Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is the ninth installment in Ubisoft’s long-running series. Set within London in 1868 during the Industrial Revolution, the story follows twin assassins Jacob and Evie Frye as they try to free the oppressed people of London from Crawford Starrick and the Templars. The sibling rivalry between Jacob and Evie feels natural, unforced and dynamic. Starrick is a fantastic antagonist and much like the main characters, is very likeable. It doesn’t do much to change the samey, repetitive formula that the series has followed for a while now but Syndicate gets that formula right.
Syndicate is the first Assassins game where the player is able to freely swap between to main protagonists and the first mainline Assassins game with a playable female character. The free-running system is the best it’s ever been and has a few new additions to it. The ability to scale down buildings has returned from Assassin’s Creed Unity and thankfully has been much improved. The rope launcher, is a completely new addition to Syndicate, the rope launcher allows Jacob and Evie to zip-line their way up any building and to traverse between them. It feels fluid, natural and I hope to see it return in future installments. The combat system has been changed quite a bit and has a more close quarters approach to it. Syndicate does away with swords and gives the player a slew of new weapons to use. The Cane Sword (it’s as awesome as it sounds) is one of the most creative and inventive weapons I’ve seen, heard of and used in a video game. There are also kukri, revolvers, brass knuckles and the series staple hidden blades. London is split up into seven boroughs which are all controlled by Templar forces. You take them back by taking down outposts, participating in gang wars, killing certain Templar targets and more. The entire map of Syndicate is about 30% larger than Unity’s and there’s plenty more to do after you finish the 14 hour campaign.
A Story of Two
Syndicate’s story is one of the strongest in the franchise. It starts of extremely well and keeps the player interested. The story doesn’t deal with anything too serious and it’s fun to watch how it all unfolds through Jacob and Evie’s conversations. It keeps a good pace all the way up until the ending. The ending feels lackluster and is quite disappointing. The characters are extremely likeable, especially Evie and Jacob. The rivalry and competitiveness between them is refreshing and fun to watch. Jacob is a very do things my own way kind of person. He’ll use whatever means he has to to get something done, even if it leaves a trail of ruin behind him. Evie on the other hand is much more do things by the book, always saying that the way their father wants them to do it is how they should do it. Evie is a very patient and loyal character, while still being a very strong, likeable female protagonist. Jacob and Evie aren’t exactly the same, but it feels like there should be a bit more difference between the two play styles. Jacob is a lot more upfront and violent while Evie is stealthy and careful. There are some skills exclusive to Evie that are stealth oriented and skills exclusive to Jacob that are combat orientated but it’s only a few skills and it doesn’t change the game-play as much as it should. Starrick is a very sinister and hell bent antagonist, wanting to make London under his control as his main motive for his actions. The supporting characters are all interesting and unique and side characters such as Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria have a good amount of depth for them too as you work through their side quests.
A Beautiful Revolution
Syndicate looks, plays and runs amazingly. The game runs at a consistent 60 frames per second at 1080 p. Victorian London has never looked so good, the bustling streets are filled with people and smoke rises from multiple buildings. The River Thames is one of the best areas in the game, with boats sailing through detailed water it truly is beautiful. The streets aren’t as packed and dense as they are in Unity but the roads are occupied by chariots (which are quite fun to drive). It is definitely the best looking and immersive Assassin’s Creed to date and it shows what the PlayStation 4 can do.
Verdict: Very Good
While not the best in the franchise, Syndicate feels like it acts as a redemption for Unity’s mistakes and flaws. If you don’t like Assassin’s Creed in general, Syndicate won’t change your mind but if you do enjoy Assassin’s Creed (especially the older ones) then Syndicate is definitely worth playing.
-Gets the Assassins Formula Right
-A Beautiful London
-Not enough difference between main protagonists (game-play wise)
Thanks for reading guys.