Thankfully, in the game's leading duo, in its new London playground and in the greater sense of freedom that Syndicate brings, it delivers.
Syndicate is a massive shame. Ubisoft’s yearly development cycle is really beginning to leave its mark on the series. Assassin’s Creed has been good. It is a series that can be great, but unfortunately Syndicate is a misstep. For a series concerned with making its players historical tourists, it is ironic that it is so stuck in the past.
Syndicate is a compulsive game, and in places a fine one. When it is good, when the AI is behaving and it's running well, it's very good. But Syndicate is so adept at self-sabotage that it's nearly impossible to enjoy this world missions, this game. It constantly rips you out of the experience, whether that be from frustration at the mechanics or outright bugginess.
Sure, this isn’t the broken mess that Assassin’s Creed Unity was, but in some ways it’s more of a blemish than its predecessor. After all, this is a functional game that simply isn’t all that fun to play, which is far more damning than any technical glitch could ever be.
Much like the Victorian city that it's based upon, you have to dig into Assassin's Creed Syndicate in order to identify its problems. The core gameplay loop is solid and it's built upon a sound structure, but familiarity and filler lessen the appeal of this open world outing. Vastly improved performance and all around impressive presentation mean that London's most definitely not burning – but there may be a little panic in the offices at Ubisoft.
Ultimately, Syndicate comes off as another Assassin’s Creed game with a handful of improvements. London is beautiful if a bit laborious to travel around, and the missions are repetitive, but this doesn’t make Syndicate bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s still a good game, it just hasn’t made a significant step up over the previous instalment.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate has an interesting setting, iconic characters and solid gameplay. It is, however, not the game that it could’ve been, due to a missing wow factor and some unfortunate glitches.
Syndicate can't quite escape the series' lingering problems, but it gets by on the breezy charm of its leads, ably assisted by a sprightly score and winning script.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate suffers from clunky gameplay and a paper-thin plot filled with flat characters. And no amount of new additions or refined graphics can fix the core issues the series continues to face. Odds are you’ll still have fun with this entry, especially if you’ve stuck with the series for this long, but once you put your controller down, there isn’t much calling you back.
There’s just no spark of life in Syndicate. Everything is so by the book it feels like it was made in factory by the child laborers I’m trying to free. They have refined the combat, stealth and traversal systems to a point where they’re as close to perfect as they’re ever going to get, but the actual content of the game itself refuses to evolve.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is an acrobatic lunge in the right direction for the series. It's a more stable offering than Unity ever was with engaging protagonists, a monster of a city to get lost in, and some shrewd tweaks to the time-tested formula. Contract killing and taking leaps of faith off famous landmarks hasn't been this rewarding since the days of the great Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
When I look at the big picture, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is one of the best installments in years. It does nearly everything perfect, save the bug I mentioned and establishing a bit more gameplay contrast between Evie and Jacob. I think fans of the series will be quite pleased with what they find. Assassin's Creed Syndicate puts the franchise back on track, proving that it does not need a year off.
Victorian London is the star of the show here, and although some old gameplay problems linger, it hasn’t been this much fun to wield the hidden blade in years.
Something of a return to form for the series, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is the perfect marriage of time, place and characters with an entertaining story and fun gameplay to match. London has never seemed so appealing.
While there are still blemishes that stop it matching the heights of Brotherhood or even Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate restores faith in the series by delivering a highly enjoyable open-world experience. Jacob & Evie make for entertaining characters in a beautifully crafted Victorian London filled with content that will keep you busy for weeks.
Even with the glitches I encountered I have found Assassin’s Creed Syndicate to be an engaging addition to the AC franchise. If you’re still feeling a sting from last year’s Unity, I ask you to give Ubisoft another chance. It’s worthy of a play-through for any fan or the series looking for more stealth-killing goodness.
All in all, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is welcome iteration in a series of open-world games that really should have overstayed its welcome by now. Improvements in the core gameplay and traversal, along with a host of great characters and compelling narrative offset its historical backdrop and technical concerns. It's not perfect, but its good enough to warrant a purchase.
Syndicate pushes its thick lore into the background and delivers the most fun and focussed Assassin's game in a while.
That's really Assassin's Creed Syndicate's biggest triumph: It pushes back against the collected cruft of eight years of releases and spinoffs, an imposing accumulation of mechanics and lore and expectations. Syndicate doesn't get everything right. It doesn't solve all of the series' problems, and at this point, I'm not sure if any one game could. However, it's the first step in a uniformly positive direction that the franchise has taken in years.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate may not push the bar forward in anything other than open world design, but that makes it no less of a rollicking Victorian adventure. It’s a safe bet for anyone looking for a fun and lengthy single-player game with distinct grown-up appeal.
Ubisoft has tinkered around behind the hood and gotten this series back on the right track. Long may it continue, as Syndicate is the best Assassin's Creed game in a long, long time.
The game is a triumphant return to form for a franchise, and presents a beautifully structured tale with heart and soul to spare. Ziplining through London is thrilling, and the game allows you to organically discover missions and leaves you open-ended solutions lets you to create a meaningful, personal experience within its world. Coupled with strong, loveable leads and a seemingly endless procession of ways to leave your (fictional) mark on London's history, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is a shining example of gameplay and storytelling.
For all of the familiar parts of Syndicate, it still feels inventive. It may draw inspiration from previous installments, but features like the zipline and revamped progression system demonstrate a willingness to cut stagnant elements loose. With a cool setting, memorable characters, and a wealth of content, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has all of the hallmarks of a great Assassin’s Creed entry – but it also surprised me by challenging what I previously thought a great entry should be.