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Assassins Creed

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Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate Xbox One file size revealed

Roughly what we expected
Oct 05
// Laura Kate Dale
If you're an Xbox One owner and are planning to get a digital copy of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, the time has come to ensure you've got enough space free on your hard drive. Thanks to the game's digital pre-order page going...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Welp, Assassin's Creed Syndicate will have microtransactions

Oct 01
// Chris Carter
Oy bruv, you fancy microtransactions? Ubisoft has announced, that like Unity, the upcoming Assassin's Creed Syndicate will sport microtransactions, which can be used to "save time and accelerate progress." Director Franc...

What does the Destructoid UK Team think of Assassin's Creed Syndicate?

Sep 29 // Laura Kate Dale
Joe Parlock - Somewhat Disappointed I’ve been a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed ever since the first game came out, and I’ve made sure to play every one of the major releases in the series. From Assassin’s Creed through to Unity and Rogue, I’ve played every one of them, and for the most part have enjoyed all of them to varying degrees. Like everyone else ever, I had major problems with Unity: it was buggy, I wasn’t a fan of the weird time-jumping sections, and I thought the game’s combat was ridiculously stacked in the ranged guards’ favour. Unity is one of my least favourite games in the series, but it still had positives. It removed the ship-combat that Assassin’s Creed III had introduced, and felt in a lot of ways more like a historical Watch Dogs or even Splinter Cell than a Creed game. Assassin’s Creed has a habit of every other game being fantastic and improving massively on the one that came before. Assassin’s Creed II took the slightly repetitive and basic gameplay of Assassin’s Creed, put it in a new setting, and gave the missions so much more variety, while Black Flag improved on III’s ship mechanics.  That’s why going into the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate demo at EGX 2015, I was expecting a refinement of what Unity introduced. I was hoping for better combat and fewer bugs, while still retaining that fantastically detailed and crafted world. I was wanting from Unity. Unfortunately, Syndicate is not the refinement I was hoping it would be. The demo I played at EGX put me in the shoes of Evie Frye, the sneakier of the game’s two leads, as she tried to infiltrate a building to kill her target. The area was crawling with Royal Guards, as well as my target’s own personal bodyguards. One of Evie’s tricks, and a new addition to the series, is the new “stealth” button. At the press of a button, Evie will pull her hood up, letting her turn practically invisible as long as she remains still. When it first started, Assassin’s Creed was all about social stealth. Blending into crowds, making sure you’re not too conspicuous in front of guards, making friends and allies in the environment to help you win, that sort of thing. The stealth button really felt like too much of a simplification to me considering the rooftop gardens and huge crowds that mask your approach being such a staple of the series before now. To get in and do the stabby, I was shown a whole load of different approaches: I could use an Assassin disguised as a guard to pretend to arrest me and walk me straight to the target, or I could go and save the captain of the real guards, who would then let me recruit them for my own purposes. So I sneaked my way around to the chief constable, making sure to avoid any Royal Guards along the way. A great new addition in Syndicate is the line launcher, which lets you scale buildings much faster than you’ve ever been able to before. It felt a lot like the lifts and rope pulleys scattered around previous games, but usable whenever I wanted it to. It really added a lot to the movement system, which was already one of my favourite changes made in Unity.   Once I’d saved the constable, I was able to ignore the Royal Guard. They were on my side now, and I could recruit them to walk with me straight to the target. I made sure not to cause too much commotion before making it to her, as I knew I might need my new pals to help deal with her own guards. And that’s when it all got a bit broken. The demo I got to try at EGX is an old one. It’s buggy and the performance isn’t great. Normally for demos at shows like EGX, you accept that the builds aren’t representative of the final product and will have problems that are ironed out come the game’s full release. However, considering the state Unity released in, I think it’s relevant to talk about just how buggy my experience with Syndicate was just over a month before it launches. I managed to make my way to the target on my own, taking out the target’s own guards without too much hassle. Once I was in range of my quarry, I summoned my new Royal Guard friends and triggered what I was expecting to be a huge fight