Assassin's Creed Unity
I left most of my opinion already, but a quick summary:
I officially have a love/hate relationship with Unity. For the couple of things it adds, like the ability to crouch (finally!) and more dynamic climbing, it also takes away series staples. You can't move bodies anymore, you can't whistle anymore (there's a cherry bomb, but it can draw too much attention and is a consumable. Whistling wasn't realistic, but it was incredible useful for stealth) and you can't use an enemy as a human shield when someone fires on you. And the enemies are crack shots. The changes to climbing are mostly welcome, but I found having a dedicated button to move up and down is no better than just holding the trigger in previous games, especially when trying to jump forward at the same height. Mission variety went way up, but not in the story missions and the other missions felt more like fluff despite the fact that many were more fleshed out than the story missions.
And that's the rub with Unity: it feels like it's pulling itself in opposite directions. The story takes place at the precipice of the French Revolution yet you hardly influence it unlike past games IE Assassin's Creed III. That feels like a woefully missed opportunity. There's some paid DLC that (I think) is more closely related to the French Revolution, but that's a punch to the gut. Likewise, your interaction with famous people and influencers of the time is nearly nonexistent. There's a few missions with Napoleon, but it's confined to a love triangle between him, his fiance and an aide. And that's the biggest issue even for a casual AC player, the story is basic, not very engaging and Arno doesn't have much charisma. It sucks.
The city of Paris is gorgeous, and I very much welcome the dense urban environment to run through and above after spending time in Revolutionary America and the Caribbean, but in Ubisoft's desire to show off what they can do with this gen, the streets of Paris are packed so tight, everyone gets in the way even if you're just strolling around. One of my favorite things about Paris (most European cities) in real life is that, even at the height of tourist season on a gorgeous day, you can go one or two streets off a main drag and there's nobody and it's almost deafeningly quiet thanks to the buildings' height. In Unity, you're literally always going to run into someone.
Finally, back to the fluff. Boy howdy does this game feel like stuffed. I didn't do the math, but there seems to be less story missions than past games, most pretty short and some only cutscenes! You get other things like detective missions, which are cool, but they pull you all around the city. The Nostradamus missions are a nice idea, but you have to be intimately aware of what the city's, albeit breathtaking, architecture is like in order to find the symbols. Otherwise, good luck. I don't feel bad about using a guide to find the symbols, especially since the outfit you unlock is just a reskin/re-color of Altair's outfit with no stat upgrades.
While I'm on the upgrade system, in theory it's a nice step forward. You can tailor Arno be more stealth, more proficient at guns or hand weapons, but as usually, a good balance of all is best and what just about everyone should stick with. Too much, like the double-assassinations, are locked behind upgrades, and if you don't people online to play the co-op missions with, you'll likely never be able to unlock every ability you need those points for. It's not necessary by any stretch, but it is annoying, because there are at least three types of "currency" in Unity, mainly to nudge you to spending real world money. Again, not necessary, but encouraged. For example: in past games, after synchronizing an area, all the items, chests etc. would pop up on your map. No longer. Now you have to be relatively close for them to show, or spend one of the currencies for various time-saver packs. Again, not necessary, but without them you'll be running around longer and wasting a lot of time. And the chests, where there would be just one kind in previous AC games, find it and open, there are multiple types in Unity, with the red chests having three levels of unlocking needed, and you can't get the level three unlocking ability unlock 75% through the story! Even then you have a ridiculous mini-game to open them. WHAT?!
There's more, but this is already much longer a post than I intended. All this made me nearly quit the game multiple times through the first half of my progress, with mostly my love of Paris keeping me going. That said, after Sequence 9, when you can properly upgrade Arno to where he can actual fight and stealth properly, Unity settles down and feels more like an AC game. And then I was enjoying my time much more, and regardless, I still love running around Paris. It's (probably) my least liked mainline AC game, but now that I'm having fun despite finishing it (no 100% sync for me for the first time), I kind of want to jump right in to Syndicate.
I've gotten this game for free on mobile and PC, but never played it before I picked up the Double Pack with 'Inside.' While the tone is disturbingly dark and the puzzles well designed, there's too much trial and error for me. On multiple occasions you'll move to a spot just to be killed with no real indication of what was coming. It's intentional yet frustrating, but thankfully the game is short. It took me less than three hours despite the deaths and seeking out a few alternate paths for collectibles. I can see how this game would be a great challenge for speedrunners, but one playthrough is probably enough for me.
I liked this much better than 'Limbo,' probably because they expanded on every aspect and fixed the few shortcomings. The game is far less trial and error (though it's still there), and the way the devs use the 2D-plane for movement and puzzles is incredibly clever at times. Somehow, this game is even more dark in tone than 'Limbo' and the statements effectively gotten across with its ending(s) and nothing but pure visuals is downright cognitive. Also, a special mention of the checkpoint system: it's simple and effective for the light backtracking that may be necessary. Like 'Limbo,' I'll probably never play 'Inside' again, but I suggest everyone plays 'Inside' at least once.