Assassin's Creed Syndicate

There is one side mission chain that is of inexcusably inferior quality and stood out as a blemish against every other rough edge I encountered. I still 100% synced it, but oof.

I felt like I was sliding downhill the entire time I played Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. There was a sense of real quality and craft at the beginning, and this gradually diminished over time until it felt as though the entire design team was over it by the end. I jumped ahead to the next entry in the core series, Origins, and it felt like I was playing a game from the future.

There’s a lot to love in Syndicate, though. The protagonists are both gorgeous and play their characters to the hilt, despite much of their development  rushed by the ham-fisted handling of the narrative in later missions. The centerpiece of every Assassin’s Creed game is the setting, and credit where credit is due: Ubisoft built a believable and detailed recreation of Victorian London, one that I’ll remember for a long time.

Full synchronization was easier than Unity, with the only frustration being the collectibles. It would have been nice to have a map or some other form of direction-finding for the last section, especially as the design team inexplicably chose not to have one despite purchasable maps being present in the main portion of the game.

From the thirty minutes of Origin that I’ve played, it seems that Syndicate was the end of an era for Ubisoft’s tentpole franchise. The game systems were in sore need of a refresher, having evolved very little since Brotherhood, aside from repackaging that did little to hide the crumbling foundations. I think Ubisoft would not be wasting resources if they chose to do a remake of Syndicate that incorporated more of the newer design philosophies, but it would probably be better to let London lie as an artifact for the video game museum and focus on producing new iterations.


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