Ubisoft achieved great success with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, despite slightly altering game mechanics and locations from year-to-year. Assassin’s Creed III’s cold North American setting, for example, is much different than to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s sun-bathed Caribbean paradise. Now, as Ubisoft prepares to release Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on October 23, 2015, it’s time to see what has changed between Assassin’s Creed Unity from 2014 and this new adventure.
Both games are exclusive to the current generation of consoles. You’ll only be able to find Syndicate on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC (releasing on November 19). However, this isn’t the same development team that worked on Assassin’s Creed Unity.
While the Unity development studio at Ubisoft Montreal was responsible for the first few games in the series, Ubisoft Quebec handled Syndicate. This is the same group behind the Wii U port of Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed 3. The team has experience with Assassin’s Creed, but Syndicate will be the first title they created from the ground up.
For some Assassin’s Creed fans, the Ubisoft Quebec team might be cause for concern, but this shouldn’t be the case. With plenty of experience in the franchise under their belts, Quebec provides a fresh pair of eyes on the series without straying too far from the tried and true formula so many fans enjoy. It’s a different experience compared to Unity, but it should be one that fans can appreciate.
Unity takes place in Paris during the French Revolution (1789-1799), while Syndicate jumps over to London during the Industrial Revolution (1868). The new game follows two characters this time around, the twins Jacob and Evie Frye. You can switch freely between the two characters, which is a first for the Assassin’s Creed series. This is also the first title in the main series to feature a female assassin, something fans have longed for; if you recall heroine Aveline de Grandpré stars in the complimentary adventure, Assassin’s Creed Liberation. As you might expect, they’re still battling the Templars, but the world is different compared to Unity given the fact that it takes place in London nearly 100 years after the Paris timeline of Unity.
When it comes to gameplay adjustments, Syndicate adds a new way to travel, as well as tweaks to stealth and combat mechanics. Jacob specializes in close quarters melee combat, using brass knuckles and a cane-sword. He also uses a new Nepalese curved knife, which allows for much faster combat compared to previous games in the series. In addition to the cane-sword, Evie uses throwing knives and plays more like a traditional assassin.
The rope launcher is the main addition to the traveling and movement systems in Syndicate. You can now rappel from structures instead of simply diving off into a haystack, and it’s possible to create a zip line that runs between buildings or even carriages when you’re on the go. Trains also factor into the storyline, which is another location in which players will be able to use the rope launcher to create a zip line.
Multiplayer isn’t something the Assassin’s Creed series focuses on. Some of the titles highlight multiplayer, such as Unity, while others don’t feature any multiplayer modes at all. Syndicate falls into the latter category, offering no multiplayer. However, to make up for this, the game is approximately 30 percent larger than the already massive size of Paris in Assassin’s Creed Unity. Syndicate will span six boroughs in the London area, including the City of London, Westminster, Whitechapel, Southwark, Lambeth and the Strand. There are also plenty of side missions in the game, which focus on the power struggle in London, tying into the main story much closer than side activities in previous games.
It’s clear Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is fresh and new, while still retaining what fans love. Keep your browser pointed at Prima Games as we cover Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in depth once the game debuts later this month.