between the factions, during which I could slip through and kill my target. I’d done it before in other Assassin’s Creed games; ever since the first one you’ve been able to hire brawlers to cause distractions for you. As it was, nothing happened. Every single person in that room stood still for a short time, and then a load of them dropped dead. The animations hadn’t played, but the damage was suddenly applied to compensate. All my hard work of saving the constable and making my way to the target had been for absolutely bloody nothing because of a bug, and that was when it hit me that what I saw of Syndicate was the same as anything I’d seen in Unity. The line launcher was a cool new addition, but everything else was the same or worse. The combat was the same, the setting felt nowhere near as detailed as Unity’s Paris (and is also very visually similar to Paris, which only added to the feeling of seeing this all before), and the new stealth system felt like such a step-back for the series. I’m sure I’ll play Syndicate eventually. Victorian London is my dream setting for the series (behind 1960s Mods vs. Rockers, that is), but I’m not expecting it to be the next Black Flag by any stretch. I ultimately walked away from the demo disappointed that it seemed like Ubisoft haven’t fully understood what made Unity as lackluster as it was. Laura Dale - Mostly Positive My thoughts on Assassin's Creed Syndicate were far more surface-level than Joe's, mainly due to my far more casual past experience with the series. The first Assassin's Creed game I played to completion was Assassin's Creed III when the Wii U launched, followed by incomplete playthroughs of most of the other entries in the series. I enjoy the core gameplay loop enough, but I don't need to dedicate the time to complete one of these games every year. For me, if I'm going to play another Assassin's Creed to completion, I'm going to need to be drawn in by something unique. I've been somewhat hoping that the setting and female playable protagonist in Syndicate would be the change up I needed to get back in to the series. From my time with the game at EGX, I'm fairly confident that I will actually play this Assassin's Creed to completion. First up, it's important to note that I did not bump in to any of the bugs that Joe faced in his demo of the game. While this doesn't invalidate any of his criticisms, I left the demo feeling far more confident in the game's level of overall polish and presentation.  For me, the appeal here was all down to setting, tone and character. The cobbled streets of London meshed well with the historical image of the town that a few decades of history lessons in England had instilled in me of the town. From the dingy streets that would have felt at home in Sweeny Todd to the guards at the Tower of London, everything felt tonally where it should be. This felt like an Assassin's Creed setting I actually had some historical context for, and that really added to my connection to the game world. Really, it was the smaller details that drew me in most. Actually seeing a Great British Pounds Sterling icon (£) pop up in game when I collected in game currency was such a novelty that I could not help but smile. When it came to the EGX build of the game, we were given control of the series new female protagonist Evie. While the character was clearly built for stealth gameplay, to the point that their ability to go unseen bordered on narratively ludicrous, I ended up having the most fun ignoring this stealth focus and running in metaphorically guns blazing. Getting to run through the gardens of the Tower of London as a badass looking lady, smacking royal guards around the head with a cane and expertly zipping away to a roof before backup could find me felt simply divine. I know simply changing the gender of the playable protagonist shouldn't make a huge difference to my feelings on the game, but it really did. Getting to be a badass lady assassin is something really blooming cool. While I suspect Joe's breakdown on the mechanical aspects of Syndicate will be of a lot of use to longtime fans, as someone who lightly dabbles with the series the most important thing to me was the change in feel. As a British lady who grew up primarily aware of English, London-centric history, getting to explore that version of London as a badass cane-wielding woman really served to reignite my interest in a series that by all accounts I should enjoy more than I seem to.
Syndicate photo
We Brits have opinions on stuff
At the tail end of last week, UK editor Laura Dale and news team member Joe Parlock both whisked themselves away to the EGX games convention in Birmingham to play a bunch of unreleased video games. Top of their lists? Assassi...

Must be expensive photo
Must be expensive

Assassin's Creed Syndicate features a transgender NPC

Cue the cries of 'caving to SJWs'
Sep 25
// Jed Whitaker
Great news everyone, Assassin's Creed Syndicate will feature the series' first transgender character! Ned Wynert is a trans male NPC who will provide quests to either of the playable characters. This announcement co...

