While the settings for Assassin’s Creed games changed over the years, one thing remains steadfast in the series, getting right down to killing enemies that deserve to meet their maker. Whether it involves destroying multiple Templar ships in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag or getting the hang of the guillotine gun in Assassin’s Creed Unity, there are no shortage of ways to stylishly kill someone.
That said, Ubisoft may have outdone itself with the setting for its latest Assassin’s Creed title, Syndicate, which was revealed earlier today during a live broadcast. This time around you visit London in the year 1868, the time of industrial revolution, where barons and their thugs (some which are, surprise, Templars) seem to get richer while the peasants, working themselves to the bone to keep things running, struggle to survive. As new assassin Jacob Frye, it’s up to you to level the playing field.
Frye is a member of a notorious (but fair) street gang that hopes to take over London. Joined by his savvy assassin sister Evie (who’s also playable over the course of the game), Jacob sets out to eliminate high-end targets while helping his gang dominate smaller territories throughout London. It’s a job that’s easier said than done, as a number of mercenaries stand in his way.
Ubisoft’s Quebec team, which is handling development of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, appears to have learned some lessons from last year’s Unity, and introduced a number of new gameplay perks that make both Jacob and Evie more versatile than previous assassins.
First, both have access to pieces of equipment that come in handy for getting around London. A mobile rope system, for instance, makes it easy for them to whisk up and around rooftops, instead of needing to climb. This allows them to get out of range of gunfire, rather than risk being shot and falling back to the street.
With fighting, there’s no shortage of weapons. A new curved knife makes quick stabs easy, so you can sneak up on someone and end this person with a simple slice. There’s also a more traditional revolver, which is easy to reload and shoot, in case you have multiple targets to take down (like during a gang battle).
Street combat is more visceral, thanks to weapons like the brass knuckles (go for a well-placed punch to the jaw) and other weapons that can be picked up over the course of each fight. The general fisticuff action looks equally cool, as either Jacob or Evie can end a brawl by putting their adversary in a chokehold and slamming him down into the pavement.
When it comes to getting around, you don’t always have to walk on foot. There are a number of carriages strewn throughout the city, and you can command horses to go faster, turning you into a careening battering ram in some cases. During a chase, for example, you’ll need to maintain your carriage by making sure you don’t hit too many structures. However, the steering looks to be rather simplified, and you can even run over a few enemies in the process, should you feel like trampling them. In addition, you can jump around carriages and engage enemies in mobile combat.
Ubisoft’s take on London looks great so far, with an area that promises to be 30 percent larger than the map featured in Unity. That will provide plenty of opportunities for secondary missions, hidden treasure chests and shops that will allow you to upgrade your gear. As with previous games, you’ll also run into historical types that will aid you on your quest, including Victorians like Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens, among others. Ubisoft hasn’t disclosed the roles they’ll play, but they’re sure to provide Jacob and Evie with whatever assets they require.
So far, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate looks to focus more on the single-player action, a change of pace from Unity’s previous direction, as multiplayer will not be a factor this time around. We should know a little more next month, where the game will no doubt take center stage during Ubisoft’s E3 presentation.
For now, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has a great deal of promise. The new London setting looks fantastic, Jacob and Evie’s new skills will no doubt come in handy and the variety of missions should please fans of the franchise. We’ll see how it fares when it debuts on October 23rd (and a bit later for PC).
In the meantime, get your fix with our Assassin’s Creed Rogue advanced tips and Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China tips and strategies.