No longer able to handle it alone, Ubisoft has finally started implementing the same system that Activision offered for the billion USD franchise which is also its main source of money – Call of Duty. After being handled only by Ubisoft Montreal all this time, supported by the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity which was full of technical problems, Ubisoft finally decided to start rotating its flagship history-themed open-world game development process to another developer – Ubisoft Quebec. 2015 is a proving ground for Quebec, which so far only acts as a supporting developer. The answers they offer flow along with an evolving timeline at Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
Most of you who have listened to our preview article seem to have understood what he has to offer. As we previously discussed, the first impression he offers is indeed more solid than what Montreal has to offer at Assassin’s Creed Unity. Unity feels more like an experimental project that is trying to push this popular franchise to a new level, especially in terms of visual and cosmetic quality. A policy that has become a deadly boomerang, especially with the harsh criticism that flows here and there. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a learning project. They understand what’s wrong with Unity, avoid things that make gamers angry, restore what makes them loved, and offer a new setting and character in it.
So, what does Assassin’s Creed Syndicate actually offer? Why do we call it a solid series that doesn’t differ much? This review will discuss it more deeply for you.
In terms of plot, as was customary in the previous series, there weren’t many things that were different in Syndicate. You are still trapped in the classic battle between the Assassins and Templars that never ends with their respective agendas. The Assassins believed that the world deserved a lot of power and decisions, while the Templars struggled to control things in a more autonomous power. The two of them fought in the shadows of history and became a force that influenced many historical icons that we know so far. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is still about the same thread. The difference? This time the battle took place during the Industrial Revolution, England.
You no longer only play one, but two main characters – Jacob and Evie Frye, different sex twins with parents who have upheld their role as an Assassin. With a rebellious young spirit and a strong optimism that they already possessed the abilities of a proper Assassin, the Frye brothers decided to “liberate” London which was ruled by a strong Templar named Crawford Starrick. It was not an easy job, of course, given the Templars’ network which was deeply rooted in various economic sectors at that time.
But Jacob and Evie themselves have two very different points of view regarding the solution to weakening the Templars’ power. Evie felt that the best solution was to seize the Templars’ “main weapon”. That’s right, he wants to find Piece of Eden – a powerful artifact from the first generation civilization that is also the source of the Assassin’s Creed plot – in London. While on the other hand, Jacob prefers to bring this war to a more open area. He believes that the best solution is to root out the power of the Templars who are supported by a gang called the Blighters by creating a new gang called Rooks. By destroying the Blighters, he believed that London would fall under the control of the Assassins. Apart from different methods, the two of them share the same mission which is also supported by an Indian-blooded Assassin – Henry Green.
So, what challenges do Jacob and Evie Frye have to face? Can they free London from the rule of the Templars? Will they find a new Piece of Eden? You can get all the answers to these questions by playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
Much Better Side Mission Design
Two thumbs up deserves to be directed to an element which, in our opinion, is a separate jump from the previous AC Unity series. How many of you remember the trauma of the myriad of overlapping icons on the Paris AC Unity map? Where is Ubisoft desperately trying to present the illusion that they are pinning so many activities to enjoy? The bad news is, it often ends in disappointment because most of these icons actually represent side mission activities that feel trivial, boring, and repetitive. Fortunately, it has had a very significant improvement in AC Syndicate this time. No longer offering quantity, he now sells more quality. An approach, of course, should be welcomed positively.
In keeping with the main theme that revolved around the attempt to throw the gang force called the Blighters into the foundation of the Templars’ rule in London, AC Syndicate offered a side mission design that was more deeply rooted in the concept. You will face London which is divided into various smaller regions, each of which is divided into even smaller areas. Its main mission is to “clean” these areas. No longer have to deal with a myriad of side missions that don’t have any goals, every side mission you complete will have an effect on this main mission. One area will now probably only have 6-8 side missions to complete.
What’s cool again? You won’t be faced with nonsense missions that feel pointless. Most of the side missions that you go through do reflect your active role as an Assassin who is fighting to liberate London. You save child laborers, kill Templar targets, kidnap agents who might come across them, to wage gang wars to take power permanently. Everything is offered in the form of icons that no longer overlap one another. Each of these missions offers extra challenges and freedom of method to complete. Once all of these side missions are subdued, you will be fighting in gang battles with the leader of the Blighters in the region. An Assassin’s Creed experience that feels more straightforward.
Not only that, he also includes several extra missions that are not related to the side mission, such as the opportunity to rob the treasure of the Blighters’ train or steal cargo from their ships on the river Thames, for example. He has no significant effect on efforts to clean London, but contributes money and experience to strengthen your character. Money becomes an important element not only because of the various items and equipment that you have to craft based on the blueprints you find or mission rewards, but also as a foundation to strengthen the gang – The Rooks that you master. That’s right, in addition to the skill tree for the main character you use, your alley will have other skill trees that will have their own babysitter on their effectiveness in the city.