Assassin's Creed producer talks returning to the series' roots

Sep 24 // Alessandro Fillari
I've had an affinity for the AC series all the way back to the original. I remember getting hyped for an action-adventure title set during the Crusades, and then again for its follow-up in the Italian Renaissance period -- two settings that don't get much play from the medium. But ever since its move to the annual release schedule, I sometimes find it hard to get excited about new entries when they can come off as more of the same. While some of these games are off the charts when it comes to fun and offering an interesting setting to explore, Assassin's Creed has missed the mark a few times. Obviously, this presented Ubisoft with a challenge for how to tackle the upcoming jaunt through Victorian-era London. As one of the most-requested settings from fans, the developers felt extra pressure to get it right while making sure not to repeat the mistakes of past titles. As the ninth mainline Assassin's Creed title (yes, already), it's definitely a challenge to keep things interesting, because you can only play as an Assassin so many times without any major shake-ups before things get stale. Senior producer Jeff Skalski spoke at length about their vision for Syndicate, and how they hope the return to basics will reinvigorate the brand. "That's been a challenge for any game that's been a franchise," he said while discussing development. "Whether you're working on the second one or fifth one, but for us, we've been working on this game for two and a half years, so there's a lot of things we know about what Assassin's Creed has done in the past. We have a sense of maybe where it's going, but no one has a crystal ball. So we really evaluate what is important, where do we want to innovate, where do we want to focus, and then we kind of start building that game with that kind of mindset." The elephant in the room when talking about this series is the troubled launch of last year's Unity. While a solid entry in the series featuring  some gorgeous visuals and a stellar recreation of 18th-century France, this unfortunately, and quite understandably, was lost on many gamers who had to wade through technical issues and oddities that put a serious damper on the whole experience. While there are many reasons for how that turned out, the developers at Ubisoft Quebec wanted to ensure they nailed their interpretation and execution of the setting right at launch. "We took a real kind of fine-tooth comb and we looked at the combat, stealth, what do we change that didn't work so well, and we really evaluate it all," stated Skalski. "We've all been fans of the game, we're gamers first before we're actually developers, so these are things that for us is an opportunity. We have one shot of building an Assassin's Creed game in Victorian-era London, and it's almost a dream come true for a lot of us. And we wanted to knock it out of the park." Even though multiplayer and other online components have been present for the majority of the AC titles, this marks the first time since 2009 that a main entry in the series will be strictly single-player. With 2010's Brotherhood introducing multiplayer, along with the annualized release schedule, it set the standard for  titles going forward. So it was especially surprisingly to see that Ubisoft decided to brings things back with its focus on a pure single-player narrative. The studio made the decision early on to create a stronger narrative with denser content to back it up. "When we were conceptualizing the game and figuring out what did we want to build, but more importantly what did we not want to build -- because the more we built in the game, it means we'd have to stretch our resources thin -- we really wanted to go all in on the single-player experience. That's not to say we don't believe in multiplayer, and I think there's a place for that, but for this round we wanted to focus on the single-player. But yeah, we looked at the previous AC titles, and saw the various pillars they were built on, and thought 'How can we improve this?' [...] So it was a very conscious decision, and it was one we made very early on." For me, one of the highlights of playing Syndicate, and I'm sure many will share this sentiment, was the setting. The Victorian era was an evocative period with the old world slowly shifting into the modern era before everyone's eyes. And with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, it created many challenges for those living in the heart of the Western Empire. The devs saw this as not only an interesting setting that stands out among the predecessors, but also allowed them to open the gameplay into new areas and introduce abilities and gadgets not possible from the time period. "There's so much for us to play with in the Victorian time," explained the producer. "As you stated, it was the turning point in terms of the modern society that we live in today, so we felt that was bringing something fresh and something very new, and allowed us to kind of break the rules in places that would be exciting for players. Even today, it's a city that's a melting pot of society, so we were not short on ideas. We had to pick our top-top favorites and realize those as best as we could and work with our writers to make sure it was accurate and authentic." Despite the gloomy atmosphere and depressing subject matter, Syndicate manages to display a lot humor from the characters. In retrospect, many of the AC titles portrayed their stories earnestly with some slight scenes for humor to break up the tension.  Syndicate's dual protagonists, who are brother and sister, share a kind of sibling rivalry and make constant jokes at their expense. I'd imagine with the bleak atmosphere, they had to offer some levity. Which thankfully works quite well. "Humor was very important to us. As we were writing the game, and looking over the scripts, we were laughing, and that was a good sign for us. During mo-cap, I would laugh at lines and still find myself laughing when they came up in the game, so I hope players will enjoy the narrative, the characters -- every one of them is super special -- and the relationships they form with Jacob and Evie, and how they experience London for the first time."  Since the reveal earlier this year, the creators of Syndicate (then titled Victory), had a bit of an uphill battle to get through to ensure they were all in when it comes to creating the next big entry for the series. Fortunately, my several hours with the game got my interest piqued for what's to come. What I enjoyed most about the era is that it felt as though it was stuck between two different periods -- one from the past, the other towards the future. With many of the characters clinging onto the old ways while living in a civilization that has introduced vehicle traffic and gas and electrical infrastructure, Assassin's Creed Syndicate's interpretation of Victorian-era London should be one of the more exciting, visually striking locales the series has seen in a long time. For more info about Syndicate, check out my hands-on impressions. 
Interview photo
In a West End town, a dead end world
As the tenth anniversary for the Assassin's Creed franchise draws closer, it's hard to imagine the series has been around for so long. I was two years out of high school when Altair and Desmond first made their appearance on ...

