Assassin's Creed: Unity, Mediocre at Best?

I'm always a little concerned about the quality of a game when its publisher enforces review embargoes until the day of release. Assassin's Creed: Unity (the seventh major installment in the AC franchise) launched today along with a multitude of reviews spelling out the most likely reason Ubisoft required the media hold off on posting their thoughts: the game is simply mediocre.

While Unity is currently rated a 76 for the Xbox One version of the game and 81 for the PlayStation 4 version on Metacritic, if you take the time to read the complaints, it all boils down to a couple commonalities:

·         The story is blegh

·         The "wow" moments the series is known for are lacking

·         More control issues (another thing AC is notorious for)

Sure a high 70s score on Metacritic isn't Aliens: Colonial Marines territory, but you really have to compare it to the AC games before it and acknowledge that this is one of the year's most anticipated releases. It cannot afford to be mediocre if it intends to capture the gaming community heading into the holidays with competition like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and that World of Warcraft expansion everyone is drooling over.

Assassin's Creed has always been for me a hit or miss series. The first couple games, issues aside, piqued my interest enough to buy AC 3 which I was majorly let down by. AC 4: Black Flag, on the other hand, just missed my top 5 games of 2013 list. Since we buy all our own games, I decided to base my decision on whether to purchase Unity on the reviews, which have not convinced me up to this point.

Unless Ubisoft issues some DLC for Unity that allows me to sing shanties, I think this may be a pass. I need more than a pretty face!