It feels like forever since the last time I wrote a review for Assassin’s Creed, probably because the last Assassin’s Creed game that I platinumed was Assassin’s Creed Liberation. It just so happens that you can read my review of that game here. Moving on though. I had this game for a while. Like since it came out. I just kept it on the shelf though because I was so disappointed with Unity that I didn’t want to play another Assassin’s Creed game. Then I played Origins and was pleasantly surprised. I was still going to skip this game though, thinking that it was an absolute shit show like Unity, until my buddy @tjarvinen86 told me that I had to give this game a chance. So I gave it chance, got the platinum and that means it’s time for a review.
Set in 1868, this addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise stars Jacob and Evie Frye, or as I like to refer to them Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and their quest to take down the Templars in London. If you totally got that Lannister vibe from this brother and sister duo as well, let me know that I’m not crazy down in the comments section below! In order to do this they’ll have to infiltrate and take over the dark underworld of London. They’ll do this by taking over boroughs and forming their own gang. As always, some historical figures like Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Karl Marx, and Florence Nightingale will make an appearance and change the lives of Evie and Jacob. Each character is playable and even have their own specific missions. Jacob will do this the harsh way while Evie will take the more sneaky approach in an overall interesting story set in an even more interesting time period and setting.
I really went into this game with no high hopes or expectations what-so-ever. I mean I had finished, but didn’t finish, Assassin’s Creed Origins which was awesome and this was made before that so I seriously thought it was going to be a total shit show. Turns out that I was wrong though and my buddy was right that this was actually a really decent game. I think while people like to call Assassin’s Creed Origins the Assassin’s Creed game they were looking for after the many mistakes made by this franchise, that this game, Syndicate, is easily overlooked as it fixed a lot of the mistakes that Unity made. Maybe it’s because I played it 3 years after the initial release date, but I still think that this game was the correction for Unity and Origins just took it a step further. I will say that I enjoyed finally being able to play a woman. Yes you played a woman in Liberation, but it was different. Liberation was kind of an add on game and it was easily missed since it was first released exclusively for the PS Vita and then remastered for the PS3. This was the first full Assassin’s Creed game that allowed you to play as a woman even if it was only for certain missions, but when you were running around and doing various different things you could totally play as Evie the whole time. Bonus points was that Evie was an even likable character and I enjoyed watching her story develop throughout the game. Jacob on the other hand was just a bland character thrown in there to do stuff they didn’t think that Evie should do. Plain and simple. Overall though I enjoyed the plot of this game, the time period, the setting, and thought it was an overall win for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
I would say that after playing Origins and Unity before that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was a huge improvement from Unity but a step down from Origins. That being said, it did fix a lot of bugs that Unity had on release day, but it didn’t quite do it all the way like Origins does. There are still scenes with disappearing characters, obscure characters in the background who are doing weird things, some parkour issues, and just some weird bugs every now and again. While I played I have to say that I didn’t experience anything that was game breaking which was good and this was still very much an Assassin’s Creed game so it completely felt like one. This was a good thing and I enjoyed that it looked and felt like an Assassin’s Creed game. I could have done without the small things that were never fixed after three years, but I give Ubisoft credit for stepping up their game after Unity and coming out with this game before Origins.
I love the graphics in this game. 1868 London is just so beautiful, even in the spots where it’s not supposed to be. Everything just looked vibrant and alive in this setting and I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Especially the sync points. The sync point where you get that 360 view of the area you’re in is just amazing in every game and this game is no different. I thought that facial features were a step up from Unity, mostly because the characters had actual faces this time. Short pause for your laughter. On that note I also thought the background people were a little bland and kind of the same no matter where you went. A little change in this would have went a long way especially when the templar gangs and your gang members all look the same. This is just a little annoyance for me because background characters are kind of important especially if you’re interacting with them and it’s no fun to interact with someone who looks like someone from another town over. It was just a little lazy. I understand that there were probably thousands of background characters in this game, but a little change up would have been nice.
Now onto the trophies. There are a total of 50 trophies for this game, 57 if you count the DLC, and they really aren’t that hard to get. Yes, they require some work because you’ll have to sync all main mission memories to 100% and that could be a real pain in the ass, but other than that they really just require you to play the game and do everything it has to offer. There are some grindy trophies as well, but if you’re going for the platinum these should come naturally and without a problem making this an easy Assassin’s Creed game to platinum. If you’re dedicated, I would say that you could easily get this done in about 40 or less hours. That’s just getting the trophies alone and not playing around and doing all the side missions that are unnecessary.
I love game companies that learn from their mistakes and Ubisoft is one of them because there is one thing missing from this game and it’s multiplayer! Thank you Ubisoft for seeing that Assassin’s Creed is a single player franchise and that I don’t want to play it in co-op and I don’t want to run around and act as an Assassin in a team death match type mode with a bunch of people who aren’t even trying to act like Assassin’s. Yes, I know you’re my target because you’re scaling a roof instead of trying to blend in with the crowd. Anyway, this game is multiplayer free which makes me happy.
Overall I give this game a 4.5 out of 5.
+ This game is a huge step up from Unity and should be considered the answer for the mistake that is Unity. While Origins gets the credit for revitalizing the franchise, this game should too.
+ An interesting story and an interesting take on how the story is told as you can play both Jacob and Evie. Each have their own missions but you can choose who you play while you free roam.
+ 1868 London is just beautiful and it needs to be said. This game made you really feel like you were there and it paid a lot of attention to landmark details.
+ This game is free of all that weird multiplayer that Ubisoft tried to force on us since Brotherhood.
What’s Not So Great:
– Some of the same Ubisoft glitches make an appearance in this game, but they aren’t as bad as Unity showing that Ubisoft was taking a step in the right direction.
I really enjoyed this game and was really happy that someone basically kicked my ass and told me that I had to give this game a chance! Thank you again to my buddy for doing that because this game would have still been left in my little storage container of games if it weren’t for him. I think that this is a great addition into the Assassin’s Creed franchise and leads the way for Origins and the upcoming Odyssey. I think that if you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise that this is an awesome addition and can’t be missed. If you’re new to Assassin’s Creed, welcome and this is a great starting point since you can kind of miss some crappy games in between. You’ll miss some good ones too but you can always go back to it. Anyway, this game, while it still has its faults, is just great and shouldn’t be missed.