Is the new Assassin's Creed game worthy of being in the series?
First off is the actual setting. Victorian London is somewhere I always thought Ubisoft might take the series, and my Dad predicted it also.
Compared to Unity’s Paris, it looks just as good, but is miles better. This is not only due to the fact it is relatable (I have been to London on several occasions) but also because of how many famous locations there are in the game. The sheer amount of landmarks, stretching from Big Ben to Nelson’s Column - and yes, you can sit on Nelson’s head - are brilliant. Packed into seven boroughs, the map is amazing.
Because of this, there is the new addition of the rope launcher. This allows you to scale buildings in seconds and zipline across streets. While originally I thought this would ruin the game's long-running parkour aspect, I will admit I really enjoyed using it. It was a great addition, and was definitely needed, considering the 3-10 storey buildings and wide roads the era held. (Especially useful when going on a sightseeing tour of all the monuments!)
While Unity reinvented the parkour, combat and stealth, Syndicate doesn't change much like its previous title. I didn’t mind this, but I like to see new bold ideas stepping in. However, Syndicate has polished off the parkour (coupled with the rope launcher makes it the best yet) and the combat has changed slightly again. It is now built more around a combo system, and due to the era’s laws and presence of a police force, uses more close range weapons for an in-your-face experience. While not massively differing to the previous combat flow, I enjoyed figuring out how to handle it all the same.
Of course, the game's new biggest feature is its two playable protagonists, twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Being able to choose between two people, and upgrade them each accordingly, (with the new levelling system, which is actually quite good) was fun, and I stuck to using Jacob as my crazy brawler and used Evie more for stealth - the stereotypical personas for them.
Unfortunately, while you could pick different skills for each of them, there was not much variation. They only have three unique skills each and you can get to unlocking them quite quickly, although having twins made for great banter when they were together in the story.
Speaking of the story, it is far longer than Unity’s pathetically short storyline although there’s still not many missions per sequence. The story is moderate overall, with the main assassination missions being a lot better than Unity’s, giving you more variation in how to eliminate your target.
While it is clear Syndicate betters over Unity, it doesn't hold all the massive game changers Assassin's Creed 2 had to number 1. However, it’s gameplay, the protagonists are fun and London is one of the best locations of the series.