Screenshot
Screenshot
Screenshot

Take over the streets of London in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

It’s the tail end of the Industrial Revolution and the Templar Order has once again burrowed itself into every enterprise. Twins Jacob and Evie Frye set out on their own to take out Grandmaster Starrick Crawford and his cohorts though they each have their own ways of going about it. Jacob is in it for the challenge of killing all the high profile targets while Evie is searching for another Precursor artifact hidden in London. Also, to everyone’s annoyance, Jacob builds a gang to fight against the Templar’s forces because there isn’t really anyone who can stop him.

Evie alleviates some stress in the fight club.Enemies now have levels depending on who, what, and where they are located. High level enemies will knock them out in two hits during the early game so it is better for the player to work their way up to the more difficult areas. Evie and Jacob also have their own respective levels that determine what equipment they can use. Their levels are independent of each other but they get equal amounts of experience whether the player is using them or not. Their levels go up as they spend skill points on their upgrades which are also respective to each of them. Evie and Jacob each have unique skills to augment their play styles.

This latest installment in Assassin’s Creed has a major focus on stealth with new tools and abilities. Jacob and Evie enter sneak mode when they put their hoods up and crouch down. When in sneak mode they can sense when enemies are near and their general location. Eagle Vision can be used to see enemies through walls, identify them, mark them, and eventually it can see which way an enemy is facing on the minimap even if the player’s camera isn’t turned towards them. Of the two, Evie is much more inclined to use stealth and has moreacs3 upgrades to her stealth abilities and throwing knives. Her throwing knives receive another damage bonus on top of the equipment upgrades as well as another capacity upgrade. She can also straight up turn invisible while she’s sneaking when she holds still.

Combat just doesn’t hold up in this iteration. There’s no enemy variety and here’s why: 1. Every enemy has a gun. 2. No melee weapons are noticeably different. And 3. Templars are only stronger than their minions by virtue of level and have no special abilities of their own. The player can either fight enemies that are close to the same level and stand a chance or fight high level enemies that have three-hit combos and kill the player in two hits. Jacob is the stronger fighter of the twins and has more upgrades to his damage, defense, and health. Aside from those the only bonus in combat he receives is that if an enemy is aiming to shoot him he can counter with his own shot and it will be a headshot. The game tries to do a setup for multikills where the player can leave several enemies mortally wounded then finish them all at once in cinematic style and there’s an ability that awards heals mid fight for performing them. However, half the time the player tries to get a multikill the twins will instead do the single kill.

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The grappling hook will let players glide right over the streets of London.

Controls have been altered for climbing and I am not sure whether I like it or not. Holding down RT or R2 isn’t enough anymore…sometimes. Handrails are particularly fussy because sometimes the game will force the player to hold the climb up button to go up that one step but at other times force the player to hold the climb down button to go up, over, and downward from the rail. There is no longer a jump button but there is a wall eject function and the player can control the direction of the ejection. Not having the ability to freely jump severely messes with some escape attempts because in other games the player could jump off a rooftop, take some damage from landing, but also roll to maintain momentum and get away;  In this game players will be forced to stop and climb down or drop while the enemies gain on you. All of these issues are completely overshadowed by awesome grappling hook that lets Jacob and Evie climb the tallest buildings instantly and zipline across streets whenever players want. It’s a shame that it can’t be used for combat but it is the most important item in the game next to the hidden blades.

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The race is on for the Precursor artifact between Miss Frye and Miss Thorne.

Speaking of important items, there’s a new Piece of Eden. Evie hunts for it while Jacob goes off gallivanting all over London. The Assassin’s and the Order are hunting for it in the modern timeline as well and that’s why the player is in the animus system this time (you didn’t forget this was scifi did ya?). There are actually interesting developments in the modern-day storyline and I sincerely hope that the series will see us through the modern story.

Bottom line, it’s another Assassin’s Creed game. There is so much exploration content that it’s scary. Ubisoft tried to hop on the microtransaction bandwagon for xp boosters and material packs but it is completely unnecessary because there is enough content to max out Jacob and Evie three times over. Most of the craftable equipment has a level equivalent unlock from playing the story or side missions so players would be better off saving the money for upgrading instead of crafting. I personally love this series and give the game a 9/10 with my primary complaint being that combat feels downgraded from previous installments.

Pros:
  • Grappling hook is a major boon to mobility
  • Dual leveling to specialize each character early on
  • Expansive variety of side missions
Cons:
  • Combat is pretty but feels downgraded
Graphics Pixl Score 5 5
Story Pixl Score 4 4
Sound Pixl Score 5 5
Controls Pixl Score 4 4
Fun Factor Pixl Score 5 5