While I’d love to have a review ready, we’re only so far into Assassin’s Creed Syndicate with all the crazy gaming going on. Since we don’t rush out reviews on MGL I come bringing some gameplay & impressions of spending some time with the Frye twins in London for the past week.
And what a first impression the two make. The two are both strong individuals that both work well together but operate differently. I instantly liked both of them after some early exchanges and banter that genuinely raised a smile on my face.
Jacob is a bit of a cheeky chap, nice and rebellious with a hot headed attitude and a real focus on hand to hand combat that is a welcome change to the series so far in.
But his sister, Evie is where I was worried about the game. The last thing the series wanted to do was make her some characterless sidekick. And in the early stages she is far from it. She’s a character of her own, more focused and thoughtful than her brother (as sisters usually are!) but comes with some nice British sarcasm.
She’s driven to find the pieces of Eden and plays more like a stealth loving assassin than Jacob, something I also enjoy.
I’ve got to say it’s one of the best starts to the series too, I have no idea what other reviews say at this point (I don’t like to read other reviews while reviewing myself so apologies if I go over old ground) but I’m throughly in love with these two protagonists and feel like we’re in Ezio territory in terms of lovable characters.
As the two are introduced to us in a nice opening mission sequence, we head over to London and start the taking back of the various locations around the city.
Being from England, ok the North of it as we hate those southern fairies most of the time, I’m really loving the setting this year. The architecture of Assassin’s Creed is always stunning, I don’t think anyone could argue against that. And to see London and iconic buildings like The Palace of Westminster which houses Big Ben (which is the the bell rather than the clock) is really remarkable.
It makes me feel more connected to the game somehow and when you add in the general atmosphere, filled with industry and that gritty atmosphere it really creates a fantastic world to explore. Not to mention the British weather, they even get that in England it can be very rainy and very sunny at the same time. Well done Ubisoft!
Gameplay wise the gangs are my favourite idea so far. You take over areas of the map a piece of a time by doing missions. But you also recruit people to u your gang, The Rooks. This is simply a press of R1/RB and these recruits will then take on rival gang members, The Blighters on your command.
It’s a nice e twist on the formula InFAMOUS used to great success over the 3 games. The recruitment element is an improvement on this idea and with the upgrades you can earn too, it’s a very rich mechanism. I really like it.
In the first Evie orientated mission sees you scale The Palace of Westminster with a newly acquired rope launcher tool from Alexander Graham Bell. He’s a cool character and nicely integrated into your story. But the rope launcher itself, now that’s awesome. Your like a Victoran Batman and you don’t care if you kill people!
The gameplay the rope launcher opens up is a big change for the series and London, with its more up and down, tight buildings mixed in with factories and other industry is the perfect place to introduce it.
It’s Still Creed…
Yes, this I still Assassin’s Creed gamers…
What does that mean? Well it means you are going to get loading screens a lot and there moments where the game just goes wrong, I was greeted to a nice cut scene on my newly acquired train with only a floating gun for company. The entire cast vanished but I suppose that’s better than a person’s face, leaving eyes, hair and flapping lips.
Given I forgave the incredible Mass Effect the same error at times, I’m not going to say this is outrageous or anything. But it is a symptom of an annual release schedule; something had to suffer to get the game out and play testing seems to be one of the casualties.
Bugs and errors are of course less of a problem when the game is fun and, so far, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is just that. It’s already an enjoyable adventure with the feeling it’s a mix of Assassin’s Creed II’s fun & lovable characters with Black Flags enjoyable missions and addictive quality.
The full review live on My Games Lounge soon.