Why Assassin's Creed Syndicate will be one of the best in the series

The Assassin's Creed series is definitely taking a step in the right direction with a different developer, no multiplayer, and more!

Assassin's Creed Unity was riddled with bugs and glitches that made it a pain to play, and a laughingstock of the game industry. With so many problems, I can't blame fans for being nervous and skeptical about the new installment, Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

However, despite the series' rough patches in the past, Assassin's Creed Syndicate may be the Assassin's Creed game to play. Here's why:

It has a different developer

Contrary to the other Assassin's Creed games, Syndicate is in development by Ubisoft Quebec, not Ubisoft. The company has blatantly stated that they know what is wrong with the series and intend to do their best to fix it.

In an interview with Game Informer, creative director Marc-Alexis Côté stated:

"We’re doing playtests earlier than we’ve ever done them and integrating the feedback into the experience. Not to say we weren’t doing playtests in the past, but we’re doing them much earlier and play-testing the entire experience. This is all stuff we’re doing to ensure that players can be happy on day one, and say how great a game this is."

With a fresh set of eyes working on the series, the game will have a uniqueness never seen in the franchise, one that should make this installment stand out from the others.

The characters have been improved

Evie Frye

Assassin's Creed fans were very disappointed, and a bit baffled, when Ubisoft stated Assassin's Creed Unity wouldn't have a female base for multiplayer. Assassin's Creed Syndicate decided to take that into account. Not only can you play as Jacob Frye, you can play as his twin sister, Evie Frye. 

To put it simply, Evie looks amazing. She knows how to kick some butt and doesn't seem to be sexualized or undermined in any way. Honestly, I can't wait to play as her, and I'm happy the developer is taking fans wishes into account and diversifying the protagonists of their games.

Both characters are playable

According to the Assassin's Creed website, the game will have missions specific for each character - Evie being more stealth based than her brother, who focuses on brute strength. As Jeff Skalski, the senior producer of Ubisoft put it, Jacob is the rebel and Evie is more reserved.

In free-roam, the player is allowed to choose either character to explore and get collectibles with. Being able to play as both characters allows for more diverse gameplay, and more interesting gameplay. Players won't be stuck with one boring character throughout the events of the game, they'll be able to choose their favorite and use them to make things more interesting.

Inclusion of a transgender character

In a recent press release by Ubisoft, it was announced that there would be a transgender character by the name of Ned Wynert. He is a trans man who will act as a supporting character and a quest giver. His connection to Jacob and Evie and how extensive his role actually is remains unclear.

While other AAA games have included LGBT characters in the past (The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat X, Dragon Age: Inquisition), this is a huge step forward for diversity within the Assassin's Creed series. They have included a female character, a playable female character, and now a transgender character. 

It speaks volumes to me and makes me want to play the game even more.

The story is getting revamped

It's not centered on revenge

In an IGN exclusive video featuring Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the developer stated that the game will not be another revenge story; it will be a tale of siblings (Evie and Jacob). 

According to the video, the two characters will be vastly different, which will make the game, and playing as both characters, very interesting.  

Previous revenge stories in the series have flopped (AC3, AC Unity). Since Syndicate will differ from them, hopefully it won't be as bad.

Not to mention, brother/sister stories can go many different ways. IGN's video states that the two will have an almost sibling rivalry, continuously pushing each other to be better. Because of the banter and interactions between the siblings, the game should also be less cryptic than Assassin's Creed games in the past. 

Stopping a rogue Templar gang

In the new trailer for the story, fans got a feel for the countless villains they will be fighting and stopping throughout the story. In between Jacob's quips, the trailer shows that players will be stopping a treacherous Templar gang from ruling the streets of London in future generations.

This outlook has not been seen in many of the earlier AC games, where events took place over multiple years during the course of a revolution. Syndicate will be a new type of story and, hopefully, a more interesting one. Either way, it will bring something fresh to a series that has spent a little too much time focusing on revolutions in the previous iterations.

A fresh time period and setting

Assassin's Creed Syndicate takes place in London during the Industrial Revolution. While a lot of the newest Assassin's Creed games have taken place during revolutions of some sort (the American Revolution and the French Revolution), the Industrial Revolution will be completely different. Syndicate will not take place during a war, so the game won't be strings of battle after battle.

