Friday First Three: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

My first three hours with the London sect of the Creed

Another year another Assassin’s Creed title. I should probably start with my off and on again history with the franchise. My experiences with Assassin’s Creed have been mixed, I really enjoyed the original and absolutely adored the Ezio trilogy, even if revelations was a little boring at times. Then 3 came along and disappointed me on several levels with a main Assassin who had about as much personality as a potato, and an ending that…well the less said about that the better suffice to say it was an incredibly disappoint and anticlimactic end to a 5 game story arc.

That was when I started to lose interest in the franchise I didn’t get 4 until I found it in a sale, up till then I had got each game on release day, and it reinvigorated my interest in the franchise, 4 took the mechanics of 3 and the humour of the Ezio trilogy and proved that an Assassin’s Creed game doesn’t have to be about tall buildings and crowded cities the open ocean was perhaps the coolest thing I have ever explored in a game. Then last year we had Unity a game that disappointed almost everyone a boring protagonist once again and the killer for me was the multiplayer missions that the game pretty much forces you to play if you to progress, I can’t stand gaming with other people and I don’t understand why it was such an integral component surely assassins work at their own pace so it’s incredibly frustrating playing with someone who just rushes in as un-stealthily as possible and gets killed sending us both back to the beginning of the mission over and over again. Suffice to say I gave up with Unity and never completed it.


Jacob and Evie Frye twin assassins

Then Syndicate arrived, I’ll say this for starters Syndicate is just plain fun, the gameplay is that of Unity’s with the improved free run up and down making traversing London amazing. The combat has also been improved since Unity, which took a similar approach to the original game stand still and parry attacks then counter, with the tried and true Arkham attack and counter system. There’s even a combo counter which I thought might make it feel too arcade like to begin with but its really not all that distracting.

The characters are excellent both the associates you meet and the two Assassins you play as in the game. Jacob and Evie Frye embody the two main story focuses present on all Assassin’s Creed games Jacob is all about exploring and conquering London he is the voice of the player and he just wants to have fun. Evie on the other hand, while still a fun character, is focused on the Assasin’s order and the fight against the Templars and looks to further investigate the pieces of Eden. I won’t spoil all the characters you meet but I will say Charles Dickens is brilliant and Inspector Abberline is a “master” of disguise who the first time you meet is dressed as an old lady and puts on a monty Python old lady voice, it’s been a while since an Assassin’s Creed game made me laugh like that.

London is a big place

London is a big place

London is the only place you visit in the game and it is huge. The sheer amount of things to do is actually a little daunting but that’s the feeling I’ve had with every game. Once you dive in and start exploring you find you don’t want to stop. It’s also fun to experiment with each of the two main characters, Jacob is the brawler and of a fight breaks out he has the best gear for the job and Evie is the silent Assassin she can sneak better than her brother and take people out from the shadows so you find you will switch characters depending on your mood and what the mission requires. Not that’s Jacob can’t sneak and Evie can’t brawl of course you can use either character in any situation but they both have advantages the other doesn’t in certain aspects.

Did you like it right off the bat?
Yes actually. Throwing me into action set pieces and with characters as charismatic as the Frye twins I was sold almost instantly. The humour in the game and playful characters remind me of Ezio and Edward from Assassin’s Creed 2 and 4.

Will I continue playing?
I have only really started to scratch the surface of the game with my three hours and already I have assassinated a Templar, rode a train off a cliff, escaped an exploding underground lab and snuck into a secret tomb. I will most definitely keep playing.

– Dan P




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