No App Needed To Play Assassin’s Creed Unity Anymore


The pitchforks came out for Assassin’s Creed Unity’s bugs and performance problems, but I can’t say I ran into many of the former and the latter was never bad enough to make it unplayable. (It was worse on console, as I understand it). For me, the problem was that whatever soul the game might have had was obfuscated by its ostentatious partitioning into external systems. Sign up for this nebulous player-tracking service, install this tellingbone app, grind/play/grind, hunger hunger hunger for more. Whatever you do, don’t just play the game.

Belatedly, the situation is improving. Ubisoft are removing the need to have Unity companion app thingamywotist if you want to open certain chests (containing various loot and even an Altair skin) scattered around Paris.

While the app was free, there was a whole lot of rote grinding required to unlock the chests. The trouble was that the chests appeared in the main Unity game whether you had the app or not, and in a game that’s built around cleaning all the icons off the map, it was simply frustrating to have all this stuff you either couldn’t access or which required you to waste a whole lot of time you’d perhaps rather spend playing Unity itself faffing about on your iPhone.

Also put out to pasture is the Initiates service, which is a sort of pan-Asscreed achievement system that unlocked yet more chests if you put enough time into various other games in the series. The system proved to be all kinds of haywire in practice, so its chests too are open to anyone playing Unity.

Says Ubisoft, “We will be unlocking all content exclusive to Initiates and the Companion App, including both blue and gold chests. Players can still progress on the Companion App, they just will no longer be required to complete content to unlock in-game chests.” This will happen as part of a patch due later this week, which also contains a few more bug fixes.

This is good news in that at least we don’t need to prat about with other stuff if we want to get our icon hoovers out again, but bad news in that, because all this stuff was there in the first place, the icon hoovering side of things still very much overwhelms Unity.

Let’s just hope the lesson learned for the next Assassin’s Creed is “focus on the game itself” and not “all we have to do is the same thing again, but more stable.”

Me, I want an Assassin’s Creed game without any map whatsoever. That would be amazing.


  1. brulleks says:

    Personally, I’d prefer just a map without any Assassin’s Creed game.

  2. Shockeh says:

    ” in a game that’s built around cleaning all the icons off the map”

    Of course, if Ubisoft would stop making this such a focus on the game, and make it more about, ooh, I dunno, the actual fun bits of the game (Combat, Parkour, Stealth, Story, those silly elements in the way of ‘Mobile Game Dressed Up’) it’d be a much better series in general.

    I still buy the AC games, and I enjoy them in the main but it’s despair inducing that this obsession with padding games through COLLECTIBLES COLLECTIBLES COLLECTIBLES is such a fetish of Ubi.

    • brulleks says:

      Precisely. The ‘game’ has become nothing more than a glorified treasure hunt, which is pointless when you already know where the treasure is.

      Give me a map to explore any way I want, using the basic tools of parkour and combat, with heavily guarded areas, some side quests such as assassinations, no main missions at all, and maybe faction allegiances similar to the system in STALKER.

      Oh sod it. I just want another STALKER really. (Never getting over it).

      • GernauMorat says:

        “Oh sod it. I just want another STALKER really. (Never getting over it).”

        Be strong, brother.

      • Monggerel says:

        The Skadovsk won’t be going anywhere, that’s for sure.

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        Qazinsky says:

        Get out of here *sob*, Stalker.

      • rcguitarist says:

        Oh, god. I bought the stalker bundle last week and played through the first one (soc) and I was barely able to talk myself into finishing it. What a boring and pointless game. One of the worse I have ever played. So I hope to god that they don’t make AC games even remotely like stalker or bring over any elements from it. I didn’t even play more than 30 minutes of clear sky because I could tell it was just more of the same crap. Playing the third one now and it looks to be a little better, but not very good either.

        • Myrdinn says:

          I guess Ubisoft knows what it’s doing then. We need more activity markers in STALKER.

          • rcguitarist says:

            Don’t forget in app purchases and a mobile app that warns you of radiation as your character walks around.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          Well, you are clueless. You can go back to play AssCreed, though, they need SOMEONE as an audience after all.

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      Qazinsky says:

      The amount of collectibles is staggering! I kind of like the idea behind collectibles (small reward for exploring off the beaten path) but just having a spray of symbols all over the map is so tiresome. I don’t think I will ever have the energy to 100% AC:Black Flag or Far cry 4, it just doesn’t feel worth it. Now I actually kinda prefered Watch_Dogs version, yes, you got a symbols on the map, but it unlocked a few here and there for every story mission you did, so it was never as overwhelming and the grand total was nowhere near the other Ubi-games, if I recall correctly.

      Also, why do they have to put big freaking % completed front and centre, I personally don’t want to know I’ve gotten 50% (10/20) through the main missions, please put this information under some kind of stats page, not in the name of my save!

  3. ran93r says:

    This is the most exciting thing I have heard all week.
    I was using initiates until it went tits up and I tried to use the app but stone me if it wasn’t a horrible piece of crap that lost sync with the game every 30 seconds (to say nothing of the immersion breaking).
    I hope they pay attention and never do this shit again.

    Personally I have no problem with Creed after Creed after Creed but I don’t wan’t any more barriers to the “full experience”.

  4. deadfolk says:

    I’m guessing that this is the easy way out because they failed to fix the app, which by all accounts (never used it myself) consistently failed to sync.

    Still, never look a gift horse…

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      basilisk says:

      Very much so, yes. That’s the same reason they killed Initiates, which actually happened far earlier (before Christmas). It just never worked properly and people hated it even when it did.

      But yes, while it’s nice they’re removing this, it never should have been there in the first place. I’m glad they are reversing these decisions, but worried the might make them again. As much as I love the series, it desperately needs to step off the treadmill for a while ask itself some hard and fundamental questions.

  5. Deano2099 says:

    The Initiates chests have been unlocked since December I think when they took it down.

    I can certainly see the issue people without a tablet have the with companion app. Plus the app is buggy. But y’know, it’s all kinda great. You can use your tablet as a separate, interactive, map screen, you can read all the database entries at your leisure while on the train, and interact with the games through the missions while not playing…

    It’s a really neat piece of tech. I wish it worked.

    • Vinraith says:

      The notion of needing to own a tablet or smart phone to be able to play the entirety of a PC game is… off-putting to phrase it mildly.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Yeah but the notion of being able to use that tablet as a second screen for a map or such is neat. Although what would be even neater is if we could use the same technology to show it in a browser on our actual second screen.

  6. SuicideKing says:

    I wonder if Unity was made with Unity under a unity of command?

  7. StAUG says:

    Too late. I made a point of going for 100% in every AC game prior, but this was such a broken shitfight on release that I barely bothered finishing the main story. The multiple types of chests, multiple currencies (including an ‘insert credit card details here’ premium one), the whole thing, was just one bloated wheezing pile of crap with a smothered AC game rarely visible underneath.