The Assassins creed franchise has had its fair shares of up’s and downs. AC3, to many, was a lifeless, soulless husk that failed to capture the essence of the Ezio saga, while the technical issues of Unity left many feeling that the yearly iterations being pumped out by Ubisoft was a mistake. I freely admit, that I “was” one of the latter.
Rather than the cold hard ground that follows Unity’s failed Leap of Faith, Syndicate may well turn out to be the well placed hay cart.
With a setting that many have been crying out for since the series moved to Italy, and now with a female playable character which turned out to be a bit of a PR faux pas last year, Syndicate seems to be Ubisoft’s attempt to right past wrongs.
Actually sitting down and playing with the new characters, twins Jacob and Evie, shows first and foremost that the inclusion of Evie as a playable character is not just a superficial attempt to quell the masses. Each character plays according to their very different personalities. Jacob, brash and hot headed is a dervish in close combat while Evie, more reserved and contemplative is much more suited to long range and stealth approaches.
The inclusion of multiple simultaneous attackers is something that has been sorely cried out for as well since the game first released with the “gentlemanly conduct” one at a time combat being scrapped for a more visceral and exhilarating style of fighting, more akin to the Batman series, than to any of its predecessors.
Having been to London many times, it was a delight to recognise landmarks within the game and although limited in the demo, the scale of Victorian London is truly awe inspiring.
As I said at the start, I was one of those who believed yearly iterations were a bad idea, but if Ubisoft can get alternating teams to pull off games that look, play and remain true to the creed this well, Im willing to give them another chance.
Consider this well and truly back on my day 1 list.