Seeing as everyone has gone Back To The Future crazy recently, on Tuesday October 20, I took a trip back in time to Victorian London with thanks to Ubisoft and the IGN Premiere launch event, for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. And what a show they put on…
As you enter the secret location in London Bridge you are handed £20 worth of Victorian money to spend and then greeted by a cockney Victorian showman describing what awaits. Just watch out for the infamous Rooks gang!
Walking down the Victorian street with the lucky few hundred other people who managed to get an invite, we were greeted by firepits, and a flower girl handing out dying bunches of flowers while flirting with everyone. I obviously headed straight to the pub…
The atmosphere in the pub was highly charged with anticipation about what the rest of the night would bring. Plenty of people had turned up in their Assassin’s ware, there were a couple of ‘Victorian cockneys’ playing on the piano and having a good old sing-along. All very London, all very Victorian. I had a pint of lager but also on offer was cider and Assassin’s punch, I had quite a lot of that later on and it was lovely, unfortunately my head didn’t think so the following morning!
I then wandered outside and came across a wrestling contest between two men armed with sticks, another chap in a top hat was going through the gathered crowd and taking bets on who would win. I gave him £1 of my Victorian money and watched on. I picked the wrong wrestler. Oh well, what more can I find to do?
Throwing knives? Go on then. This proved very popular as you got to throw knives and axes at a wooden board, it was very tricky to get the action right so the blade would stick in to the wood. Great fun though. I then turned around to see a Tarot Card reader, there was always someone sat there so I didn’t get to know what my future held.
Another stall, and a very long queue, across from the knife throwing was where you picked up your Assassin’s Creed leather key ring. The queue was long as you could also get your initials stamped on to a metal plate on the leather. Very cool keepsake.
For those that needed food as well as drink there was a Victorian market to feed the hungry masses. Lots of choices and plenty of characters were on hand to serve you and give you a cheeky smile and funny quip. Jacket potatoes, hot chestnuts, broth, bread and cheese and a stall selling gin & tonic.
Then on to the reason why we were here – to get hands-on with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. A large room with 30 or so screens were available and you got to play the game for about 25 minutes a time. As the night wore on it became more and more easy to find an available spot as lots of other people took advantage of the free drink on offer.
At approximately 8pm, IGN started to broadcast live from the event. Cameramen, lighting and sound guys, producers and interviewers wandered around the area talking to people and giving the online community a taste of what was on offer. There was also the opportunity to watch a never-before-seen gameplay demo with live commentary from the game director, Scott Phillips, and a live Q&A in the pub area.
After all this it was back to throwing knives, drinking punch and playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate before we unfortunately had to leave at 10pm.
The event proved very successful and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I’m hopeful that IGN will continue to put on these themed nights for future game launches.