Finished, I think, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

This afternoon I finished up the storyline of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. I was a little confused and baffled by the fact there were no ending credits, but after a while of looking for the next ‘story’ mission, I checked google and this seems to be the way it goes.

As is typical of AC games, my “Total Synchronization” is nowhere near 100% (it’s 59%) and there’s a lot of stuff I can do if I feel like I want to keep playing. Chase Trophies or whatnot. I might do a little more, it’s a pretty good game.

This time out we’re in Victorian England playing as Evie and Jacob Frye, twin assassins. If you played Black Flag, you know how it was kind of a pirate game and an assassin game stuck together? Same kind of thing here only Evie is the assassin and Jacob is the fighter. I mean both characters can fill both roles but each of them has a few unique skills that make them better at one thing or the other.

During open world stuff you can play as either one, but the story missions force you to play one character or the other (understandable). Evie is looking for a Piece of Eden while Jacob just wants to take over the gangs on London to weaken the Templar hold on the city. Each sibling kind of thinks the other is doing it wrong.

It’s one of my favorite AC games. I think I still like Black Flag the most, and AC2 was I think objectively a ‘better’ game but I liked this one more than AC2. Part of it is the setting, part of it the characters (Evie in particular I really liked and I played her whenever possible) and part of it (yes I’m shallow) the graphics.

The weird issues where you stick to things (due to the sometimes wonky climbing system) are still here but not as bad as they are in some AC games, and early on you get a grappling hook so you can ascend buildings really quickly and grapple between rooftops. In general I felt like I spent less time climbing around than I have in other AC games, and that was fine with me.

My biggest complaint is they’ve taken away non-lethal combat methods. If you sneak up behind someone you can knock them out, but once in combat you have to either kill your opponent, or flee. Considering there are times when you’re sneaking around places filled with ‘good guy’ guards, it’s kind of frustrating. In the end I just gave up and killed innocent guards just to get through the missions. If I could’ve at least attempted some bare fisted combat against them I think it would’ve made the game better, but there’s no way to unequip your weapon and fight non-lethally.

On the other hand, the GTA-esque sequences where you’re driving a horse and carriage were a complete hoot. Really fun, and a new thing for AC games. Side missions come from characters like Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens and a very young Arthur Conan Doyle. There’s a good variety of side missions should you choose to do them but I didn’t feel pressured to do many of them.

Once again you never leave the Animus/Helix though there are some cut scenes showing what Rebecca, Shawn and Bishop are up to. (And of course they end in a cliff-hanger.)

there’s a good deal of RPG-ness to this one, too. You level up, gain and spend skill points, spend money and resources to craft gear and to get better control of the city and you have a selection of gear slots to fill with a pretty good stream of new goodies. I always enjoy that stuff.

Anyway, so that’s that. I’ve now played all the major AC games to completion except for the original Assassin’s Creed (which, long ago, I opted to experience via watching all the cut scenes on YouTube). And in fact played them all this year! In order I played Black Flag, AC 2, AC Brotherhood, AC Revelations, AC 3, AC Rogue, AC Unity and AC Syndicate. I guess I’m a fan.

Still curious about Origins. I wonder if they’re going to cut out the animus stuff completely? I guess Origins is about the Egyptian Magi forming the first brotherhood of assassins. I’m looking forward to it but still a little worried about how much of reboot it’ll be.

[UPDATE] After posting this I fired up the game to putter around some more. There’s a “rift” that opens somewhere around chapter 6; I ignored it until I was finished the game. It leads to a World War 1 level where you get play as Lydia Frye, the grand-daughter (I guess? The main game takes place in 1868 so you do the math) who is working with a young Winston Churchill. It’s a fun section of the game but it also is the only time in this game you learn more about the Isu (or precursors, if you prefer). So if you’re into the mythos of AC, e sure to play this section!