Time to climb into the Animus and save the past! Or the future? Or present? I don’t really know anymore. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is the newest addition to the Ubisoft franchise, which has seen success and praise among critics and gamers in the past for their other games. That is until Unity happened… But let’s stay positive for a bit. This newest addition has a few new gadgets and historical characters that make the games fun and interesting. My favorite part of the game is the setting: Industrial Revolution London.
Strife in the Industrial Revolution
This period in England led to the urbanization of many rural areas into factories and shops that focused on mass production of goods, and specialized work that would have been done in a skilled crafter’s home. With the Industrial Revolution came a need for laborers to operate the machinery, shovel coal, etc. Even though industry was booming, and there was work to be done, a lot of the skilled and busy work could be done with machines, which actually led to a large unemployment rate as many people found themselves without a way to make a living. This large population of unemployed men (mainly) turned to a life of illegal activities. In addition to adult laborers, child labor was widespread, and labor conditions were more often on the dangerous side.
The Wonder Twins
Jacob and Evie Frye are brother and sister assassins that are your two playable characters in the game. These fraternal twins work together through most of the story to fight the Templars and their control of London. By most of the story, I mean that these two have different strategies, styles, and motivations, as many siblings do. Jacob is more of the rough and tumble type – with his brash and headstrong opinions and style, he is more likely to rush in and fight than sit back and think of the stealthy approach. Evie is the more reserved and stealthy of the twins; she is confident and calm, thinking through a plan to find the best way to handle a situation without drawing suspicion. I believe the developers were trying to make them different enough that players would change between characters depending on what task the game was presenting. However, I find myself staying on one character for the most part until the game switches me – some missions start out with a certain sibling. Jacob is supposed to be the brawler and is preferred to use in fights such as the gang war activities, yet I find myself putting the hurt to these NPC’s with Evie, mainly because she is a bad-@$$!
“Villains” & Gameplay
As in other Assassin’s Creed games, you play through different historical events during the time period, all the while killing the unnamed masses that have the little yellow and red indicator pop up above their head as they hurl some insult your way. That’s maybe the only problem I have with this game title – the rival gang the Templars hired don’t really seem to be bad guys. In the context of the 18th Century, you were a gang member mainly to support yourself and your family, not necessarily because you had evil motives or wanted to kill anyone. For the purpose of the gameplay though, they are Templars, and Templars are the bad guys, right?
“Join the Family”
The tagline for this game is one that I would recommend to a fan of this franchise, as someone who is a fan of mobster movies. For those particularly interested in the history of how we, as industrialized nations, came to be, makes Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate a slam-dunk. Ubisoft has corrected many of its issues that plagued Unity in Syndicate, making the experience more enjoyable for players. If you like being stealthy, or beating enemies to a pulp, or just like running around on rooftops like an old-timey caped crusader, then this game is for you.
- No glitches
- Engaging characters
- Interesting historical period
- Are these really bad guys?