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's London is an exciting and evocative setting

Sep 24 // Alessandro Fillari
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (PC, PS4 [previewed], Xbox One)Developer: Ubisoft QuebecPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: October 23, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One) / Q4 2015 (PC) Set nearly eighty years after the events of Assassin's Creed Unity, Syndicate thrusts players into the gritty and bustling city of London during the Industrial Revolution. With the Assassin Order struggling to rebuild, sibling assassins Jacob and Evie Fyre come to Victorian-era London during a relatively modest mission and find it under heavy Templar control. Witnessing the extent of the corruption in the heart of the Western Empire spearheaded by powerful industrialist and Templar operative Crawford Starrick, the siblings disregard the demands from their Order to abandon the city and take matters into their own hands to dismantle the Templar power structure. Using their Assassin abilities and gadgets, along with their keen eyes for scouting potential alliances with the locals, the Fryes will have to unite the criminal underworld of London in order to overthrow a common enemy, who may be in possession of another Piece of Eden. As one of the most-requested settings for an AC title, the developers at Ubisoft were keen on bringing the series to the Victorian era. London during 1868 was a period of equally great innovation and social unrest. The Industrial Revolution gave way to mass production and advanced technologies, but it came at the cost of humane working conditions, child labor, and poor quality of life for the working class. With factories peppering the city of London and smoke blotting out the sky, urban living was not what it was cracked up to be -- there was a lot of misery for those on the bottom of the social structure. This makes for an evocative setting for Assassin's Creed, and adds a greater connection with the city. While it would sound a bit cheesy to say that the city is a character itself, it does feel that way. I was impressed with not only how accurate the city looked, but also how much life exists within the game. There are several districts to travel to including Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Whitechapel, and the City of London (metropolitan area). Travel can be done by train, fast travel via landmarks, or even using carriages, marking the first time Assassin's Creed has an actual traffic and vehicle system to work with while in town. As the first AC title featuring dual protagonists in the same era, Syndicate does a lot to switch things up for players. Both characters serve as the focus for the general narrative. At any time in the menu, you'll be able to switch between the two while out in the open world, and each of them have unique content to tackle. Essentially two sides of the same coin, the Frye twins have varying approaches and mindsets when taking on obstacles but still seek the same result. With Jacob being the more hard-headed, brutish assassin who seems to relish his time getting into brawls and sharing a pint with commoners in the pubs, many of his ventures tend to have a more over-the-top flair to them. Evie, on the other hand, is clearly the more rational and logical twin, focusing on hatching clever plots to accomplish her long-term goals. In the end, a sledgehammer is sometimes more effective than a scalpel, and vice-versa -- so the twins will have to rely on each other to successfully overthrow the Templars. I rather enjoyed the dynamic between the Fryes. It's a change of pace for the series, and it's refreshing to have a female assassin put in the spotlight. Jacob's brash and devil-may-care attitude works well with Evie's stoic and uncompromising demeanor, which often times conflicts with her brother's spontaneous behavior. Essentially, it's a buddy-assassin plot, and it works quite well. These characters are invested, but still manage to find time to make jokes at the expense of their sibling. Given how expansive London is -- more than three times the size of Paris from Assassin's Creed Unity -- the twins will have a lot of ground to cover in the open world. Eventually, they'll gain access to a personal train which serves as a mobile command center for their operation. As the train makes its rounds, they'll be able plan their next move and ride the railway to missions. During their exploits in London, the Fryes will come across many important figures who have their own stake in the city, and they'll come to rely on the two assassins for assistance. From Alexander Graham Bell -- who builds a rope-launcher that allows the twins to scale rooftops and make zip-lines -- to Charles Dawrin, Charles Dickens, and even the infamous Jack the Ripper; the Assassins will come across many allies and foes on the streets, and they've all got their own ambitions in mind. But the twins won't