With no full Assassin’s Creed title in 2016, Syndicate remains the latest game in the franchise. Transporting players to the streets of Victorian London, Syndicate puts you in charge of two main protagonists, Evie and Jacob Frye. While both Jacob and Evie favor different gameplay styles, it makes no difference which character you choose as it is down to the skill of the actual player than who they have chosen.
With an improved version of Unity’s combat mechanics, Syndicate’s street brawls resemble Arkham Knight more than the constant parries of AC games set in more medieval time periods. Brutal close-quarters street gang struggles have replaced the swordplay of the crusades, with vast choices in equally brutal Kukris, knuckledusters or elegant cane swords on offer to find and unlock. The violent Gang run streets of Victorian London are teeming with life as, for quite possibly the first time in an Assassin’s Creed game, pedestrians walk with purpose down the cobbles instead of the mindless wanderings of the crowds in previous games in the franchise.
Visually, Syndicate excels with its gorgeous recreation of 1860s London. The draw distance from viewpoints seems even bigger than usual as the smog of the city fills up both the screen and the cobbled streets themselves. The grimy atmosphere immerses you in the dishonest world of Victorian London. The game’s audio and visuals are the best in the series. From the clatter of horses feet on the cobbles to the crunching bone of a merciless finisher, the sounds of Syndicate are both authentic and clear. Every fight is accompanied by what can only be described as an Irish pub song, akin to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies, providing the little needed encouragement to get into a scrap.
The story itself is as intriguing and complex as you would expect from any Assassin’s Creed title. Jacob and Evie Fyre are in search of yet another piece of Eden the Templars have got to before the Assassins. The modern story-line of Syndicate remains just as confusing and almost unnecessary as ever. Personally I haven’t really had any clue what was going on in that part of the Assassin’s Creed franchise since the events of Assassin’s 3. The beauty of having two main characters is that their differing opinions on how to take back control of London create a large variety of missions as you try to retake control of the city. Ubisoft has stuck to their tried and tested formula of collectibles so there’s plenty to find and do when the main story is over.
You meet and work for several famous historical figures including, Karl Marx, Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria herself! The quests you undertake for these Victorian celebrities reward the Frye twins with a plethora of costumes, weapons and other collectibles giving you hundreds of distractions to occupy your spare time.
You can pick Assassin’s Creed Syndicate up for around £20-30 now depending on where you buy it, and it is well worth the money. For fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise it is the game Unity should have been, a fresh start for new consoles and the perfect game to get back into the series if you lost interest after Brotherhood.