Let’s Talk About Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

Earlier today, Ubisoft let loose upon the world nine minutes of pre-alpha gameplay footage, showing us their vision for the next Assassin’s Creed entry, Syndicate.

Here’s what we know about the basics so far:

  • Like Unity, Syndicate will only release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. There are no plans for a Wii U version.
  • Console versions will release in October, while PC is listed as “Holiday 2015”.
  • You can already pre-order the game, including a massive Collector’s Edition that comes with the season pass, a double-sided map of London, a statue of protagonist Jacob, an artbook, a soundtrack, and access to an exclusive mission. The Collector’s Edition is listed at $119.99.
  • It’s been in development for roughly 3 years, and is being helmed by Ubisoft Quebec. They’re the development studio that brought us the Assassin’s Creed III: Tyranny of King Washington and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry DLC packs, and have been assisting with the series since Brotherhood. All nine of Ubisoft’s studios are helping with Syndicate, but Quebec is the main developer.

With more consumers adopting current-gen consoles, I’m not surprised that Syndicate won’t be available on Xbox 360 and PS3. In this day and age, I’m also not surprised that you can already buy the game’s season pass. If Syndicate has been in development for 3 years, Ubisoft had obviously decided early on what content they wanted cut in order to sell it as DLC instead.

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So what’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate all about?

  • It takes place in 1868 London, during the peak of the Industrial Revolution.
  • The game features two playable protagonists, twin siblings Jacob and Evie Frye. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose who you control, although some missions do require one or the other.
  • Each protagonist has their own skill tree to level up, offering a bit of gameplay variety.
  • Your primary role is to create your own criminal syndicate in order to overthrow the Templar. You’ll rally others to your cause by way of main story scenarios and optional side-quests.

acsyndicate4

What makes Syndicate different from previous entries?

  • Evie Frye will be the first playable female lead in any major Assassin’s Creed release, although Ubisoft claims that Unity’s “female characters are too hard to animate” debacle had nothing to do with their decision to make one of Syndicate’s leads a woman.
  • Female crime lords were also prominent in the 1800’s, so expect to see your fair share of them on the streets of London.
  • Ubisoft has confirmed that there will be no multi-player mode in Syndicate in any way. They’ve tailor made the campaign in such a way that strictly focuses on telling the tale of Jacob and Evie Frye, and didn’t want multiplayer getting in the way of that. You can read all about it right here at Gamespot.
  • You can use a grappling hook. A GRAPPLING HOOK!
  • You can hijack and drive a small amount of vehicles, like carriages, that take damage in real time. You can also use your carriage as a personal hiding place, or as a murder device to trample opposing criminals.
  • You can interact with objects in the environment to take out your enemies, as shown in the gameplay trailer.
  • Stealth has been given a drastic overhaul. The Frye twins won’t need to blend in to crowds or dive in to haystacks, and will instead use a “soft snap” system that works like crouching and sneaking in most modern action/stealth games. This allows you to make better use of the environment, as opposed to just finding a hiding spot and waiting things out.
  • Combat will be a little more in-depth, focusing more on crowd control than countering and stabbing everyone to death. If you find yourself surrounded, enemies will no longer take turns punching you in the face. They’ll react differently, and you’ll be required to make use of smoke bombs or exploding fire sources with your throwing knives in order to stay alive. Think of it as being more realistic and reactive.

At first glance, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate looks like any other game in the series. As you can see, however, that’s anything but true. Ubisoft Quebec has been at this for three years now, and they seem to have a lot of great ideas in order to evolve and modernize the aging formula. With Unity being such a clusterfuck though, we’ll have to wait until October (or “holiday”, if you’re a PC gamer) and see if those great ideas are effectively executed. A great idea on paper is nothing more than a marketing ploy, after all.

So what do you think? Have you lost faith in the series already, or are you excited about taking Jacob and Evie Frye through the criminal underworld of London in order to overthrow the Templar?

