Almost one year ago, Asssassin’s Creed Unity was released which marked as the first ever current gen only release for the Assassin’s Creed franchise. This was majorly hyped up due to the potential of what an Assassin’s Creed game could be like on PS4/Xbox One. Instead what we got was a game that was full of bugs and many felt like it shouldn’t have even been released, this showed in the review scores also.
Ubisoft are now looking to move on from the disastrous current gen only debut with the release of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Everything so far looked and sounded great leading up to the release of Syndicate, multiplayer was dropped with single player getting more attention because of it, and a highly requested era (1800’s London) is the setting of the game. We’ve been fooled before though, so lets see if Syndicate can
With Unity, it felt like too much effort and time was put in to make multiplayer work that single player suffered because of it. Unity didn’t bring much new to the single player, but with Syndicate there’s a whole lot of changes, improvements, and additions to this franchise. The biggest feature of Syndicate has to be that for the first time ever in an Assassin Creed game we can switch between two characters to play as.
The two characters you play as are Jacob and Evie Frye, who are twin brother and sister. Jacob is better at combat, and has exclusive combat skill perks for his character. Evie on the other hand is much better for stealth, and also has exclusive skill perks for stealth. Playing as either character in the main campaign is not optional however, as there are memories that can only be completed by Jacob or Evie.
On the subject of Jacob and Evie, I really didn’t like how they was introduced compared to previous Assassin’s Creed games. In most of the previous games, we start off going through the game as the character at a younger age and watch as they grow older throughout the story so we can really connect to them, and also show us how they became Assassin’s. In Syndicate there is no backstory to start the game, and you are thrown right in to the game without knowing anything about these two characters.Sure you could say we kind of didn’t get that with Edward in AC: IV but at least we wasn’t thrown right in to the story, and got some kind of backstory.
The first 3 sequences are almost like a tutorial for the rest of the game, you can’t really do much in these first 3 sequences except learn about the game, and after the third sequence is over you learn how the main story will play out for the rest of the game. Each sequence has an assassination target, and you play memories leading up to this assassination target which will always be the final mission. The assassination missions are similar to Unity’s sandbox style with choices on how you want to deal with the target. Loved this in Unity, and I also did in Syndicate.
Overall the story is okay, the present day parts are really starting to drag the game down though. I liked the present day sections in the earlier Assassin’s Creed games, but recently they have started to become boring and uninteresting. It just takes you out of the game when these parts play throughout the main story. They really need to make the present day storyline interesting again.
As Syndicate is set almost 100 years apart from Unity, there has obviously been some advancements in technology which brings me to the next addition to the game, and that’s the Rope Launcher. With the Rope Launcher you can fire rope from one building to another to use as a zipline rather than climbing down a building, running towards the other building and climbing up again. It can also be used to rapidly climb up buildings. The Rope Launcher was a good addition to the game, and it does really save time from getting to building to building, although now it makes climbing pointless which has been one of the main features since the series began.
The best way to get around however would be the with the new addition of horse carriages. With London being so big in this game, you’ll find yourself using these quite often. Horse carriages work similar to how cars work in most video games. Hold the right trigger to drive and hold the left trigger for reverse. Horse carriages also come with some combat options as you can use the carriages to ram other carriages off roads, and also climb on top of a moving carriage to take out enemies.
Syndicate also introduces a levelling system for both characters, with enemies also having a level too. Enemies having a level also gives enemies some diversity that they lacked in previous Assassin’s Creed games. Now if you’re a level 3 going up against level 6 enemies it will take longer to kill that enemy and they will also damage you more than lower level enemies. The only problem is that it looks quite ridiculous when you’re a low level character against a high level enemy as you hit and stab the enemy around 62 times (seriously) before he dies.
Levelling up is done by purchasing new skills with your skill points. There are 3 skill trees with a range of skills and perks that can be bought. These skill trees are combat, stealth, and ecosystem. Combat includes health upgrades and faster kill damaging attacks. Stealth includes upgrades like lockpicking skill, making less noise, and other sneaky perks. Ecosystem includes upgrades for eagle vision, horse carriages, leadership, and more.
I’m going to asked this a lot, and for some this might be the most important part of the review with the reputation Assassin’s Creed now has due to the amount of issues last year. Is Syndicate full of bugs like Unity? I can’t say I came across anything on the level of Unity, I didn’t have any weird face deformities, noticeable frame rate drops, characters going through walls or any thing like that. I did see some issues however but they were minor like NPC’s freezing or NPC’s getting in the way and being hard to move through. Happy to confirm that I personally did not see any major bugs, issues, or game breaking glitches.
Like all previous Assassin’s Creed games, Syndicate deserves credit for just the sheer amount of content that will keep the player busy beyond the main story. There are additional memories, activities like Gang Wars, Bounty Hunts, Fight Clubs, Races, Robberies, and much more! Then there are also the many collectibles scattered throughout London. Assassin’s Creed’s side content is almost always impressive, and with Syndicate, it’s up there with having some of the best side content out of any Assassin’s Creed game.
The Final Verdict
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was another solid entry to the Assassin’s Creed series. I am big fan of the London setting and I felt the setting was captured almost perfectly. The new additions and attention that single player got in Syndicate also helped make it a better game than Unity was. I also personally didn’t come across any major bugs or major issues that are really worth complaining about which again is something I couldn’t say about Unity. I recommend Assassin’s Creed Syndicate to all Assassin’s Creed fans out there, although it’s not on the level of Ezio and Italy, it’s certainly a respectable addition to the long running series.
+ Great additions to single player
+ Fantastic use of the setting and capturing the location very well
+ Lots of replay value
– I just don’t care about the present day storyline any more