Locations and navigations
As the game is exclusive to next-generation consoles and PC, it will enable renderings of Paris to 1:1 scale and crowds numbering in the thousands. Players will able to explore the city's entirety, including seamless interiors and the catacombs, with landmarks like Notre-Dame having a quarter of the building's interior playable. Even empty buildings may have unlockable rooms with treasures inside.When standing on rooftops, a button can display 3D objects like alarm bells to help the player strategize.
Haystacks have been largely removed in favor of allowing players to control their descent from rooftops, and the controls for freerunning up and down are now separate.Social Stealth has been improved upon with a special crouching mode activated by button, and combat has been made more tactical to feel more realistic: counter kills were removed.
Assassinations in the game are referred to as "black box missions," and harken to the style of gameplay from the first Assassin's Creed. Contextual clues are provided to allow the player to choose and plan their own approach, rather than follow a linear, pre-determined path to the target. Unlike previous games however, an assassination is not deemed successful until Arno has escaped after performing it.
For memories, instead of the player being given a series of objectives, Ubisoft has developed the Adaptive Mission Mechanic, which gives players several potential paths to complete a mission. For example, choosing to stalk a target will lead to a chase if they detect you, as opposed to causing desynchronization.
The Assassins' weapons and appearance are customizable, while experience gained can be spent on four different specialties: "Melee" (offense), "Health" (defense), "Ranged" (navigation), and stealth. For example, Arno can possess Eagle Pulse, which allows him to sense how many guards are in a location he intends to infiltrate. Like other skills, it can be upgraded with experience points at the player's discretion. He can also unlock a disguise skill to escape pursuing guards. The player will be able to upgrade all of Arno's skills, given his objective is to become a Master Assassin.
There are around 200 choices for Arno's gear, which can benefit gameplay:
Hoods can decrease a guard's reaction time as well as increase the radius of Eagle Sense.
Chest items refer to the Assassins' robes, which changing can increase the time you can spend blended in the crowd, and the time it takes for a guard to detect you.
Arm items change the appearance of the Hidden Blade, increasing melee damage and the Phantom Blade's ammunition, but can also increase the time it takes to revive allies.
Belts and sashes increase the number of health points and items carried.
Pants and boots can decrease fall damage and running noises, as well as providing extra health.
"Assassins do not only embark on their own quests (like Ezio avenging his family), they have to pay their dues to the Assassin council. So players will have to complete what we call Brotherhood missions, in shared experience, to fulfill their duties towards the Assassins."
―Alex Amancio discussing the reason behind cooperative gameplay
Following the success of Wolfpack in Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed: Unity is the first game in the series to introduce campaign co-op. Up to four players can take on story-based missions including sabotaging an execution, protecting an emperor or assassinating a target. However, the co-op missions will be optional, all story-based, and can be completed singularly as well.
Co-operative gameplay starts at taverns, where the player can see a "ghost" of a friend who is also playing. Approaching said ghost can establish a request to join the friend on their mission, and both will be loaded to the mission's nearest checkpoint.Amancio expects players will spend a third of their time in co-op mode.
Players can unlock skills that will benefit a whole group: these include the Disguise skill, Group Healing, the Assassin Cache for sharing bombs and ammunition, and Communal Sense, which colors targets' locations across the whole map.
There are heist missions for the Assassins to steal money. The more an Assassin is detected, the less money will be gained. Amancio commented that the co-op missions will encourage players to work together, thereby avoiding a session from falling apart with gamers who refuse to co-operate.
The modern day portion will return, but will differ from the Abstergo Entertainment setting of Black Flag. This time, players will play as themselves, as the Initiate being contacted by the Assassins at one point requesting you to explore Arno's memories for them as well as help them in the present day against the Templars.
The game introduces Time Anomaly missions, where Arno is transported to Paris in another historical era such as World War II.
Unity is set to be the first game in the Assassin's Creed series to lack the competitive multiplayer, since its initiation in Brotherhood