With 12 main entries and over 15 spin-off games, it’s only natural that all Assassin’s Creed the games were met with the same level of critical acclaim. Over the years, the general reception of each Assassin’s Creed the starter varied enough. While the series has rarely dropped below 70 on Metacritic, there are a few entries that are considered a bit weaker than others, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity is one of those titles.
Free in the middle of Assassin’s Creedthe period of franchise fatigue, Assassin’s Creed: Unity received poor review ratings and had no real impact on the market, with many viewing it as just another Assassin’s Creed toss in the pile of annual outings. And while Assassin’s Creed: Unity Certainly not without its issues, with some game-breaking bugs and surprisingly clunky controls and mechanics, the game’s main protagonist, Arno Dorian, is a bit more complex than fans first gave him credit for. In fact, he is by far one of the most tragic characters in the entire series.
The tragic life of Arno Dorian as an assassin
Arno Dorian’s life is filled with tragedy, loss and grief, and the first evidence fans see of it comes in the very moments of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Arno was born to Charles Dorian and his wife Marie. When Arno was young, his mother learned of his father’s Assassin identity and abandoned them, leaving Charles to raise their son on his own.
At the age of eight, Arno accompanies his father to the Palace of Versailles. After meeting a young girl named Elise de la Serre, Arno finds his father, slumped on a bench, dead. Arno is taken in by Elise’s father, François de la Serre, Grand Master of the Order of the Templars in France. As a sign of respect for the late Assassin, Francis refuses to tell Arno his father’s true background or the circumstances of his death, that the Templars ordered Shay Cormac to assassinate him.
About a decade later, Arno faces another tragedy, the death of his adoptive father Francis. With no alibi and no evidence pointing to anyone else, Arno is framed for her murder and sent to the Bastille. In prison, Arno befriends his cellmate, Pierre Bellec, an assassin who worked alongside his father Charles.
Using Arno’s naivety and vulnerability to his advantage, Pierre encourages him to join the order of Assassins once the pair escape prison during the storming of the Bastille. After an argument with Elise, whom he has since developed romantic feelings for, Arno decides to join the Brotherhood of Assassins, believing it will redeem him for failing Elise and her father.
Over the next few years, Arno fights his way through the French Templar Order, murdering each member one by one while continuing to unravel the plot behind his adoptive father’s death. Although he has accomplished the missions given to him by the Brotherhood, the other French Assassins see Arno as an outsider whose reckless tactics betray the Assassins’ ideals.
Eventually, through his murderous deeds, Arno learns that François-Thomas Germain now leads the French Templar Order and conspired against François de la Serre, leading to his murder. Arno protects Elise from a Templar assassination attempt, and the two decide to join forces as he is an Assassin and she is a Templar.
In presenting this alliance with the rest of the Brotherhood, Pierre Bellec expresses his distrust of Elise and refuses to allow the two to work together to defeat Germain. To further discourage Arno, Bellec murders his mentor. In an act of revenge, Arno fights with Bellec, eventually gaining the upper hand and killing him in battle.
Following this, Arno decides to go against the wishes of the Brotherhood and forms an alliance with Elise anyway. During the French Revolution, the two learn of Germain’s whereabouts and confront him. During the fight, Elise is injured and Arno decides to deal with her rather than pursue Germain.
When Elise wakes up, she rejects him, devastated that he let loose her father’s killer. Soon after, the Brotherhood of Assassins find out about Arno’s secret missions and banish him from the Brotherhood, driving the former Assassin into a chasm of aimless despair without the love of his life.
Months later, Arno receives a visit from Elise, who apologizes and convinces him to work with her again. The two confront Germain again, but Elise is killed when the Templars’ Sword of Eden explodes, and Germain is mortally wounded. Arno lands a fatal blow, finally achieving the revenge he was so desperate for, but losing his closest ally in the process.
Arno learns to fight for another cause
Following the death of Elise at the end of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Arno falls into a deep depression, finding little to live for. No longer part of the Brotherhood of Assassins and no longer fueled by revenge, Arno drank his days in the French countryside. Eventually, Arno is contacted by an old ally, the Marquis de Sade, who tasks him with finding a manuscript in the tomb of Louis IX.
Reluctantly, Arno accepts this mission and goes to Saint Denis to find the manuscript. Arno’s search leads him to come into contact with a young thief named Leon. As the two work together to find the artifact, Leon’s perspective on the world begins to pierce Arno’s grief, slowly showing him that there is more to life than the tragedies he faced in his life. past.
With a new perspective and a new purpose, Arno completes his mission and joins the Confrérie in Paris, now with the firm belief that he can make a positive difference in the city. Over the years, Arno continued to work alongside the Assassins in France, eventually achieving the rank of Master Assassin. It is not currently known how or when Arno died, but he presumably had children at some point in his life, as he is directly related to Callum Lynch, the protagonist of the Assassin’s Creed film.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is available on PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One
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