Ubisoft show true return to form in Assassin's Creed latest
After the almost garish cinematic spectacle that was Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and the moderate disappointment that was last year's Unity, Assassin's Creed Syndicate feels like a true return to form for Ubisoft's ever-popular series.
In Assassin's Creed Syndicate you are given a Victorian-era London and its associated boroughs as your playground. One moment you could be free-running through meandering streets and past lop-sided architecture, the next you are sneaking through a crumbling building picking off criminals as you find yourself irresistibly drawn to the promise of experience points and in-game cash - not to mention to potential for notoriety amongst the dregs of the London underground. The organic and free-flowing way in which missions and side projects pop up is complemented perfectly by their surroundings - a rendition of London in a past era that is nothing short of gorgeous.
Some long-time fans of the series will be pleased to hear that present-day segments of the game are kept to a bare minimum, almost to the point where they are done away with altogether. This adds to the feel of a much more personal and intimate tale, in the ilk of last year's Assassin's Creed Unity.
The story centers around the politics and policies of Industrial Revolution London, with protagonist's Jacob and Evie fighting not only to dismantle the Templar conspiracy but also to bring justice and refuge to the city's downtrodden. Jacob and Evie also frequently fight each other, with disagreements about what it means to be an Assassin forming a tense undercurrent. Along the way, the two come into contact with a smattering of historical characters--ranging from Alexander Graham Bell (who gives the game's best items) to Charles Dickens and Karl Marx--making the Fryes tangential and sometimes integral to the great successes these individuals achieved.
Combat, carriage driving (the handling is surprisingly good) and bounties all play into the game's main story, and you'll be tasked with doing all of these things over the course of Jacob and Evie's adventures. While you can switch between the twins on the fly when playing side missions, you'll be locked into playing as a certain twin for specific story tasks.
I'll just sum it up by saying: you absolutely must buy and play this game if you have any sort of interest in interactive entertainment. It's a fantastic title and it can safely be said that Ubisoft have outdone themselves - although it has been a long time coming.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Xbox One / PS4