Game Review: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Xbox One)

“Ladies and gentlemen! We are Evie and Jacob Frye! And as of this moment, you all work, for us!”

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Quebec. It was released on October 23, 2015, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the ninth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series.

The story is set in Victorian era London (1868), at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution and follows twin assassins Jacob (Paul Amos) and Evie Frye (Victoria Atkin) as they navigate the corridors of organized crime, and take back the city from Templar control. The Assassin Brotherhood are all but eradicated in Victorian London, so the twins leave Croydon and arrive to find a city controlled by the Templars, with both the Church and the Monarchy losing their power. Raised as Assassins to follow the Creed, Jacob and Evie aim to take back the city from Templar control by infiltrating and uniting London’s criminal underworld. The open world design lets players freely roam London and navigate the world by foot or horse-drawn carriage.

Exploring London during a very famous time period you’re aided by many notable figures such as Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria to name a few. Additionally, Jacob’s granddaughter, Lydia Frye (Lisa Norton), appears in a separate World War I segment, where she aids Winston Churchill in defending London against a new enemy espionage faction.

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The gameplay is similar to its predecessors although this time the map is much larger as we explore 7 boroughs of greater London. One unique twist this version of Assassin’s Creed has is that you can take control of either twin to complete most missions, each of them have different strengths and are useful for different types of missions. For example Jacob is better for close- range brawling and Evie is designed for a more stealthy approach. The game also introduces a new way of traversing between buildings quickly, a rope launcher, which makes travelling across The Thames and climbing towering buildings much quicker.

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Other new introductions, and these are some of my favourites, are the ability to fight on top of carriages, jump across the Thames using various boats and parkour chases with your enemies. Then when you’re tired for the day you can return to your main base which is a train hideout that’s constantly on the move around the map.

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Perhaps I’m biased towards Assassin’s Creed Syndicate because I’m from London but I just thought this game was spectacular. It felt really updated and the new additions were definitely things it really needed. I throughly enjoyed seeing Victorian London and recognising places I’ve seen so many times, it’s remarkable how many areas haven’t changed at all.
Playing as two different characters helped keep the game fresh although I was more inclined to play as Jacob for his slightly more awesome outfits. Syndicate definitely feels a lot more light-hearted than previous games but you still want to achieve your goal of taking down the Templars and their intense leader, Crawford Starrick, who embodies the Templar perspective in a way that makes sense.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has style, entertaining characters and enjoyable gameplay. Although the ending leaves a bad taste in your mouth (because who cares about the “present day” shit anymore?) Jacob and Evie’s story couldn’t get more British and I love that about it.

Special mention:

Maxwell Roth. Never before have I seen a target kiss their killer. What a guy (what a psycho).

maxwell-roth

 

 




Assassin's Creed Syndicate
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