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Five Things You Should Know About Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

by Joe Juba on May 12, 2015 at 06:30 AM

Today, Ubisoft unveiled this year’s major entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (formerly referred to as Victory) brings the series forward in time, set about 75 years after the events of Assassin’s Creed Unity. With two new heroes, a compelling time period to explore, and improvements both large and small, developer Ubisoft Quebec aims to move the series forward with Syndicate while remaining mindful of Assassin’s Creed’s roots.

Entries in this franchise are ambitious, and have a broad scope. Syndicate is no different, but we’ve distilled down the five main features every Assassin’s Creed fan should know about the latest installment.

1. London, 1868
We’ve known about the general Victorian-era setting since the game’s existence was first revealed, but now we have specifics. Syndicate is set in London in 1868, after the industrial revolution. Though only 75 years have passed since Unity’s story, those decades were full of astounding technological progress. Advances with machine manufacturing and electricity have resulted in a much more modern world, and players explore it by climbing, riding, and running through seven boroughs of London. If you’ve seen shows like Peaky Blinders, you have a good idea of the gritty, industrial, and crime-infested version of London that surrounds you in Syndicate – with more of an Assassin’s Creed vibe, of course.

2. Two Playable Characters
Syndicate has two starring characters: the twin siblings Jacob and Evie Frye. Players will control both of them through the course of the story, since some missions involve Jacob or Evie specifically. However, when you are exploring the world and completing activities outside of the main campaign, you can take control of either one of the characters. Jacob and Evie are each upgraded separately, so it isn’t just a basic costume change; the siblings have different abilities that complement their personalities.

3. You Are A Gang Leader
Jacob and Evie are jointly in charge of a gang called the Rooks. The boroughs of London are under Templar control, and players will use the Rooks to build influence and fight back against the oppressive order. Similar to taking back districts in previous AC titles, the activities you complete in each borough – from saving citizens to fighting back against rival gangs – help you expand your territory. Once you get a foothold in an area, you might see some of your Rooks underlings on the street, and you can recruit them to help you with missions.

4. Single-Player Only
Despite the emphasis on twin siblings and gang activities, Syndicate does not have any multiplayer modes. While this may be disappointing for those who enjoyed Unity’s co-op component, Ubisoft says this single-player focus is about bringing the franchise back to its roots.

5. Ease of Movement
This larger point encompasses several smaller tweaks and innovations to ensure that players have more fun moving around their environment. The first addition is a grapple launcher that allows you cover wide distances quickly – kind of like a tool out of Batman’s utility belt. The team has also added vehicles to the streets, like horse-drawn carriages, that you can hop into and drive (even with gang members in tow). The ability to ride in style doesn’t mean you won’t still be climbing; navigating building facades is still a core mechanic, particularly when you need to slip into places unnoticed. The game will also generally read your intention better than Unity did, making it harder to get caught up on objects – especially during stalking and stealth. Considering that exploring a historical world is such a major draw of the Assassin’s Creed, any improvements that make it easier to get immersed in your surroundings are welcome.

Of course, that isn’t all there is to know about Syndicate. For more info straight from the source, read our full interview with creative director Marc-Alexis Côté.