After the offense that was Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft has tried to soar above its past mistakes and set flight for London. Get ready for Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the game that tries to retrieve the best of the series and even attempts to introduce some exciting new features.
Everything for the (Sister and) Brotherhood?
Syndicate Assassin's Creed presents us again the story of characters who belong to the brotherhood of Assassins, who are locked in an endless struggle with the Templars. For the first time in the franchise, you guide two characters on their journey through the story – the brother and sister duo of Jacob and Evie Frye.
As in GTA V, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is designed for you to alternate between characters as you tackle its missions – making the gameplay feel quite different depending on the chosen sibling. Jacob is more interested in forming a gang to conquer London, developing their skills in combat along the way. Evie, meanwhile, is more focused on the interests of the Assassins guild and their quiets to find the Apple of Eden – leading to a greater focus on stealth.
In addition to the missions of the main plot, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is peppered with secondary missions to help the colorful characters of Victorian London. These include period appropriate famous names of the time, from Queen Victoria to Charles Dickens.
The truth is that, if you've played previous Assassin's Creed games, Syndicate’s missions will hold few surprises – you will just find yourself doing the same things you have for the past eight years. The fun of the combat and assassinations continue to drive the action, which in this case is accompanied by gangs.
AC Brotherhood already included the ideas of a gang, but in Assassin's Creed Syndicate this is more of a side note. Instead, the game focuses on role-playing progression of the two heroes (which we saw in AC Unity) and the improvement of their equipment.
More of the same, but prettier
Assassin's Creed Syndicate retains the series’ gameplay, but notably aspects have been polished. Once again they have made improvements to the combat system, which is still pretty simple, but is closer to the technical perfection of the Batman Arkham saga.
But the most important innovation is the addition of a grappling hook. This can be used to hook between buildings, climb up, and zip down – all fluidly implemented.
As for stealth, the game builds on what was seen in AC Unity. This ensures you lots of different options for silently sneaking thorough missions, while not stopping you engaging in more open murder if you so choose.
Technically, Assassin's Creed Syndicate repeats the spectacle of Assassin's Creed Unity with its beautiful reproduction of urban sprawling. If Paris impressed, London will be sure to do the same – and with less bugs to upset your enjoyment.
The game and world are full of detail. So, if you get bored of doing missions, you can stop and just enjoy the simple act of walking around the city - which this time features the largest map in the series to date.
But all that glitters is not gold. While Syndicate is certainly more stable, it still has graphic and performance bugs. At this point though, I think we can all just accept that these flaws add to the series character.
Finally, it is worth noting that the game has no multiplayer. But given the size of the story and its variety, you won’t feel like you are missing out.
If Unity disappointed give Syndicate a chance
Many players were disillusioned with the Assassin’s Creed franchise after Unity, and promised themselves they would not buy another. And I will not lie: Syndicate is not an evolution of the series, it is just a solid return to the status quo. But it is also an extremely enjoyable game that will rebuild faith in the saga.