I was recently able to go to a small event that GAME had put together in our local town centre of Sittingbourne, and Ubisoft had stepped in to provide some entertainment, which included two playable codes of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate which is (from what I’ve been told) the first-time Assassin’s Creed that has been made available to the public before release.
I was able to play two sections one as Evie which was the same code from Gamescom and another as Jacob who was six months old. To start with the older code I was pretty impressed with the game aesthetically, 1800’s London looks great, there were horse and carriages passing by, the buildings looked detailed and impressive. There weren’t as many crowds as you see in Unity but one could imagine how it could look upon the game’s completion. Some of the brand-new additions to the franchise included a new way of traversing the environment which is in the shape of a grappling hook, taking a leaf out of Batman’s book. Your Assassin can now grapple up or across to other buildings making traversal easier and quicker.
At the beginning of Jacob’s Demo I had to take out a bunch of enemies to free some allies, at first I went in stealthily, and as I do so, Jacob whips off his top hat bringing up his hood. After eliminating a few guards, I then gave the combat a try, and my gosh, it is brutal, smashing heads off your knee then on to the pavement looked bloody painful! Jacob certainly has a unique fighting style compared to previous assassins. He’s a slugger, he hits are hard and have a variety of brutal take-downs, snapping arms and sending foes into a face plant.
This is probably the most violent Assassin’s yet! You can also commandeer yourself a horse and cart, in one sequence I ended up in a chase, where I could jump from carriage to carriage, however, it ended up as a mass pile up, horses, bodies were all over the place, and I ended up dead. The second attempt went much smoother and is a nice change of pace for a game that mainly consists of running on roof tops, of course it’s not as fun as Black Flags Naval warfare but GTA Horse and Cart sprung to mind. Finally, the demo came to a rest in a ‘Gangs of New York’ style face off where two gangs went head to head, it was great fighting alongside your fellow companions and from just fifteen minutes of game play there was plenty of variety, which left me with a good impression.
The Evie demo was up next. This was the Gamescom code, and it really impressed me, mainly due to the fact Evie (who is Jacob’s sister) is an absolute bad ass! Evie plays very different to Jacob. She’s more of a stealthy character, sticking to the shadows and quickly dispatching foes, it actually adds needed variety after playing as action man Jacob. The visuals also had a slight upgrade, there were more crowds this time and London at night looked drab and dreary as industrial London never slept. Lighting off-street lamps looked striking and the game definitely had an impressive atmosphere about it. I noticed very little pop in, and the frame rate was extremely steady as I made my way through the streets and along the roof tops.
I had the objective to get inside a building and eliminate the target. I could do this by either stealing a key or dressing as a guard or simply fight my way in, this offered some nice variety in how to tackle a situation rather than going from A to B to C. I went for the key option, as I made my way into the building, I was quickly confronted by two Templars. It was time to see what Evie could do, and my god, she’s not to be trifled with! Evie’s fighting style is incredibly slick, as she fights with a cane and sword.
And during this small sequence in this little corridor, what unfolded looked like a martial arts film, Evie’s combos are fast and swift and at one point I pinned, a Templar against a wall with her cane, and Evie literally eviscerated him, my (along with several people watching me play) jaw dropped to the floor at that moment. I eventually fought my way through, so that I could finally eliminate my target, which was accomplished by a graceful aerial assassination! I truly like the concept of being able to play as two different characters that have distinct play’s styles, they seem deep and interesting enough to keep you engaged throughout the game and I sincerely look forward to seeing more.
There were also a few questions I asked after the demo, it was confirmed that there will be no multi-player whatsoever and game is single player focused. There will be exclusive DLC for the PlayStation Platform. The game will be 60FPS and 1080P. Evie and Jacob can be selected to play as and have their own missions and stories, however, Jacob was stated as being the main character. The Abstergo sections will be present but nothing else can be said as to what you will be doing. There will be a Season pass. No, Jack the Ripper is not in the game but you’ll get to meet Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
The demo sections really left me with a good lasting impression, as it stands this looks to be a better game than Unity! Game-play wise it’s very enjoyable, a few simple additions have added some freshness to the game-play. The combat is without a doubt the best I’ve witnessed in an AC game; it’s bloody, brutal, slick and cool. Of course, the story remains to be seen, but it did remind me of Gangs of New York, especially while playing as Jacob, and I can’t wait for gathering my crew for more full-on fights. Industrial London looks fantastic, with pollution being pumped into the skies and how the lanterns light the night sky. Ubisoft has certainly addressed many concerns after Unity and while Unity wasn’t necessarily a bad game, it simply wasn’t ready to be released, with Syndicate that’s not the case. For the first-time, Ubisoft has let the general public try out the game two months before release, and as it stands, the game looks very promising.
The most important thing I took away from playing Syndicate is that it was fun to play! Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be released on the 23rd of October on PS4, Xbox One & PC
The Gaming Ground
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