Random Article

Event News

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Killing Templars has never been this fun



Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Genre(s): Open-world action-adventure
Mode(s): Singleplayer
Game Type: , ,
90/ 100

User Rating
1 total rating



The Twin Assassins! Character driven storyline A control scheme that blends both old and new mechanics Black Box Missions Victorian London! There are a lot of throwbacks to the series past (and the future if you look around hard enough) Best voice cast ever assembled for an AC game


Modern-day storyline is still a mess Carriage driving mechanics are a bit wonky Evie could've been used in more missions.

Bottom Line

While recent entries such as AC: Black Flag was a fun adventure in the seas and AC: Unity was a beautiful mess of a game, the Assassin’s Creed franchise hasn’t been able to produce an installment on par with the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Set in the bustling streets of London during the Industrial […]

Posted November 7, 2015 by



While recent entries such as AC: Black Flag was a fun adventure in the seas and AC: Unity was a beautiful mess of a game, the Assassin’s Creed franchise hasn’t been able to produce an installment on par with the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Set in the bustling streets of London during the Industrial Age, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate tells the story of twin Assassins and their journey in freeing England’s capital city from Templar control. Beautiful, fun and with an engaging storyline to boot, we’re happy to say that Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a return to form for the franchise.


One of the first things to note is that, for the first time in ages, the cast of characters and narrative are quite memorable. Truth be told, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate might have the best cast in the franchise’s history. Voice casting is just spot-on. Historical figures such as Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and Alexander Graham Bell are a joy to meet and would sure make history buffs geek out. As for the game’s villains, Crawford Starrick, Grand Master of London’s villainous Templars, is absolutely divine. His partners in crime? Nicely written as well. Of course, this wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game without its titular assassins. Enter Jacob and Evie Frye.


A first for the franchise, there are two Assassins to play with this time. One could play as either Jacob or Evie with a simple switch from the in-game menu. Although some story missions would specifically require one of the twins (Jacob most of the time), you’re free to play with whomever you want when you’re out and about in the city. This setup works brilliantly. Jacob, being brash and impulsive, is combat focused and Evie, being the more level-headed sibling, plays like your traditional stealthy assassin. And if you seem to favor one Assassin from another, there’ll be no worries in leveling up or equipping items to your characters as they earn experience and money collectively. Being able to switch between the two (even though come by the endgame there isn’t much difference at all) is absolutely welcome, but what stands out is how these two play-off with each other.


While previous installments was torn between the entire Assassins vs Templars storyline, the search for the Pieces of Eden, and the protagonists’ personal motivations of throwing themselves into the conflict, splitting that focus between the twins is a stroke of brilliance on the part of the developers. Being the more impulsive one between the two, Jacob seeks to free London from the Templars by creating his own gang, The Rooks, to rival the Templars’ Blighters. This, of course, puts him on the course of directly butting heads with Templar leaders in the process. Evie, on the other hand, aims to defeat the Templars by following the footsteps of her father and find the Pieces of Eden before the Templars do. Naturally, this creates a bit of sibling rivalry, with many of the game’s best lines coming out of the fun and occasionally snide banter between the two. Add in the fact that Jacob tends to go over the top with his antics at times thus requiring Evie to step in and clean up her brother’s mess, both are among the best protagonists the franchise has ever produced. One doesn’t need to be steeped in the lore of the series in order to enjoy the story. It is the twins’ motivations that absolutely drive the story and makes it a very memorable one. If I had to choose between Ezio Auditore (the protagonist of AC II, Brotherhood, and Revelations) and Evie Frye, it’d be AC: Syndicate’s protagonist that’d come out on top.




Upon synchronizing atop one of the game’s numerous viewpoints, you get a view of just how beautiful and rotten Victorian London is. Westminster and the Strand may look posh and worry-free, but head over to Lambeth and you can see gangs bullying citizens and factories fun by children. Of course, iconic locations such as The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are present (with some of the game’s more exciting missions occurring in said places). Climbing Big Ben is an absolute treat. By day, carriages roam around London’s bustling streets. Cargo ships sail the Thames. There are various fight clubs in the city for you to bare down to your knickers and beat up men for money. At night, the city becomes more interesting. Hang out with Charles Dickens in a pub and you might be off to disproving urban myths. Bump into Karl Marx and you might just help him out foil an attempt on the life of Communism’s forefathers. There’s so much to do and so much to see. It’s a testament to just how Ubisoft Montreal painstakingly recreated how London is like in the 1890s.


