By Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews
The most common question I'm being asked on my Assassin's Creed Syndicate Twitch streams is: "What is the game like?" I give a nuts and bolts answer that skirts around outer barriers of my in-depth feelings. After all, it can be quite difficult to talk with an exceeding level of depth whilst concentrating while playing. That leaves me with the perfect opportunity to open up in this blog about some of my intricate thoughts of Assassin's Creed Syndicate.
Developed by Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed Syndicate joins a confusing series that left my head spinning after Assassin's Creed 3. Syndicate is the ninth game in the main series since 2007. That's an average of over one game every 12 months which is quite staggering considering we have to wait a lot longer for sequels of alternate triple A titles. This is where the whole series falls down for me. There's quantity over quality. That's not to say the likes of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Rogue or any of the other titles aren't good but I've always noticed a lack of polish amidst the race to get the game to market. Assassin's Creed Unity was far from finished as I'm certain we can all recall the technical glitches from launch? I believe this was a the lowest point in the series; needless to say that Syndicate really pulls the series back to greatness. Greatness is a bold word when discussing a game so I use it lightly but in the case of Assassin's Creed's credentials vastly improved gameplay mechanics, less glitches and the new twist of interchangeable characters (Evie and Jacob) really ramps up the overall experience.
There's a striking difference when playing between both Evie and Jacob, the brother/sister duo in Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Evie seemed much more agile and adopted a more acute style to her killing methods. I found her easier to use during the Parkour elements to the game and more appealing during stealth. Her character is voiced really well. Her soft tones and completed dialogue gave me the impression of Innocence; the perfect cover up to project before a kill. Jacob's presence feels a lot heavier. He's a brute that enjoys the art of a good ol' fist fight. Evie and Jacob share skill points throughout the game so it's important to spread the points as equally as you can. There are a number of customisations available to both characters from weapons, belts, coats, you name it.
London is the setting for Assassin's Creed Syndicate which seems like a welcomed feature amongst the gaming community. It is now the industrial age at which Ubisoft described it as:
London. Global Capital for Invention. Ripe for the Picking
There are a total of seven boroughs each with their own slice of culture. The consistency between the borough's came from hearing the NPC's have their own conversations in the streets, seeing the smoke from factories bellow high in the sky and observing how impressive the draw distances were. There's something very satisfying about Synchronising an area and observing the bustling industries below. Synchronising areas have been a long standing feature of the Assassin's Creed series but there's something about the life in Syndicate that pacified me a whole lot more due to the extensive draw distance.
Our main campaign launched within the grim boughs of Whitechapel. Full of begging, crime and peasantry, Whitechapel was my first real taste of what to expect. Whilst the gameplay felt as fluid as it did since Assassin's Creed 2, I soon learnt that the game didn't offer much different to the previous titles. The basic premises were the same: kill, loot, liberate and progress. That's it. It felt rewarding to change character from time to time but I struggled to get much else from my initial experiences. It seems like Ubisoft took everything that worked well from previous games and improved on it. Aside from the interchangeable characters and time setting Assassin's Creed Syndicate can be summarised as: Great but far from excellence. As I said before "...Syndicate really pulls the series back to greatness" for reasons outlined above. What would could be improved? I loathed how my character would stick to anything they were on if there was nowhere to jump or I would aim to launch up to a building in front of me and end up being hauled off to the left? These mechanics were incredibly frustrating and I'd love to see them improved. Combat, however, felt very smooth. The combat stemmed heavily around Close Quarters Combat as opposed to long range gun fights. The majority of longer ranged attacks peaked with knife throwing (including poison darts). The targeting system seemed easy to learn and had a pinpoint accuracy. The smooth combat mechanics seemed to balance out the sticky Parkour movements I didn't like. Overall, Ubisoft did a really good job to fine tune the balance in mechanics.
There's a definite redemption in the series for me after playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate. The setting is perfect, the main protagonists worked fantastically within the story and slightly improved game mechanics mean Assassin's Creed Syndicate is up there with Great Games. I hope that Ubisoft do not bring out another Creed game for some time though. What are your thoughts on this game so far? I wrote this blog in response to my Twitch Followers and it will likely be updated once I complete the game.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate initial Score (final score pending)
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