Assassin’s Creed Unity’s Parkour System Evolves
The impressive-looking parkour system of the Assassin's Creed series has had its ups and downs throughout the years. Now, Assassins Creed Unity seeks to take this system into two new and different directions.
In an interview with IGN, Alexandre Pedneault, a lead designer of Assassin's Creed Unity at Ubisoft Montreal, explained the history and future of the series' parkour traveling system. Originally inspired by the insane, acrobatic skills of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Ubisoft sought to make Altair's method of traveling just as awe-inspiring. At the same time, Ubisoft wanted something believable.
“I even heard stories where they were really looking into how you control a character in a hockey game,” Pedneault said. “In those games, you just push on the stick to tell your character where he wants to go, and the game responds to that, while having your character on-screen doing these smooth skating animations to get there. They took some inspiration from that when creating the first iteration of the freerunning system in the first Assassin’s Creed.”
Assassin's Creed II eventually added carts and boxes to help add fluidity and a running start to the climbing and parkour aspects of Ezio's travels. These boxes and carts would help elevate Ezio so he could latch onto the higher balconies during his ascent. Ubisoft has overhauled the parkour system with Assassin's Creed Unity. There are now "parkour up" and "parkour down" systems in play to help ascend to rooftops or descend to ground level without having to jump into a pile of hay or slowly scale up the sides of buildings in order to get where you want.
“They tried to eliminate some of these moments when you felt like the character was getting sucked into behaviors,” Pedneault said. “For example, in Assassin’s Creed Unity, if Arno is standing on a beam and there’s two other beams in front of him -- one above and one below -- if you hold the parkour-up input, he will jump toward the higher beam, and the lowest beam will only be targeted if you hold parkour down. In previous iterations of the system, Arno would always jump toward the higher beam.”
This means that continuously holding parkour-up while running will help climb. While holding parkour-down will help guide you to the ground and keep you there. It took about about seven or eight games to get it right, but it sounds like Ubisoft has finally perfected the parkour mechanics of the Assassin's Creed series.
Assassin's Creed: Unity launches November 11 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
New parkour mechanics or not, those assassins sure know where to hide a body.