Assassins Creed has been one of those titles that has been a “Love-Hate” relationship with me. The First game I thought was very bland and lacked substance, but with the return of the franchise and the introduction of Ezio, I was hooked. There have been bumps in the road along with way to “Syndicate” (“Assassins Creed 3” , and “Unity”) but the franchise seems to have gotten back on track. Notably the development team removed any and all multiplayer from the game. A choice that I think many fans of the franchise will applaud at. Many of those resources have been pushed to backdrop, and overall feel of London in the late 1800’s.
You play as twins Evie and Jacob Frye. Evie is a devoted assassins who’s main goal is to stop the Templars by finding the remaining pieces of Eden, while Jacob is a brutish reformer who seems to do everything he can against the Assassins Code of Arms. He is outgoing and seems to find himself in tight spots often. The sibling rivalry plays a good story as you can interchange between both characters as often as you like. Sure there are some story plots that can only be playable with a specific character, but you can complete any of the side missions, or character events with either one of the two. They will share XP, money, and items, however they each will have their own set of skills. Jacob will take the lead on many of the main assassin missions, but Syndicate is more about liberating London from the gang oppressors.
Throughout the game your fighting to take back the city of London, and little bit by little bit you liberate different parts. You can recruit new members to a group you call “The Rooks” to your aid, and if used correctly can come in handy when trying to take down gang strongholds.
I was a little let down in their skill variations. Jacob is supposed to be more combo heavy while Evie is more stealthy, however their skills are not tailored that way. Beside the obvious stealth and combo slots, the other skill tree’s are the exact same. The combo’s are a bit repetitive and become problematic at times, but are fluid in animation.
The London landscape is breathtaking, which leaves Syndicate as one of the better installments since Italy. Sure the team has to nip and tuck various landmarks to bring them closer together, but they are all there. You can explore them, and get a birds eye view of the industrialized city of 1868 London. The game does a good job of introducing characters that make the game amusing and entertaining. Going from tracking down hallucinogenic orchids for Charles Darwin, to doing secret missions for Charles Dickens, this game has a little bit of everything.
There is a lot to enjoy about this game. Does the franchise need a break? Sure it does, but they did turn out a very entertaining game. The choice to ditch multiplayer all together was a very smart move and one that, I believe, made the game better. There was no need for it and would have made the game feel loose. Syndicate is a very good game with a lot to enjoy, and the rivalry between the twins is a breath of fresh air.