Everything you do, whether it be story missions or side quests, will slowly but surely change the face of London. A memory sequence that started out with an investigation of a bank heist that would soon escalate into a high profile assassination mission in the Bank of London ended up with Evie Frye trying to stop the collapse of the economy of England. Throughout the hours spent in this sequence, paperboys and papergirls can be heard shouting news of bank heists. The citizens of London, upon learning the circulation of fake bank notes, started rallying in the streets. Accomplish side-quests such as clearing out gang strongholds or liberating children from factories and the streets slowly transform into a safer place to live in. With gameplay elements that support the narrative, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is all the more better for it.


Also better this year would be the reworked controls and core gameplay mechanics. If I were to describe it, it’s a mix of Unity’s free-running controls matched with a faster and more responsive combat system. If you’re a fan of Baritsu (an English martial art seen used by Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes), then you’re in for a treat as combat is very much like it. It’s faster, dynamic, and much more brutal. AI opponents, unlike previous entries, don’t simply wait and strike when there’s an opening. The X/A button on consoles now functions as a stealth button. Press it and your chosen Assassin will crouch, don their hood, and stick to cover whenever it’s nearby. It’s quite a neat solution. Whistling also makes a very welcome comeback. Free-running is as good as ever. There’s still the occasional touching the wrong ‘handrail’ when climbing, but it’s a minor afterthought after the introduction of so many travelling options.


Thirty percent bigger than AC Unity’s Paris, getting around London would definitely be a chore. Good thing Ubisoft introduced new traversal mechanics that make things fun and more exciting. The rope launcher pretty much functions like Batman’s grapnel hook. It gives players an easier time to ascend buildings and zip around the city. And trust me, there’s nothing quite like zip-lining from the top of Big Ben to some nearby building. Very much like Batman’s grapnel hook, the rope launcher gives you more creative avenues to assassinate people. There are also trains (one of which actually functions as your mobile base) that you can hitch a ride in. And finally, carriages. Carriage driving is a bit of a mix bag. On one hand, it’s definitely the fastest ways to travel. Recruited gang members (more on this later) can ride with you and protect you as you go. Unfortunately, driving mechanics isn’t as smooth as one would imagine. If you played Ubisoft’s Watchdogs, handling is pretty much the same here. Carriage combat, essentially ramming your carriage to an opponent’s carriage to knock them down, can be frustrating at times as there would be moments when your cart would go in the wrong direction.


And finally, assassinations. Syndicate does them better than ever with more unique and intriguing ways to take down your targets via the black box missions. For instance, an assassination mission in the Tower of London could go so many ways. You could traditionally sneak around, occasionally fighting your way to your target. You can choose to free the captain of the guard, enlisting him and his men to go with you to battle to take out the Templar scum. You could pickpocket the Keys of the Queen, thereby giving you access to all the rooms and sneakily kill your target. Or you can go for those oh-so unique kills. Help out a guard in need, pretend to be captured by the fellow, and you’ll be led straight to your target’s office. With her guard down and thinking you were handed to her on a silver platter, you strike in the middle of her monologue and the deed is done.


This is where Assassin’s Creed as a whole is at its very best. With the zip launcher, there are so many ways to sneak around and find vantage points to take down your enemies. Feel like creating a distraction? Call in your Rooks and have them fight your battles. These black box missions are where you get to feel like an actual assassin and get creative with your kills. And with so many ways to do it, the temptation to find ways to creatively kill your targets is too great (at least it is for me).


The game has its fair share of successes and failures (as any triple A game of its kind always has). But, the fantastic narrative driven by gameplay mechanics definitely overshadows the bad. It makes them unnoticeable at all. The modern day stories may be a convoluted mess at this point, but the experience of journeying through its quasi-historical take on London is what makes this a great entry. For the first time since the Ezio Trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has finally hit video game gold once again.

Neil Santiago

Neil Santiago is an actor and playwright by trade. Theatre is his passion and is not ashamed of unleashing his full anorak on all things geeky. When not busy acting or writing plays, he busies himself with either getting lost around the metro or getting fit with a RIP 60.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response