Author Topic: Assassins Creed Syndicate GOLD – October 2015 [Score: 9.3]  (Read 30 times)

Offline bobdog

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The indicator to me personally of whether a game is “great” is if I can’t wait to strike it up, even if only to play for an hour or so, and when the actual gameplay is fun. And to me, Assassins Creed Syndicate meets those positive criteria. I look forward to playing it, and I have a lot of fun when I do. I played the GOLD version, which included the main game plus the season pass with all the DLCs.

Yes, Syndicate follows the standard AC (and really, most open-world) formula: districts to liberate, lots of diverse tasks to accomplish, towers to climb and open the world map a little further, etc. But it never feels like empty busywork (i.e. a “job”), because it all ties in to the overall storyline. This time, we’re in London at the height of its industrial expansion, with the Templar Order in control of everything: gangs, whorehouses, fighting rings, and even much of the legislative branch. Unfortunately, we never get to leave London proper for the game, so you’re mostly surrounded by buildings rather than natural habitats.

Ubisoft did listen to AC fans and players and made some significant tweaks to their formula after all the negative attention to AC Unity, which I called “probably the worst of the major AC games to date.” Here’s some of what I noticed:

  • Unlike AC Unity, there are no pesky micro-transactions right in the midst of gameplay.
  • The game features two interesting and likeable dual leads – the Frye Twins – with the opportunity to play as either through most of the game, depending on certain scenarios. Jacob is impetuous and a rogue, while Evie is contemplative; their play-styles reflect that, with Jacob able to learn skills and use weapons emphasizing his rough nature, while Evie can actually learn how to become invisible if she stays still long enough.
  • Probably the best addition to an AC game ever, you have been gifted with a zipline that allows you to jump up buildings quickly or to soar between open spaces. Just point to another building and off you go through the air! Don't forget that you can drop-assassinate your foes too!  :onethumb:
  • If you need to move around London and its environs quickly, you can Fast Travel to previously unlocked Viewpoints. Or, you can simply hijack wagons and cabs (a la GTA) and run around the city, mowing down pedestrians and posts alike!
  • Side missions are generally fun and allow you to earn experience and gear from a diversity of characters including Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, the Maharajah of India, the Queen of England, and more. You also can assist Scotland Yard, a young “Artie” Conan Doyle, local children, and a bookie – all for more experience and gear.
  • Solve mysteries using your Eagle-senses and investigate various locations until you have enough clues and have spoken to enough witnesses that you can actually make an accusation and choose the perpetrator of the crime. If you get it right on the first try, you get more experience.
  • When the time comes that you do need to assassinate someone, you are presented with a variety of options: maybe you get a key to open a locked door, maybe you can take someone’s place and do an instant kill, maybe helping someone else will allow them to assist you. Or you can do it all on your own – there’s no single way to do it.
  • Late in the game, a rift opens up on the main map that allows Evie to enter the London of World War 1. This was a nice nod to fans who have wanted to see a WW interpretation for the AC series. It also features some exposition related to the First Generation.
  • One of the best DLCs for the game is a 6-hour offering about the famed murderer Jack the Ripper. This DLC follows on 15 years after the main mission, with new types of missions and new “Fear” skills to learn and items to use; you’ll also visit two new locations. I wish they had actually gone to a different place with the conclusion, so that Jack's identity was actually someone we knew from the first game, maybe driven a little mad over the years – that would have made it very “Fight Club” in flipping the narrative. But overall this was a really great option.

One thing I did miss was the pure navigational puzzles, where you figure out how to get from Point A to Point B; think of the large cathedrals from AC2, where you had to climb the walls, flip backward to catch poles, etc. This is mostly negated by use of the zipline, and the London city setting, but I still miss it.

I also missed getting to play in the modern-day. Instead, we are relegated to a few cut-scenes detailing the current iteration of Assassins, and what they’re doing to try and recover some Pieces of Eden before the Templars can extract them. I know some folks find these annoying, but I actually appreciate the opportunity to be an Assassin in the modern day.

So with those caveats, AC Syndicate really is a great game and one I heartily recommend. At about 60 hours of play-time, you’ll have plenty to do, but you shouldn’t get bored before you get to the end. 9.3 out of 10

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Assassins Creed Syndicate GOLD – October 2015 [Score: 9.3]
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 12:45:54 PM »
Syndicate is a guilty pleasure of mine.  It's not the greatest game in the series (I'd consider that to be Brotherhood, while Black Flag is a great pirate game), but with my mixed feelings over the direction Assassin's Creed as a whole is going, it's the last decent entry in the games' original style.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.