be able to succeed on their own. With the many gangs and factions around London made up of citizens frustrated with feeling powerless, Jacob and Evie will have to win them over in order loosen the tight grip the Templars have over the city. As you retake areas of London from the Templars and gangs, key leaders will make themselves available and offer assistance. In Sequence 3 of the campaign, Evie forms an alliance with Clara O'Dea, the leader of a gang of children who've been used by the corrupt factory supervisors and seek their own way of life away from controlling adults. Each key figure within the different districts of London has a relationship with the Fryes, and doing missions and side-quests for them will strengthen their bond and unlock new gear and valuables. Over time, cash made by your network of gangs will be kicked back to the Fryes. It's a clever way to work key characters into the core progression. In previous titles, most of the advancement was done in menus and general side-missions, so incorporating character growth along with the related content makes the progression feel as though you're having a deeper impact. As always, the assassins will have several areas of the game world to conquer, and completing side-objectives and story missions are the best way to do so. In Syndicate, however, it feels as though there's a much greater level of variety for the side-missions. With the lack of multiplayer and co-op modes, this gave the developers resources to flesh out the world with side-events and points of interests to explore. For instance, instead of going around and tailing contacts, Jacob can compete in local fight clubs to strengthen bonds with allies. As you accomplish missions and side-quests, you'll gain experience to level up and acquire skill points to spend in the universal skill tree. Skills range from buffing melee attacks, eagle vision effective, upgrades to the arsenal, lockpicking, store discounts, and boosts to the economy. When you acquire more resources and control more of London, the assassins can spend their cash on new items, armor, and weapons. Given the era, the Fryes will have to be far more practical in their approach to carrying out their missions and assassinations. With great swords, hammers, and crossbows now considered antiqued in mid-1800s London, and many of which would get people arrested for possession, concealed weapons were a major part of self-defense in urban life. Between the standard cane sword (a short sword hidden in the shaft of a cane), daggers, brass knuckles, pistols and revolvers, bombs, poison, and the tried-and-true hidden blade, the concealed weapons add personality to Syndicate and feature an added level of customization, which also speaks to the increasingly modernized era. As covered in my last article, the combat system has been overhauled. It's now far more active. While Unity experimented with some new ideas, Syndicate advances things quite a bit. Given how easily players could abuse certain skills and rewards during combat, the developers felt it was time to try and switch things up. Here, battles prompt players to go more on the offensive, as enemies now only attack when they seen an opening and guard more frequently. Players will have to use stuns and guard-breaks to open up these defenses, all the while using parries and their side-arms (knives, revolvers, bombs) to manage multiple foes. The combat felt much more challenging this time around, and I was surprised at how tense things got. Heavier enemies in particular take a lot longer to bring down. Unfortunately, I was concerned with the overall technical performance of the game. There were several instances of texture and environmental objects fading in, along with NPC characters popping into view, and some slight frame rate dips throughout my preview session. While this title is in a much better state than Unity was last year at launch, I do hope that the devs can iron out the issues. Given how rich the setting is -- they nailed the atmosphere and tone of the era -- it would be a shame if these technical hiccups persist in the final release. Graphical worries notwithstanding, I was largely pleased with Assassin's Creed Syndicate. This is very much a dream setting for fans, myself included, and to see it all realized so vividly was great. From the bustling streets filled with carriages, to the back alleys full of criminals and roughnecks looking for their next target, the atmosphere in Victorian-era London is the strongest an AC game has had in a long time. I'm looking forward to my trip back to the foggy city, but I do hope they'll fix the kinks. This is one era that deserves the best the developers have got.
Preview photo
City of London, City of London
With October nearly here, it's about that time for Ubisoft to release another entry in its annual time-traveling trek through history. While Assassin's Creed has had highs and lows, no one can deny it's one of the few series ...

