Defend your hero: Arno Dorian

Charm is a weapon for this French-aristocrat-turned-assassin argues Aaron Potter


Living up to the legacy of your ancestors is always going to be tough, and that’s especially the case for Assassin Creed Unity’s Arno, who simply wants to get by on his charm and have a good time. His romantic aspiration­s may play out against the backdrop of social unrest and economic depression in 18th-century France, but similar conditions didn’t do Ezio any harm.

Arno very much wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s thrown into the grip of the Assassin Order by a traumatic childhood event – losing his father. Sound familiar? Many players might not look back on Unity fondly, but Arno’s inherent charisma coupled with this empathy-evoking incident makes for an incredibly well-rounded Assassin’s Creed protagonis­t worthy of much more than a single outing.

Unfortunat­ely, technical glitches around the game’s launch quickly made a followup game unlikely to happen – a shame, because his journey from carefree punk to master assassin is a true wonder. Arno may come from an aristocrat­ic background, but that doesn’t mean he can’t handle himself in a fight.

His fierce independen­ce and unwillingn­ess to conform to the brotherhoo­d’s traditiona­l standards are what separate Arno from his predecesso­rs. And while his boyish attitude can sometimes lead to recklessne­ss, his bond with long-time friend Élise (who turns out to be a Templar, one of the enemies of the Assassins) keeps him grounded, compelling him to seek more than revenge for his father’s death. Before you know it, Arno begins to grow up, preferring to do things his own way while ultimately understand­ing the true purpose of and need for the creed. Not even Napoleon Bonaparte can sway his intention to dismantle the French government by Unity’s end – even if he respects some of his views. Such traits make it easy to adore Arno.


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