Assassin’s Creed Syndicate [review]

BreakingModern — After the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, I didn’t know what to think of Ubisoft, the game’s developer. Sure, Unity was fairly entertaining, but it was definitely the worst Assassin’s Creed game to date. The new engine lagged PC users and the storyline wasn’t very good.

assassin's creed syndicate

However, I’m happy to report that Ubisoft’s redemption has come with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Not only does the new effort optimize the game engine introduced in Unity, but it has a great story and a host of great new features.

First off the premise: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is set in Victorian London and features Jacob and Evie Frye as the main protagonists. The story centers on the Assassins trying to overthrow Templar Grand Master Crawford Starrick’s control of the city. Starrick’s gang, the Blighters, have basically taken control over every institution in London — the factories, the transportation, the banking and even the government.

At the beginning of the game, Starrick is seeking to become Prime Minister of Great Britain. The title would give him control of the largest empire in all of human history. In order to counter that, Jacob decides to set up his own gang called the Rooks in order to combat Starrick’s grip upon London.

In terms of the way the storyline plays out, Ubisoft has gone back to the style of Assassin’s Creed III, whereby there’s a hit list of Templars the player needs to take down. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, that list consists of Starrick’s henchmen, his bankers, a doctor and a businesswoman among others.

I love that Ubisoft has returned to this type of storyline. When I played Assassin’s Creed III, the Templars were like the Hydra. You needed to cut off each head one by one until you decapitate the beast by killing the main boss. And now with the game engine from Unity, there is a lot of flexibility in killing Templar bosses.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate also does more with the time period by including plenty of interaction with historical figures such as Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens and Alexander Graham Bell.

assassin's creed syndicate

Beyond the campaign storyline, there are a lot of new features too. For example, there are now two protagonists. Both Jacob and Evie have different play styles owing to their gender and personality. Jacob’s strength is in his heavy attacks and his ability to overpower his enemies, while Evie is fast and skilled and has far more dexterity than her brother. Their different play styles are great, so the player can choose which Frye twin that best fits his or her play style.

The new weapons are cool too. Some of the best include a khukuri (the knife used by Nepal’s Gurkha warriors), a cane sword, brass knuckles and a Javanese dagger. All deadly, and all fun to wield.

Fighting isn’t limited to hand-to-hand street fights. There are also missions where you must hijack trains and even joust in horse and carriage battles. I love Ubisoft’s inclusion of these carriage battles. It’s like a 19th century version of Grand Theft Auto.

If I had to nitpick, I would complain that Ubisoft didn’t include a multiplayer option in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. With the game’s gang-versus-gang element, there was a great opportunity to add a multiplayer feature. Too bad.

Overall, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gets a very high 9/10. The only thing that prevents me from giving it a perfect score is the lack of a multiplayer feature. But I have no other complaints. Well done Ubisoft, you’ve made a hell of a comeback, and this Assassin’s Creed fan can’t thank you enough. Currently, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is available on PS4 and the Xbox One (it’ll be released for PC later this month).

For BMod, I’m Puching Zhang.

All Screenshots: Puching Zhang

Puching Zhang

Author: Puching Zhang

Based in Chicago, Puching Zhang covers the gaming beat for BreakingModern.

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