Video Game Review: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

 

Details: This is a review for the main game, not the DLC. Released in 2015. Played on the PC. Purchased the main game from http://www.newegg.com for about ten dollars. Purchased the season pass from http://www.humblebundle.com for about twelve dollars. Spent about thirty hours playing through the main game and some of the DLC. Official site is https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/assassins-creed-syndicate/

Score: 7.9/10

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a really fun game that builds upon all the prior Assassin’s Creed games and moves forward with the franchise.

Syndicate takes place in Victorian London, which means the 1800’s. You play as either Jacob or Evie Frye, twin members of the Assassins. The Assassins are a secret organization that advocate freedom. They are the mortal enemies of the Templars, a secret organization that advocates control and order. Jacob and Evie decide to go to Templar-controlled London and free it from the Templars’ grasp.

The story is one of the better parts of the game. As an Assassin, you move through the shadows of history, interacting with big historical events as well as famous persons in history. During this specific period, London was going through the Industrial Revolution and the concept of worker’s rights was becoming more prevalent. Figures like Charles Dickens and Florence Nightingale were alive and well. It’s a lot of fun walking through history even if it’s somewhat fictionalized. That’s always been one of the greatest attractions of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

The gameplay is not a great leap away from the prior games in the franchise. Stealth generally operates the same and you can generally one shot kill all enemies if you catch them by surprise. Combat has been slightly changed to be a little faster, but at it’s core it’s still relatively easy and relies on mashing the attack button and timing counters.

Noteworthy additions to gameplay are the introduction of vehicles of horse-drawn carriages. They operate mostly like cars do in the Grand Theft Auto series. Syndicate also happens to be the game that takes place closest to the present day. Accordingly, a lot of the tools you get to use are about as modern as you get. For instance, guns are more useful. Further, you now get a grappling hook that lets you zip up buildings and zip line across rooftops. It makes traversal faster and feels really cool. It’s very reminiscent of the Batman Arkham games, which is a good thing since I really enjoyed those games.

Syndicate also has a crafting and skill tree progression system. Neither are particularly complex, but they do give players incentive to collect stuff and kill bad guys. The skills themselves are very useful.

Visually, Syndicate is one of the best looking games on a technical and an artistic level. The art style perfectly reflects what you’d expect from Victorian London. What I especially appreciate is the quality of animations and how many of the animations change depending on the circumstances surrounding your character or how your moving. The last game I played was Mass Effect: Andromeda and Syndicate is clearly the better looking game.

The audio is also great. Voice acting was more than adequate. The music is classical and exactly what you’d expect from this time period.

Additionally, there is a fairly substantial side quest that takes place during World War I. It’s not related to the main story at all and gives a glimpse of the Assassin’s during that time period. It also sheds some light on the Assassin’s Creed lore. If you purchase the game, definitely don’t miss that.

Overall, this is a great game that still holds up in 2018. If you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, you’ll likely enjoy this game.

Score: 7.9/10

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