Set in Victorian London, following the story of twins Jacob and Evie Frye, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate looks the part. With the majority of Londons landmarks present, and grit and grime of every day life represented. From petty theft to child labour, Ubisoft Quebec have given the series a new lease of life. Every cobble stoned street is bustling with life, with horse drawn carriages, beggars, thieves, and newspaper boys, to name a few. With all the noise you’d expect from the era, You really feel like you are there.
I started Assassin’s Creed Syndicate with some trepidation. After the calamity that was Assassin’s Creed Unity, I was hoping that the same wasn’t going to happen again. On the whole it was great, but there were a few bugs and glitches, although not game breaking, that just shouldn’t have existed. Things like NPC’s floating/bouncing around, invisible characters during cut scenes. And dying during a mission, being spawned streets away to find, after making my way back that the area was inaccessible and having to restart the game to spawn back in the area.
There is much to do in Syndicate. Plenty of side missions, collectibles and crowd events aside the main story. Side missions range from Templar Hunts, which have you taking out Templars in and around the city, with bonuses for killing them in certain ways. Bountys have you tracking down gang members, bringing them to certain locations dead or alive. With the later giving mere experience points. Child Liberation where you will be tasked with infiltrating many of London’s factories to free the child workers and assassinate the Factory owner. There’s a host more too. From stealing carts full of goods, train robbery, fight clubs and races. The lifespan of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is there should you fancy something alternative to playing the already lengthy story.
You get to meet some ‘Associates’ along the way, who will have you performing various tasks for them, escorting missions etc. The Collectibles (of which there are many) are scattered throughout and feature helix glitches, crates, illustrations, pressed flowers and beer bottles. Some may find these tedious, although there are only a few that have achievements attached to them. Crowd events happen at random, and range from chasing down thieves to killing gang members and messengers.
Jacob and Evie, the two main characters of the story are really likeable, at times showing that ‘sibling rivalry’ and, for me are stand-out characters of the series, (along with Black Flags Edward Kenway.) you can switch between them at any time whilst free roaming, although they each have to be played for specific missions. Whilst sharing their monetary gains. Jacob and Evie have their own separate skill trees. On the whole the same, but each having a few skills all to themselves. With Jacob having more in the combat tree, and Evie more in the stealth tree. they also have separate weapons and gear that can be bought and upgraded, just be careful of the pounds, and don’t spend too much on one character at a time.
Moving around the city is quite fluid, which is a great. Even more so when you acquire the grappling hook, which makes traversing London’s chimney stack skyline a dream. Unless you fancy grabbing yourself a horse drawn cart and having a nice trot around, (or on the other hand go on an all out rampage smashing into everyone and everything.) The combat system is pretty much the same as usual with dodging, blocking and attacking all done with button presses. The usual hiding spots are ever present albeit piles of leaves instead of stacks of hay.
I could go on and on about the things to do and see in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, but there isn’t enough time in the day, (plus trying to keep this review spoiler free, and/or you would get bored of reading) so I’ll finish with my summary and get back to playing some more Syndicate…