The game’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. The game is focused: it removes all unnecessary multiplayer, presents a massive city unlike any other in the series, and focuses on what Assassin’s Creed is. But it’s a game we’ve played before.
About The Game
Ubisoft Quebec has stuck to the formula: you’re an assassin in a Templar-controlled city. You bust gangs, synchronize neighborhoods, and slowly reclaim the city. After last year’s flawed ‘Unity,’ it’s understandable why Ubisoft Quebec chose to stick to the safe formula. This is the year to remind fans why they love the series. And there’s plenty to love for fans. When you buy a Ubisoft game, you know two things: They know how to build a believable open-world and populate it. bursting with things to do. When you first open the world map, you are both amazed and intimidated. By this point in the series, you’ve decided whether you like or dislike this Ubisoft formula. Just know they follow through.
That doesn’t mean Syndicate doesn’t add anything new to the series. For the first time, a horse-drawn carriage can be stolen and driven around the city, so the roads are wider than ever before. A.C. and wide roads do not automatically go together. Assassins love houses leaning against each other so they can run freely over roofs. With wide roads between the houses, Quebec had to find a way for the assassins to cross the road without having to go down to the ground. Fortunately, they found a unique and elegant solution. Now you can zipline between buildings or quickly ascend a wall. It feels like a natural addition to the series, so one wonders how it was ever omitted. Syndicate is taking small steps in the right direction.
The twins Jacob and Evie Frye are also new characters for the series. The two’s relationship is the game’s heart. They are glorious to follow because they are different and each has their own approach to life as an assassin. Their sibling friendly quarrels are perfectly captured. Also, depending on whether you play as the brother or sister, their personalities encourage a different approach to the mission. Jacob prefers brutal fights and boldness, while Evie prefers to sneak up quietly. I spent the majority of my time as Evie. The arrogant, daring brother is a familiar face in the Assassin’s Creed universe. Ezio Auditore or Edward Kenway. They’re not bad characters, but I preferred to spend time with someone new and unique.
There Is So Much More That Awaits You
Completing missions silently like Evie taught me a new side of Assassin’s Creed. For a series about assassins, stealth has never been a strong suit, but like Evie, it felt better than ever. Even in video games, the enemies are stupid. “I think something is going on,” the guard next to you says as you kill an enemy with a long-range throwing knife. Two guards and a throwing knife were killed. But the AI has become a joke in the series. We just need to turn to the guards’ behavior. The question is whether stealth would work with more experienced guards. It is unknown, but for now, enjoy their suicidal attitude while piling them up like Evie in the shadows.
Although I preferred to play as Evie whenever possible, the game always decided who would play which mission. It felt like a huge missed opportunity, especially since the same mission could be accomplished in brutal or elegant ways. I had hoped the developers would play with the mission structure like GTA V did with changing characters frequently. Ubisoft Quebec ignores this and instead lets Jacob and Evie tell their own stories. Worse, Evie felt like a side character to Jacob’s adventures towards the end. It’s frustrating because Quebec clearly has all the ingredients but isn’t maximizing them. It’s still fun to play two characters, and the fact that both characters level up together is great for the player. But I sat back, thinking this could be two separate games, each with its own lead role.
The combat system has improved this year, but not enough to compete with the Arkham games. It’s part of a series Ubisoft will soon have to abandon. I used to accept the stupid AI during stealth, but when enemies stand around waiting for their partner to be chopped up, it felt too stupid. Another reason why Evie’s increasing focus on stealth works.
The story is never easy to follow. The Knights Templar are evil because they are rich, and there are deceptions from people you can’t recall. With each game, Ubisoft seems less interested in the present and more focused on sending the player back in time. They don’t even seem to know where the story is going, so they’re just wasting time by showing as little as possible. You will be disappointed if you enjoyed playing Desmond Miles and learning about the animus traveler. If the sections were redundant, you’d prefer Syndicate’s focus. It’s easy to ignore because the story isn’t about laying down Knights Templar or finding Eden. Jacob and Evie are the core.
Syndicate has a lot to offer Assassin’s Creed fans. It follows the well-known Ubisoft formula without losing focus. The series’ flaws don’t go away completely, so we’re still stuck with mediocre combat, dumb AI, and missions where you have to follow a slow person who keeps turning around. Despite its flaws, Assassin’s Creed is a fantastic series. It’s never boring running around London during the Industrial Revolution, raising an army of beggars and homeless people to fight the Templars, or jumping from 100 meters into the abyss and landing in a haystack. Syndicate is an Assassin’s Creed game from Ubisoft Quebec. In all its flaws.