Assassin’s Creed Syndicate; The 9th iteration into the world of the Templars and the secret order of the Assassins. This year’s annual release sees a hotly anticipated trip to ‘ye old London town’ as the game’s main protagonists Jacob and Evie Frye (twins) look to track down a Piece of Eden whilst wrestling back control of the City from the villainous Templars. So before I jump in to it, I want to clarify a few things. Firstly, I was lucky enough to attend the AC: S tour event held in London earlier this year to test play a beta version of the game. Having picked up the game this past week, in total I’ve probably played around 8-10 hours of the campaign mode, having completed approximately 30%.
DE JA VU
The game feels like all the previous versions of AC across all of the platforms it has appeared on; the controls have evolved and developed slightly over time but nothing too drastic. The story line has stayed consistent with players being dropped into a specific moment in history to play out the battles between the two main factions. Now I haven’t progressed far enough in the game to see whether this is the case, but personally I am a fan of the lore of the AC series and have found that since Black Flag the franchise has drifted away from the overarching story of the first civilisation and the real world links (e.g. Desmond). I know there will be lots of you out there who prefer this but I feel like I’m invested in a timeline which has been short changed.
CLIMBING TO NEW HEIGHTS
One area of foci that can never be challenged in the AC series is the ability to create magnificent large scale cities full of detail for want-to-be killers to go about their dirty work. The views are amazing and the introduction of the grapple gun (Batman esc) means that it takes half the time to see some fantastic shots of the Victorian London. The kill sequences are looking better than ever and some of the group ‘finishers’ are brutal and had me wincing throughout the game. One of the elements I really enjoyed in AC:S was the gang combat, rallying up some of the Rooks to march on unsuspecting Blighters or to support you in some of the side mission quests. It felt like a throwback to the AC games whereby you could call on support Assassins to help you in your endeavours.
GOING IN FOR THE KILL
So let’s get into it- Glitch City. AC has the difficult job of fixing a reputation following some awful coverage of AC Unity. Now I’ve been an avid follower of the AC franchise, but what irks me the most is that Ubisoft are still churning out broken games! Now I speak purely from personal experience, but on at least 3 occasions I had to fail a Bounty Hunter mission and restart the game because I was unable to tackle the target; who was stationary, right in front of me. Fight sequences have ended up taking place in the walls of buildings, bomb crates sliding off the screen when being placed down. AI characters walking on air- I could go on. Now I am by no means stating that AC: S is not an enjoyable game; it is. It’s just ever so frustrating and disappointing that Ubisoft and the respective studio being used to develop the annual game aren’t able to iron out the bugs before people part with their hard earned cash.
I won’t lie, I’m going to stick it out and after completing this post I’ll be going straight back to it. It’s just a shame that for the second AC in a row, I’m left with that sour after taste that gamers are becoming all too familiar with. In the interest of fairness, I’ve experienced nowhere near the same amount of glitches as I did in Unity, but they are still there.
In case anybody from Ubisoft happens to read this, sort it out!
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