I have a long and fond memory of this franchise, Assassin’s Creed was the first game I got on my 360 and 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. You can imagine my excitement when they announced a game was finally coming to my home of London and in one of the most interesting times in British history, The Industrial Revolution and Victorian age. Here’s where you would expect a joke or a put down but the fact of the matter is, Ubisoft have made possibly the best Assassin’s Creed to date.
Story and Characters
The story is simple as it should be. Jacob and Evie Frye are twin Assassin’s living in Croydon when they decide to leave and try and take back London from the Templars with the help of a Master Assassin and various historical figures including Charles’ Dickens and Darwin, Alexander Graham Bell and Queen Victoria. Oh there’s also a plot in the modern day that isn’t as interesting since Desmond died.
Having two Assassin’s was a stroke of genius. This allows the player to not get bored of being one person following one story you can do two and pick and choose from either for side missions. Main missions you don’t have a choice but it’s designed to their specialties. Evie is more often than not given missions relating to the Assassin mythos and espionage while Jacob gets the muscle missions as well as assassinating key figures. I’m not sure if it’s stereotypical that they made the boy outgoing, carefree and less intelligent than the girl. I may just be reading too deep into things.
The Villains are very very villainous, the first time we see the main villain he’s drinking tea and using his tea as a metaphor for power and control it’s fantastic.
GAMEPLAY AND GRAPHICS
Ok, there was one bug and it lasted for about 30 seconds and it was really funny but apart from that this game runs flawlessly. I mean really brilliantly, and everything looks absolutely perfect, there were many times I didn’t want to move cause I was looking over London at just saying wow. London is like Los Santos from GTAV it’s a living breathing character while there isn’t that much on the surface to do there is so much to learn in the history that London has to offer as well as the fabulously designed menu screens and Assassin lore that’s seems to have been written by Shaun Hastings himself. Not a lie when I say these are my favorite pause screens of all time.
In terms of gameplay there’s nothing groundbreaking, there’s an addition in the form of free running up and down which makes climbing down as much fun as climbing up. There’s also a grapple hook of some sorts which could’ve been a deus ex machina to avoid climbing but in actuality it’s because some buildings are really tall and it takes to long to climb when you need to get stuff done (St Paul’s, Big Ben etc.). Weapons have always been a big part of AC and this time is no exception but whoever decided less is more needs an award because the weaponry is magnificent. Having only three main; Cane Sword (freaking awesome), Brass Knuckles, Kukri (eastern dagger) and the staple of the franchise in the Hidden Blade.
AI. Not exactly uncommon criticism but in a game so good it’s painfully obvious, the AI is either average or way too good it becomes unfair. I’ll tell you a story so get comfortable, one of the missions is set in a very high security area and the only way to breach it undetected is to find a way to let the general public crowd it. This part is simple, then the police arrive and oh my lord they are so overpowered it’s insane. I was spotted (not doing anything might I add) and was chased by 7 officers and one by one they got bored and ran away. But 1 stoic officer was obviously part bloodhound because I couldn’t shake him with everything I tried and I knew that turning to fight him was suicidal because don’t even try to take on police until you’re at level 8-10. Anyway 5 MINUTES OF CHASING ME later I throw him in front of an oncoming train and sat down and thought about my life for a minute it was that taxing and I failed the mission because I went to far away from the mission area.
The handholding in the first hour which understandably has to be there for new players is excruciating for experienced players and might actually make people stop playing if they don’t like the franchise.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is in my opinion the best Assassin’s Creed to date despite the already mentioned problems. It has everything you want from an AC game and more, I can’t wait to play the extra DLC and explore all that London has to offer.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE 9/10