Another Year, Another ASSASSIN’S CREED

To be set during something called the France Dance Revolution.

With all the unexpected shit that can come about in life, sometimes it's good to have regularity. Luckily, some things are certain: death, taxes, Star Wars, and annual releases of Assassin's Creed games.

The flashy 2014 model is called Assassin's Creed: Unity, indicating Ubisoft's titling convention worm is swinging back to Words, after Roman Numerals' brief resurgence of 2012-13. Unity is widely rumoured - though this is strictly unconfirmed - to feature melee combat, tailing missions and borderline broken stealth sequences. According to screenshots obtained by Kotaku, it will also include parkour and big stone buildings.

What is confirmed - if you count "it appears in the trailer" as confirmation - is that the stone buildings in question will be those involved in the French Revolution of 1789-1799. It's an era often requested by fans, because a plurality of Assassin's Creed players are learned scholars of 18th-century France. I did not take French history at university, but my knowledge of the era suggests that guillotines will appear as a selectable weapon and that both Marie Antoinette and cake will appear as playable characters. Of course, being set when it is, it's entirely possible that the jovial and animated fan-favourite character Connor Kenway could make an appearance, cracking wise and bringing tears of mirth to gamers' faces like he did so frequently in Assassin's Creed III.

In some ways, though, Unity seems a step backwards, returning to a densely-packed European city after jaunts in revolutionary America and the piratical Caribbean. It's also a step back to a male assassin after the lady-powered derring-do of Liberation, although at this point I could invent a past game that had a genderqueer anthropomorphic crocodile as a protagonist, and people would assume it was just one of the forgotten legions of titles the franchise had bequeathed upon the world over the years.

In keeping with its setting, only the ruling classes with next-gen consoles or high-end PCs will be able to play Unity. Plebians with earlier models (and presumably tattered clothing and polio) will have to dream a dream.