sexual content is restricted to some pretty cringeworthy references by infamous 18th Century French Marquis de Sade, whose name forms the basis for the words "Sadist" and "Sadism".

Language is actually very infrequent, but still notable. A few scenes contain drinking, and an entire level has the player drunkenly try to attain a barrel of alcohol.

Spiritual references are limited to symbolism and verbal references only.

All in all, a game for mature teens and adults.

Verdict: 16+

For Strong Bloody Violence and Sexual References

Outro: Another year, another Assassin's Creed. The annual schedule is starting to prove stressful on the franchise, since Ubisoft is not giving the developers enough time to craft truly evocative stories.

What do you guys think? How was the newest instalment of Assassin's Creed for you?

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