Jack the Ripper photo
Jack the Ripper

Assassin's Creed Syndicate is getting Jack the Ripper DLC

It's part of the season pass, too
Sep 15
// Brett Makedonski
Assassin's Creed Syndicate's set in Victorian London, and that seems like a great opportunity to get one of England's greatest villains in a video game. Ubisoft's carpe diem-ing. At Sony's Tokyo Game Show press briefing, a Ja...
AC Council photo
AC Council

Assassin's Creed Council is kind of like reddit, but with points that matter

UbiBlog meets community
Sep 11
// Brett Makedonski
In recent years, Ubisoft has constantly pushed for some kind of web of interconnectivity with Assassin's Creed. There are companion apps, franchise hubs, and forums to tie the community together. Now, Ubisoft's trying someth...
Ausaustin's Creed photo
Ausaustin's Creed

Journey composer Austin Wintory scored Assassin's Creed Syndicate

More than three hours of music
Sep 10
// Darren Nakamura
Since his work on flOw, Austin Wintory has been fairly well-known in the indie game scene. He has since provided the soundtrack for Journey, The Banner Saga, Monaco, and other small titles. All those years of creating unique ...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Newest Assassin's Creed trailer shows the game's best feature

And none of the stabbing
Sep 01
// Brett Makedonski
Without a doubt, the best part of every year's Assassin's Creed game is the setting. It was certainly the case for Unity's Paris. Ubisoft generally does a great job of making these city sandboxes feel lived-in and livel...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's going to be a bit late to the party on PC

Taking precautions
Aug 26
// Brett Makedonski
Almost four weeks after PS4 and Xbox One players have been zipping and stabbing around Victorian London, PC users will finally get their chance with Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Until then, they have to lurk in the shadows, wa...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft unveils bonus Assassin's Creed Syndicate missions as pre-order sweetener

Join Dickens and Darwin and fight crime
Aug 26
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft has revealed bonus Assassin's Creed Syndicate missions will be available for those who pre-order the game. The missions star everyone's favourite crime-solving duo, novelist Dickens and the Theory of Evolution masterm...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Groundhog Day: Has the Assassin's Creed series become too boring?

Aug 20
// Zack Furniss
With Assassin's Creed Syndicate coming out later this year, the series will have another chance to prove that it can shake its current malaise. Will grappling hooks, vehicles, and a (pretty cool-looking, though unfortuna...
Assassin's Creed ZING! photo
Assassin's Creed ZING!

Portland bookstore has sick Assassin's Creed burn

Turns out the books work on launch day
Aug 06
// Jed Whitaker
Long-time reader, first-time tipper and professional stand-up comedian Sarah Maywalt sent me the picture above that she took in the Powell's Books, an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon.  Powell's reminds us that ...

