Game Review - Assassin's Creed Syndicate on PC

Written by HyperDebtRay on June 11, 2018 @ 12:01 am

Following the storyline arc of unity, you, a faceless hacker continue to synchronize data for another fun assassination adventure through industrial London. As a long-time assassin's creed gamer, I honestly don't have any strong feelings for this game. The reasons for this will be outlined below, now don't get me wrong the gameplay is actually very good except for various key areas that are sorely lacking.

Now for the good things about this game:
- It seems that the developers have used the core gameplay mechanics of Unity and enhanced them making it less glitchy and buggy and much more streamlined and effective.
- The addition of the grappling gauntlet makes traversal through the city of London more expedient as well as open up unique opportunities for assassination.
- Carriage related missions adds much needed variety to the various activities in this game
- A multitude of skills that you can pick and choose from to suit your playstyle
- A huge selection of gear you can choose from which makes it much more tacitical to gear up for a mission or your choice of equipping gear from a purely cosmetic point of view
- Eagle vision doesn't have an effective time limit like it does in unity which is a good quality of life change

Despite the good work the Devs have done, the whole game feels like a Unity version 2 with the location in London instead of Paris. It also feels the exact opposite of Unity in which the gameplay has been rounded out in terms of RPG and combat elements but at the same time all this effort has been taken away from the story and script writing. Gone are the days of Assassin's Creed 2 where excellent story telling and character development keeps the player emotionally invested in the protagonist. This is very important as when the player actually cares about the protagonist, it keeps the player within the realm of the game and makes them keep playing until the end.

Syndicate does no such thing. We are introduced to two assassin's Jacob and Evie Frye, one is reckless, one is cautious and logical, it should be obvious which one is which. Through out the entire game, there is little to no character development, each mission along the main sequence does not improve on this as the mission is mainly about completing the objective. Sadly at the very end of the game, I have absolutely no feelings towards the two protagonists, that is how weak the story is.

In terms of core gameplay, Jacob is obviously the assassin with the best combat skills and Evie is the best assassin for more stealthy activities. This differentiation is obvious when you open up the skills menu with each assassin having their own set of end-game unlockable skills. The main drawback is that once your at the end-game, you should already have unlocked all skills and be appropriately geared up with high-end equipment. As a result, there is absolutely no need to switch between Jacob or Evie for a particular mission because at this point in time you are so over-powered that choosing one over the other is not necessary anymore, it becomes more of a preference of who you want play as.

Ned is one of the most cringiest characters in the game, he/she/ze has the stature of a women with masculine features in male attire and with the voice of woman or young boy. I don't mind the proclitivities of this fictional character but the introduction of this particular character was so confusing that it had succeeded in breaking the immersion of this game for me. Now I know what the Devs mean when they modified the launch screen with the inclusion of the inclusion of gender expression and identities.

Besides that the pacing for Syndicate isn't great, it is the same open world collectathon in Unity. As soon as you enter London, the entirety of the city is now open to you as well as all the chests, helixes, posters etc. The reason why the pacing is so terrible is that often times people like me are side-tracked into opening every single chest and collecting everything that by the time I access the mainline missions I am already overpowered because I've used the money for gear and skill upgrades. The best implementation of game pacing would be with what they've done with the Ezio series, where portions of the map are locked until you've completed certain story line missions.

Treat this game like a Assassin's Creed Unity 2.0, a very good enhancement to the core gameplay of Unity but does nothing groundbreaking in terms of story, character development or gameplay. For hardcore fans of the Assassin's Creed series this game will be familiar territory and a walk in the park, for all other gamers, Syndicate will bore you more than it will entertain you, I'd suggest starting with the Ezio series first.

DLC - Last Maharaja: Extra missions and content, nothing special, actually... this is the most glitchiest, bug ridden, broken DLC I have ever played.
DLC - Jack the Ripper: Serves as an epilogue to the main game, new fear-based mechanics which are meh... hope you like playing as granny Evie :)

Protip:
- Master all your projectiles, knives, darts and especially smoke bombs (very useful!)
- Use smoke bombs before kidnapping bounties if you can't get behind the target properly
- Invest in income earning gang skills first, the money adds up overtime
- Fully upgrade eagle vision skills first!

Gameplay Rating: 7
Story Rating: 3
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 7
Sound Rating: 5
Overall Rating: 7

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Game Information

Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Ubisoft Quebec
Publisher(s)
Ubisoft
Genre(s)
Action, Adventure
NA Release Date
November 19, 2015
EUR Release Date
November 19, 2015
AUS Release Date
November 19, 2015
ESRB Rating
M
PEGI Rating
18+
ACB Rating
MA 15+
MVGL User Score
7.2
Composer
Austin Wintory
Official Website
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