Personally, it just looks like they modernized the game a bit, but they’re not doing anything other games haven’t been doing for years now. It may be different for Assassin’s Creed, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before elsewhere.

(Source: Gamespot)

Bio Card Brad

Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s no stranger to sinking an absurd amount of time in to an MMO, but also has a deep seeded love for pro wrestling, horror films, and his hometown of Baltimore, MD. Get in touch with him by e-mail at the address above, or follow him on Twitter.

14 comments

  1. Thanks for making an easy to read list of the highlights, I watched some of the premier but couldn’t sit through it all. Having two playable main characters (One male, one female) with different skill trees does interest me… as well as the addition of a grappling hook and the stealth overhall. After Unity was fixed, I did enjoy it and liked how they changed the structure of the main missions, but in the end I still found myself feeling bored with the franchise. Still haven’t played Rogue yet and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. But, like with Unity, I’m waiting to see how this game launches and see what reviewers say.

    1. You’re most welcome, thanks for reading the post!

      Like I mentioned at the bottom of the post, it seems to me that they’re more interested in modernizing the series with game mechanics that other games have been using for years now. They’re not doing anything *new*, it’s just new for the AC series.

      With that being said, I’m not a huge fan of AC. I’ve only beaten Black Flag, probably because it was so different from the other games in the series. I really liked 2, but other than Liberation HD and Black Flag + Freedom Cry, I haven’t beaten any of the others. And I own all of them. ALL. OF. THEM. (lol)

  2. I’m honestly just pleased that there will be a heavy female presence in the game. Not to mention the quote by one of the directors that Evie is “the more calculated and logical one.” So many times in video games when women are present it is to stand, smile, be a damsel and be over emotional. So I’m pleased. Can’t wait to get my hands on this. Though buying a new console will need to be in order…

    1. I thought Ubi did a great job with Liberation and its HD remaster on PS3/360, but I’m definitely glad to see a more diverse approach in a major release. The gameplay reveal even had a major Templar crime lord as a female, so it’s not just guys this time around!

      With Ubi confirming that no more AC games will ever release for last-gen consoles, it may be time to update. At least you can grab an Xbox One with Black Flag and Unity for $350, and it’s usually packaged with Halo MCC for free if you can find one at Gamestop.

  3. Yawn. I’m over this series already. It sucks because I so loved AC at one point, too.
    They’ll have to prove me wrong that this won’t be released in a broken state only to pump out another spinoff, sub-game whatever in 3 months after its release.

    1. Yeah, I really enjoyed Black Flag because it was pretty different, but I picked up Unity and Rogue and launch and haven’t touched either one. I’ll be waiting on this one for a drastic price drop, that’s for sure.

      1. I haven’t fully enjoyed it since Revelations. & Surprisingly, a lot of hardcore fans disliked Revelations. AC3 had promise, but it was bug-ridden & the story lacked quite a bit for me. It was choppy & full of holes.
        Black Flag, I’m guilty of buying but I only really played the multiplayer. The story was so yawnworthy I didn’t pay attention to half of it.

      2. Whenever Ubisoft tries something new, it’s usually broken or boring until their second go ’round. What drew me in to AC3 was how open world it felt, instead of sneaking and exploring a city. It’s more open environments and naval combat were perfected in Black Flag, but yeah, the story was a bit on the weak side. I think that’s what made it easier to swallow for me, though. Without a huge focus on the animus and crazy Desmond conspiracy, it made it easier to focus more on the fun gameplay and less on what was actually going on.

      3. The Freedom Cry DLC was also a LOT of fun. Adawale is a beast, and turns the Caribbean in to Camp Crystal Lake with his machete.

      4. Haha! You’re speaking my language. You know…the real Camp Crystal Lake is not far from where I grew up. I’ll never forget we went to that place overnight for a class trip (3nights) and everyone was terrified to go in the water or sleep.

      5. That’s awesome! I lived about an hour from Burketsville, MD where Blair Witch Project took place. We always drove through it when visiting a relative, and I just looked at the woods like “nope!”

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