Assassins Creed Syndicate Review
By Casey T.
Let me start by saying this, I was not a huge Assassins Creed gamer, however with the “friendly” push from my friends, James and Maria, from a local Facebook group called “The Game Squad” I decided to give the AC games a try. I have played all of them and Black Flag is my personal favorite game of the series.
So I decided I would try Syndicate, and after Unity, it is better, but being better than a pile of crap doesn’t mean it’s great. Let’s discuss the game along with the pros and cons.
Graphically, this game is gorgeous. I personally love London, it’s my second favorite city behind Boston (Yes, for those wondering, I’m stoked to explore Boston in Fallout 4), and this game succeeds at making London look AMAZING. The rooftops, the streets, the era are all amazing. However, this leads me to issues I have within the game. There are graphical glitches within the game that either a) frustrated me or b) made me laugh harder than a baby being tickled. Some funny glitches were the times I would be running down the street and NPCs were floating in midair, or the time my character went full invisible, well except for his weapon. I seriously ran around the city invisible (to me), with just a floating weapon in hand.
Another glitch that annoyed the living daylights out of me was within gameplay. The auto cover system is garbage. I wanted to hide behind a big building and it would choose a lamp post for me…now I understand my character is in great shape, but he isn’t a skinny dude, and a lamp post wasn’t going to hide me. The other glitch that annoyed me wasn’t so much a glitch, as much as a lack of control. The grappling hook isn’t controlled the way I would prefer, and it took me forever to figure out how to use it. Why they couldn’t add an aiming feature, or a better one, is beyond me. Gameplay otherwise, was superb. Changing outfits to suit your needs was always fun, as well as the overall characters enjoyment.
You play as either Jacob or Evie Frye, who came to London in 1868. The Templars are controlling the city under the watchful eye of Crawford Starrick. The gang, which is not a friendly group, called the Blighters basically runs the city like Al Capone ran Chicago in the 20s. The story and characters are well done. This is no Ezio, but the characters are relatable, fun, enjoyable characters. The story is a mixture of the intimacy of Unity, with the historical feelings of older games. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would say the game is worth playing just for it, even with some of the gameplay and graphical annoyances. It focuses on London 1868 like a sniper focuses on his target, which is a lovely feeling, as we don’t have to do deal with jumping back and forth. The story is a tale of greed, manipulation, compassion. It doesn’t feel like any of it is urgent, and you feel like you’ll “get to the story when you do,” but overall, it’s a good story.
Let’s get back to London, everything that I enjoyed about this game pales in comparison of how much I enjoyed running around the industrial era of London. It’s vibrant, alive, and fun. The city feels like, what I imagine, London would be like during the period. The overall controls while running around London, are decently fluid, free running is used by R2, and the mapping of the controls are easy to understand. I would have loved for it to feel tighter while running, but overall, the controls are good.
An interesting new development is the ability to drive carriages. This was…usually fun, but the carriages didn’t control great. I would say it controlled much like the Mako in Mass Effect, which isn’t bad, but could have been better. This game tears me apart, the city of London would get a 95% just by itself, however, overall, this game still has problems, and felt rushed. It is MUCH better than Unity, but being better than Sharknado, still gives us a movie that isn’t good.
This game, like almost all AC games is saved by the setting. All AC games have had an amazing setting to thrall about, and this is no different. The game feels mostly bland, exactly like the same. The characters are better, London is awesome, but overall, this game is nothing special. This game is so damn close to saving the Assassins Creed series, but to be honest, I don’t think it does.
Gamers Pantheon scores Assassins Creed Syndicate an Okay score of 68%.
This review was done by our EIC, Casey. He has been gaming for 20+ years, and has enjoyed all types of games. Hate what he had to say? Loved what he said? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments.