Back in 2007, Ubisoft, an established game company, brought to the world Assassin’s Creed. They have made an answering game every year since. Their latest, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate which launched October 23, 2015.
I’m not one for picking apart games, especially while I am playing them. I become too involved with what I am trying to do to notice the quality, graphics, handling, or any other technical issue that bothers more hardcore gamers. I’m in it for the fun, the aesthetics, and the story.
The first thing I liked about Syndicate was the immediate entrance into the game. You are first introduced to a small cut scene and then you are working your first mission. The second thing I noticed and liked about this game was the tutorial period. Tutorials have become the norm for modern gaming. Ubisoft’s AC game last year, Unity, took you over an hour almost two hours through a tutorial faze. Syndicate did not insult you in such a way.
This year Ubisoft was able to find a balance for their tutorial system that worked for both seasoned players of the game and newbies who wouldn’t be used to any of the mechanics. During your first mission tutorial bullet points popped up on screen without disrupting freedom of movement. This worked for me because I could move about the way I was used to, but still glance at the tutorial if say the running mechanic has been switched to a different combinations of buttons.
The tutorial continues for a while, but you don’t notice because you are still free to move about as you please. During the game when you encounter a new aspect a tutorial screen would pop up giving you three blocks of text to read through. This screen doesn’t enable you continue game play. I haven’t found these screens too annoying. I read through it quickly and then continue with my game. I do wish some that Ubisoft had found a different way to introduce new mechanics, but all the same the experience was not lessened too much. I would just like to take this time to say that I have not fully played through the game. I have played enough hours to feel justified in my opinions of everything about to be said or that has been said.
So far I have found the characters, Jacob and Evie Frye, to be singular in their approach. Jacob is a quick witted, sarcastic guy, but he has nothing new to say and most of his declarations are cliche and unoriginal. Evie boasts to be smarter than her brother, but even she isn’t dynamic enough to want me to play her for long. It’s almost as if the game developers couldn’t be bothered enough to make one interesting, attention grabbing character and instead split up the few ideas they did have into two separate characters. If that’s so I don’t think that was the best course of action.
While roaming around the city you gain main missions, that’s right missions as in plural, and of course your collectibles and side missions. As you gain more associates their tasks for you pop up on the map as main missions. This became so confusing after just a few missions. With both Jacob and Evie gathering up many different main missions at once the story became unclear. I could be playing as Jacob one mission, during that mission he gains two more main objectives and then I switch to Evie and find the same. Then I’m left to stare at the map not quite remembering what happened last in the story or even what order already played events had taken place and now have three or four different main mission icons to choose from.
The addition the the way skills are added are also a bit off putting to me as well. When I’m in the skills menu it’s hard for me to keep track of how many points each character has to spend and when I’m playing from Jacob to Evie I can’t ever remember what one has and the other doesn’t. Also when in the skills menu I feel like I should be commanding a fleet once more, like I was back in Black Flag.
As for free roaming the city, climbing building (sometimes using the rope launcher because I’m lazy) has all been great fun. I don’t even mind the added transport method of the horse and buggy.
I’ll continue playing this game solely because the city is beautiful, the characters are great to make fun of, and sometimes you just need to be able to knife someone in the back of the head from several yards away. I own Black Flag, Unity, and now Syndicate. In the future I may not be investing in these games anymore or at least I’ll wait until the price drops below $30.