The unthinkable has happened. Ubisoft has changed Assassin’s Creed’s long-extant parkour systems for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, reconfiguring the control scheme while introducing a selection of unlockable abilities.
That’s according to game designer Max Spielberg – son of Steven Spielberg – who has outlined the revisions in a blog post for the official site.
“In previous games, you were either running on your feet from object to object, or you were climbing,” he began. “What we did is basically create a transition between the climb system and the navigation system.
“So now, you no longer have to drop down from climbing a wall to an object to continue running. You can, from your climb, perform a transition into a direct run, or swing, or any move possible in the game.”
There are also new modifiers when you’re navigating the city. “There’s the standard Right Trigger control method, where we tried to emulate previous AC games as best we could,” Spielberg observed. “So if you’ve played any previous AC game, you should feel at home with the Right Trigger.
“The A button [Parkour Up] will start trending you upwards. If you are on a façade or have a wall next to you, and there are props along the wall, holding A will use the façade itself – the actual wall – to scramble up to the next object that’s nearest to your current position.
“On the other hand, the B button [Parkour Down] will start dropping you down objects until you reach the ground. This all happens very quickly. In fact, at one point we were toying with the idea of not even needing the leap of faith, because the player can get down facades so quickly with the B (down) option.”
Ubisoft has avoided the “flashier” free-running moves, preferring to focus on ease and efficiency of movement. “Parkour is the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B using the environment, whereas free running is the same concept, except using flashier moves to complete that sequence, like doing tricks with your body.
“We have elements of free running in AC Unity, but we focused more on the parkour aspect of keeping the flow, and keeping some sense of realism. That being said, all these moves are possible since our mocap actors did all of them for us at some point.”
Perhaps most interestingly of all, you’ll now be able to unlock new skills as you progress through the game. “There is a skillset that you learn as you progress through the game. Arno starts out with basic moves and learns more parkour moves along the way. But there are also a few skills that you can purchase, that add some flair to the moves.”
“One of my favourite new moves, and one of the coolest ones I think you’ll see in the game is called the Base Jump,” Spielberg concluded. “The player jumps out, arms outstretched, almost looks like he’s going into a Leap of Faith and then catches a pole right at the last second to swing off. That’s very impressive.”
The game isn’t coming to Xbox 360, but Ubisoft has hinted that another unannounced Assassin’s Creed game will.
You can view a single player demo of the game below which demonstrates the new movement style.