The broken launch of previous entry Unity hit the reputation of this long running franchise and arguably ruined what should have been a triumphant return of the Assassins in their first proper “next-gen” only title.
It was a shame because once the many bugs were fixed in that game what was left over was an excellent title set in French revolution Paris.
I loved Unity, when the issues were ironed out.
So now we find ourselves in industrial revolution London.
Fighting our way to the top of a gang empire run by the evil Templars.
Bit by bit, freeing the numerous boroughs of England’s capital from their tyrannical grip as joint heroes Evie and Jacob Frye.
The city is huge and looks amazing this year as Ubisoft start to push the latest console technology for what it’s worth.
Gamers will be pleased to hear the troubles around framerate and literally-missing character faces from last year are gone.
Much effort has been put into making this Assassins game fluid from the off.
With classy visuals and smooth running as you traverse London Town.
It’s still not perfect. There’s noticeable moments when buildings suddenly pop into existence in the distance.
But overall, a good job.
The game world is big, really big.
Your base is a train that constantly travels around the city’s rail system to give you an ever-mobile base of operations to plot your next targets and prepare for battle.
“Fans of the Assassins games will love every second of this ”
DAILY STAR ONLINE
Freeing up boroughs is great fun and the challenge grows with a Destiny-style rating system that advises you when you’re at the right level to take on certain missions.
Trying to take down a level six gang while on level three is a bad idea, for example. You’ll quickly be killed.
The gameplay is much the same as previous years.
Fighting still feels great and climbing Big Ben is as good a highlight as Assassins Creed’s traversal has ever been.
They’ve thrown in a few blatant rip offs from other games.
Most notably Batman’s grappling hook. It helps you to get around quicker, which is a welcome addition given the size of the map.
But it’s still a bit too much of a rip off and feels like a gimmick at its worst to differentiate this from the last game.
Fighting as Evie seems more brutal than her brother, though the actual time it takes to beat a baddie into submission seems longer.
There’s not a huge difference between the siblings to make the character switching much more than a storytelling tool, each having their own missions to accomplish.
The story is tight, there’s fun interplay between the protagonists and lots of one liners and quips between the bloody fighting.
Beyond the main story, which in itself will take hours to complete, there’s a ton of extra missions to enjoy that prolongs the game.
Plus a multitude of extra downloadable content already out there and planned for the future.
It feels Ubisoft have gone a little safer this year to guarantee a flawless, more classic Assassin’s Creed.
Envelopes don’t feel as pushed as last year.
The streets aren’t as full as Paris, London is beautiful but less buzzing and the story, while good, is somewhat formulaic.
You’ll find yourself tiring of freeing up areas of the map bit by bit.
Although the game does work hard to give you varied missions to break up that tedium.
I enjoyed my time in London. And you will too.
Fans of the Assassins games will love every second of this and Syndicate is such a polished product that non fans will get sucked in too.
A lot of wrongs in 2014 have been righted in 2015.
And with a movie on the way this series is only going to get stronger in future.
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