Game review: Revisit the London of the 1860s in Assasin's Creed Syndicate

The latest edition of Assassin's Creed takes you  through London of the 1860s. Get ready for heady time travel

For years, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been bringing quality mayhem in painstakingly recreated historical settings, becoming one of the most popular games out there. A game that’s reinvented itself in the brilliant Pirate themed Black Flag only to stumble with its foray into the French Revolution, Assassin’s Creed Unity. Now, with Syndicate, the focus shifts to London at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

You play young assassins Jacob and Evie Frye — twins who reach London, each with a separate goal in mind, only to find a city taken over by gangs controlled by Crawford Starrick, a Templar of great power. A turning point in their lives is when Jacob takes a social stand, taking back the city one gang at a time, while Evie is set on tracking down the legendary Piece of Eden, an artefact of great power. This results in a true return to form in storytelling not seen in an Assassin’s Creed since Ezio.

The story of Syndicate is the highest point of the game. Rather than a tale that weaves around history, Jacob and Evie’s story is one of heart. From the beginning of the game their sibling rivalries and mutual respect lights up every scene.
The setting is London of 1868, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, with evil Templar bosses controlling factories that employ child labour, and steam powered machinery chug and hiss tirelessly — straight out of a Charles Dickens novel, except in Syndicate, you actually get to meet the man himself along with other notable characters from the period.

You have the city of London to run across. The free running is fluid and the controls are clearly defined, as you have separate buttons to climb and run down. In addition, you get a grappling hook which is quite nifty as you can reach rooftops easily. Free-running not your thing? You can also ride carriages, which is not recommended though as it's frustrating to steer.

You have two different ways to play the game. Jacob is a bruiser and prefers powering through, with street brawler-like fighting style mixed in with his lithe Assassins skills. Evie is quiet and prefers stealth and kills from the shadows, she’s fast and furious though, attacking with a cane. Syndicate is more brutal than the previous games, with raw power behind its fighting system.

Assassinations in Syndicate are another highlight. You get a target to assassinate, and how you go about it is up to you. You can walk right through the front door, kill anything in between you and your target. If you are more the stealth person, then you can sneak your way to your kill. There are other routes to explore too. Many of the unique kills are dangerous and quite entertaining. The choice is yours.

Syndicate is a big game, with lots of things to do. The best part is undoubtedly the Gangs of New York-styled story and missions. While the game may seem like every other Assassin's Creed edition, it does have a soul of its own.

Syndicate is a gorgeous game, not to mention it was bug free and stable. The game transports you into London, with the sights, sounds and the photo realistic characters, where sometimes you cannot tell if it looks real or a game. One of the finest Assassin’s Creeds to date. Period.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Platform: PC/PS4/Xbox One
Price: PC: Rs 1,799;  Consoles: Rs 3,499
Rating: 4.5/5

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