You are the leader of a gang

Evie and Jacob will be leading their gang, the Rooks. Not only is this just a cool idea in general, but it allows a player to have a lot of extra help on hand. 

In the aforementioned Game Informer interview, Côté stated that the gang would move with you, even within main missions. And they won't just be another set of stupid AI bots:

"One of the things that’s cool with that is that they are aware. Say you’ve got five Rooks with you, and you move onto a growler. A growler has four seats, including the driver’s seat – so there’s only space for three Rooks. One goes into the passenger seat, two come into the carriage, and the other two will actually steal another cart and join you. So you really have the impression that you are moving with your gang and that you can use them to attack your target, invade another borough, even in the main missions."

London is awesome

Who isn't looking forward to hearing assassins (and all the other characters for that matter) with British accents? I'm looking forward to it, and I've never met anyone with an affinity for such accents.

Not to mention London is beautiful. The scenery is absolutely amazing and, without a doubt, gorgeous. It should be a great time, being able to explore such a wonderful setting.

There's no multiplayer

By not putting so much focus on the multiplayer aspect of the game, the single player experience should be so much better. This means no glitches, no bugs...none of the nonsense that occurred in AC Unity.

Hopefully, this will also mean a more well-rounded game with no crappy, pointless missions (like chasing down a hot air balloon), and intuitive gameplay.

Marc-Alexis Côté explained this choice in his interview as well:

"It’s really about returning to our roots. Returning to what made this series such a success. For us, it’s truly the single-player experience, and investing in that that’s going to make Assassin’s Creed feel more modern and fresh for our players."

Final Notes

There is no guarantee Assassin's Creed Syndicate will be that great. It could be a flop. However, with Ubisoft Quebec taking the reigns on this project and the good direction they seem to be moving in, the game could actually live up to its hype. 

Assassin's Creed Syndicate releases October 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Be sure to let us know whether you agree or disagree in the comments below!

[Image sources: 1, 2, 3]

Published Sep. 26th 2015
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    You had me until you tried to pin the blame of the glitches and bugs in Unity on the game's multiplayer. Multiplayer has never been a problem in the series, and was not the reason Unity had bugs at launch. I don't know why everyone acts as if multiplayer is this abstract blackhole that absorbs any greater amount of resources than any other aspect of the game. Just because they dropped multiplayer doesn't make the engine more stable -- it just means a feature that some people buy the Assassin's Creed games for is gone.

    And yes, some of us buy Assassin's Creed for the fantastic rush of Assassination mode and the cooperative fun in Wolfpack. Assassin's Creed even has an amateur esports tournament scene, it's just mostly small personal leagues instead of professional grade like DOTA. By removing all multiplayer, they're dropping an award winning feature that many of us were already disappointed to see absent in AC: Unity.

    Unity's co-op was not the same as the rest of the series multiplayer, but since that game flubbed up and had a focus on co-op, the rest of the fantastic multiplayer has to suffer? Really? I'm sorry, but I'm calling BS on that about as much as I called BS on them having to drop any form of PvP from Unity. They keep trying to remake (or just flat out destroy) the wheel when it was working fine.

    There's been nothing in AC Syndicate to indicate it's been vastly improved from a stability standpoint by removing the multiplayer. In fact, as I recall, some previews noted graphical issues and notable amounts of pop-in (which was also a problem with Watch_Dogs, even on PC).

    While I'm glad Evie's playable and the story is going in a new direction, I am far from sold as to this latest excuse for the failure of Unity. It failed because it was directed by the same man who directed Revelations, was built on an unfinished and poorly optimized engine, was sloppily written and designed, and had a hell of a lot of pretentiousness stewing around it. Sadly, that last point seems to be remaining a bit with Quebec insisting they "know" what to do. That remains to be seen.

    I don't mean to be making a huge tear out of a single point but it highlights the problem with Syndicate that worries me the most -- they're making scapegoats out of things that weren't really the problem while seemingly ignoring the bigger issues. Syndicate could have the best, most progressive storyline of 2015, but if it's still poorly optimized then it will still run like arse. Blame poor programming, not something that was working just fine in the Assassin's Creed IV build of the Anvil engine.

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