When I moved over to Playstation 4 at launch – having sold my Xbox 360 – one of my biggest regrets was not playing Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag which was released around the same time.
To make matters worse one of my colleagues did not stop singing its praises for months on end.
So my anticipation levels ahead of the first truly next gen Assassin’s game, Unity, were ramped right up.
Visually, it certainly does not disappoint. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the level of detail is unsurpassed in any computer game I have ever played.
It is pretty mind-bending how Ubisoft have managed to produce such complex graphic detail in such a large sandbox game and hints at the huge power of these new machines.
Paris is a living, breathing creation. And the free-running, climbing and acrobatics used to explore its vastness are better than ever. However, the fact you can endlessly sprint, clamber up, leap around and from buildings like Spiderman and jump from hundreds of feet up and land on a tiny railing with no real threat of dying or being injured and no fatigue are too unrealistic and negative aspects.
The storyline is engrossing and the side missions make the game more involved than ever, with murder mysteries a brilliant and welcome addition.
Fighting is, as usual, a bit too easy (and samey). It consists of pretty much mashing the attack button and pressing the parry button at the right time. Swathes of attackers can be seen off with relative ease although the variety of finishing moves and skills do add a certain level of gloss.
It is the stealth and espionage elements of ACU that make it, though, with cover also a great addition – if a bit sticky at times.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of climbing a huge building and looking across Paris before sneaking your way in, murdering someone and getting out of there before being discovered.
I have thus far seen no evidence of bugs which have reportedly made the game “unplayable” for some gamers. ACU continues the tried and tested Creed formula with some welcome added elements and gorgeous graphics.
Slightly sticky controls, simplistic fighting and the aforementioned lack of realism (a simple fatigue meter would fix this in many ways) are the only real negatives in this 8/10 must-have title.
UPDATE: On Wednesday Ubisoft emailed gamers apologising for problems and glitches with the game which they said should have been fixed by a series of patches, the latest of which was over 2gb and available to download on the same day.
The firm also promised a separate DLC story that was going to be a paid-for download will be free for anyone that had purchased Unity.