What’s cool again? The charm of his side missions doesn’t stop there. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate also offers several “extra story” missions with iconic historical characters with equally powerful theme adaptations. You will meet Charles Darwin whose theory of evolution was still being challenged by the religious at that time, or Karl Marx who struggled to transmit his ideology to the people of London, or Charles Dickens who was active in exploring various strange phenomena in London. There is a strong feeling that it is your role as a behind the scenes character that makes these names survive and have the opportunity to reveal their various breakthrough creative ideas to the world. Everything is built with the right mix of mission and of course, voice acts that are no less extraordinary.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate executes a side mission that it offers much more perfectly than some of the previous AC series. No longer just coming to an iconic spot and working like a maid with an insignificant role, doing repetitive trivial things, they managed to sell quality over quantity in Syndicate. Each mission has its own charms and extra challenges.
The better news? They don’t make missions like collecting glitches, chests, etc. as something worthy of being included in the map. You can do this to get extra resources for crafting, but it doesn’t feel like a mandatory activity. New mechanical systems such as using vehicles also give birth to new side missions such as racing or time attacks with the extra Fight Club missions which also allow you to fight hand-to-hand in the arena to prove how strong you are.
Main complaint? Strange Futuristic Story!
If there is one thing that makes us feel disappointed and sad about AC Syndicate is the fact that Ubisoft is still struggling to push a plot that actually doesn’t feel as important as it was in the early series. Do you remember when you played Desmond Miles in the first three main series of Assassin’s Creed? The battle of the Templars and Assassins in the futuristic era at that time felt as the main plot that continued to attract attention and provoke curiosity because there was indeed a major conflict there. Desmond is told as a Messiah who will be able to save the world from apocalypse. This is where the characters from First Civilization have a role and always invite surprises, especially in the series Assassin’s Creed 2. You have to know what’s really going on and how important Desmond’s role really is there.
However, after Desmond’s death and his entry as a “side character” for the next AC series, this futuristic point seemed to have lost its way. Ubisoft actually really understands this. He clearly doesn’t offer a new character like Desmond to make the focus of the story more towards historical selling points, while at the same time cutting off gamers from future Abstergo and Templar nonsense. But love a thousand dear, they don’t just give up. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is again trying to build the foundation for a conflict that we personally think will be much more interesting to throw away and need not be followed.
You will meet again with one of the important characters in First Civilization who re-opens and offers a “solution” to a future conflict that seems to be a source of new problems. The bad news? Unlike Desmond, where you have complete control and do play the role of him at some point, Ubisoft decided to “remove” the futurist element from the gameplay.
Everything that happens in the future of AC Syndicate is only offered in the form of a CGI film that shows the ongoing conflict. Then, how can gamers, including us, feel connected and care about this new conflict if he is thrown “lazy” and glimpsed in the form of CGI without any involvement at all? This is where, Ubisoft fails. Failure makes us feel we have to care, worry, and pay attention to whatever will happen in the future with First Civilization back in focus. Impressed, this red thread should have broken off and died since Desmond no longer exists.
AC Syndicate is still an interesting open-world game series to enjoy. It will be a solid series that satisfies fans of this franchise, especially if you were quite disappointed with last year’s Unity. AC Syndicate seems to have learned a lot from the various complaints gamers had raised last year, juggling, and implementing all the things that will make them fall in love with it.
So what can you conclude from Assassin’s Creed Syndicate? A solid series, this is perhaps the most appropriate sentence to describe it. It offers a lot of new things, especially from the gameplay mechanics on offer to side missions that emphasize quality over quantity. But in the end, it didn’t end up offering anything significantly different. At heart, AC Syndicate remains the Assassin’s Creed series you’ve been familiar with, selling a similar open-world design but this time with a more precise combination of elements. With minimal technical problems, Quebec has learned a lot from Unity’s blunders. All these advantages are combined with the design of the city of London that pampers the eye.
However, that doesn’t mean this game is without flaws. The first problem, as we mentioned above, is the theme of a futuristic story involving First Civilization, which seems forced and no longer interesting. Abstergo, Templar, and Juno can no longer provoke curiosity like when Desmond still existed in the past.
The second complaint that deserves to be noted is the NPC’s illusion that it is even worse than Unity. We’re not talking about pop-ups and everything, but the fact that they “refuse” to react to whatever activity you do. Killed an opposing gang member or the police in the crowd? You will find more NPCs who are just silent. The third note is also rooted in the enemy’s AI that is just as stupid. Even when your Stealth is caught and you’ve been fighting openly, it’s often the case that the AI around you seem indifferent and don’t throw any reactions to surround or attack you. The result? Every action has minimal risk.
But despite these notes, AC Syndicate is still an interesting open-world game series to enjoy. It will be a solid series that satisfies fans of this franchise, especially if you were quite disappointed with last year’s Unity. AC Syndicate seems to have learned a lot from the various complaints that gamers raised last year, juggling, and implementing all the things that will make them fall in love with it easily. AC Syndicate is a great and interesting game project. But revolutionary in the sense of changing the allure of the Assassin’s Creed as we know it? Not there yet.