Assassin's Creed Syndicate reinvigorates the series with a return to basics

Aug 05 // Alessandro Fillari
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (PS4 [Previewed], Xbox One, PC)Developer: Ubisoft QuebecPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: October 23, 2015 (PC Q4 2015) Unlike its recent predecessors, Syndicate aims to do something a bit more streamlined during its trek through the streets and over the rooftops of Victorian-era London. While Assassin's Creed has had online gameplay components since 2010, Syndicate will follow AC: Rogue's example and focus purely on single-player gameplay. While online has been pretty neat for the AC titles, the developers wanted to make a single-player experience while putting all their resources into making it the sharpest game of the series. "We really wanted to get back to the basics. Our objective was to ship the biggest and liveliest city yet with London, and it was a big challenge, and we wanted to concentrate on building a massive single-player experience," said associate producer Andrée-Anne Boisvert. "Because of that, we were able to refine the core gameplay, adding in the rope launcher for easier traversal, refining the parkour, revamping the fighting gameplay -- so with all these things, we wanted the single-player to be really amazing." Of course, the most unique aspect of Syndicate is its focus on two protagonists with the brother and sister duo Jacob and Evie Frye. While we've already seen much of Jacob and his exploits in London, this marked the first time we were able to go hands-on with Evie, and it's evident who has the brains in this operation. Much like her brother, Evie is an assassin who must find the location of the Piece of Eden, all the while debilitating the Templar's control of the city. Though unlike her brother, she is a far more calculating and cunning assassin, and tends to shy away from the all-out brawls Jacob revels in. With many of her skills focusing on long-range assassinations and stealth, Evie is essentially the scalpel within London's Assassin order. At any time during open-world exploration, you'll be able to switch between the two and engage in missions at your leisure to reassert control of England's capital city. "We found it interesting to have the dynamic between these two; they have different personalities and different narrative storylines," said the producer. "That's something we wanted to focus on. We wanted to make sure that their personalities are reflected in the gameplay with their unique skills that they have." We finally got to put Evie's skills to the test during a key mission to strike at the Templar order. During a Blackbox mission within the Tower of London, Evie infiltrates the site to assassinate the Templar operative Lucy Thorne, who also has knowledge of where the ancient artifact is. Using skills and weapons such as the Voltaic Bomb, which shocks nearby foes, and the chameleon skill, which grants limited invisibility, Evie's approach is far more subtle. Much like its predecessor, Blackbox missions are open-ended challenges that feature multiple approaches to accomplish a single goal. Unity was the first to implement this mission structure, and Syndicate definitely plans to create more unique moments during these specific events. As Evie found her way to a vantage point within the Tower of London, she was able to discover three different opportunities to infiltrate the site and assassinate Thorne. Option one was to stalk the key-bearer and procure the master-key to enter the main tower solo; option two was to work with an undercover tower-guard to sneak into the tower; and option three was to rescue the local Constable and round up a group of loyal guards to battle their way into the tower. The third option was the riskiest and loudest approach, but it also allowed for Evie to utilize her stealth skills in unique ways, so I immediately went for it. The developers felt that with the two protagonists, there was room for much more variety and experimentation with the missions. "For Assassin's Creed: Synidicate, we wanted to make it a lot more about the freedom to choose your own path and ways through missions," said Boisvert. "We want players to be able to tackle the missions in the way they want to do it. Blackboxes are the way we have them do it, which is what we base the game on, giving players choices and offering many different ways to approach an objective for their playstyle." Using many of the traditional Assassin skills, such as Eagle Vision, parkour, and aerial assassinations and takedowns, I was able to sneak into the guard house to free the Constable, and we led a group of loyal guards to assault the main tower. While Evie isn't much for brawling and tends to focus more on the calculated strokes to achieve victory, she can easily hold herself in a scrape when it comes to it. The combat in Syndicate has seen a bit of an overhaul, which the developers felt was necessary after seeing how easily players were able to win encounters by waiting for enemy attacks and using parries. It seems over time the Templar order has finally wised up to the Assassins' tricks and plays a far more defensive game. They'll only attack when they see an opening and will guard many of your attacks. Evie and Jacob will have to utilize guard breaks and dodges to counter them, and parry only when the time is right. I felt far more active during combat, and it was the right move to switch things up. As the guards battled their way through the tower, I was able to gracefully move through the carnage while using Evie's knife throwing skills to make quick work of any oncoming threats. We finally came upon Thorne with her personal bodyguards. With the carnage filling up the central room, I was able to get the jump on Thorne for a quick assassination. At this point, the mission ended in traditional AC fashion with the central character and victim sharing a final moment before their death. But I didn't stop there. Afterwards, I booted up the mission again and went for the other options. The key-bearer was the stealthiest approach, as I was able to sneak through the tower area and assassinate the target with minimal casualties. As you can probably guess from reading this, I'm into the new setting. As one of the most requested settings from fans, Victorian-era London is a stark departure from the previous titles. Not only from the stylistic standpoint, with the dark and grimy streets filled with people who represent the best and worst of what society has to offer, but it's also the first AC game (outside of the present-day narrative) with its toes dipped into the modern era. As swords and axes become antiques, revolvers and rifles are much more common, making combat feel riskier than ever. "It's the first modern-day setting for an Assassin's Creed title [in regards to the core game setting], so it's the first time where we have a city that is so huge like London," said Boisvert. "Traffic is dense, we have carriages and other people walking on the sidewalks, and you also have the police which will chase after you when you cause trouble for others. It's a whole new dynamic for us. With the also the trains and boats, it make the city much more vibrant than any other title." I was pretty impressed with Assassin's Creed Syndicate. The game ran fairly well and I didn't notice any performance hiccups like the ones that plagued the previous AC title. I got the sense that Unity represented a major shift in how Ubisoft develops the series, and with Syndicate re-evaluating its priorities to focus more on the core game as opposed to the meta-aspects and supplementary content, I feel this entry could be a great turning point. I look forward to seeing more from the Frye siblings in the coming months, though I certainly hope the devs will figure out a way to work in Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, and Charles Dickens during the Assassins' trek through the city. To ignore them would be a missed opportunity.
Assassin's Creed photo
There's no place like London
It's not often we get to see a series recognize that things may have gotten off track. As many no doubt remember, Assassin's Creed Unity got hit hard with criticisms about its technical performance and odd design decisio...

Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed screenshots matched up to the real world

Rome-ing about Europe
Aug 04
// Joe Parlock
Tumblr user Haricotkenway recently went on a trip around Europe, and has managed to line up screenshots from Assassin’s Creed with the real-life equivalent of the famous landmarks. While the idea may not be new, I still...

Asassin's Creed titles hit new low price as PC Summer Sale continues

Jul 24 // Dealzon
Top Deals Games Planet 2015 Summer Sale<- new low on lots of titles Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (Steam) — $20.99  (list price $50) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Steam) — $13.99  (list price $60) NBA 2K15 (Steam) — $11.62  (list price $60) Act of Aggression (Steam) — $29.45  (list price $45) <- access to multi-player beta PlayStation 4 Batman: Arkham Knight Bundle — $369.99  (list price $450) Dead: Xbox One 1TB Halo: MCC Bundle + $50 Gift Card — $399.99  (list price $400)** Xbox One Halo: MCC 500GB Bundle + $50 Gift Card — $349.99  (list price $400)** Recent Releases 07/23: Better Late Than DEAD (Steam) — $4.31  <- yep another open-world survival 07/21: F1 2015 (Steam) — $39.49  (list price $55) 07/20: Breach & Clear: Deadline (Steam) — $10.32  (list price $20) Upcoming Releases 09/29: NBA 2K16 (Steam) — $46.20  (list price $60) 09/30: Blood Bowl 2 (Steam) — $34.65  (list price $45) 11/10: Fallout 4 (Steam) — $46.20  (list price $60) <- 23% off returns PC Game Deals Games Planet 2015 Summer Sale Assassin's Creed Rogue (Uplay) — $25.19  (list price $50) Assassin's Creed Unity (Uplay) — $21.70  (list price $60) Football Manager 2015 (Steam) — $15.49  (list price $50) Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (Steam) — $8.90  (list price $40) Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (Uplay) — $6.19  (list price $30) GOG EA Catalog Sale SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition (DRM-Free) — $7.99  (list price $20) Jade Empire Special Edition (DRM-Free) — $5.99  (list price $15) Lands of Lore 3 (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Populous (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Ultima Underworld 1 + 2 (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Theme Park (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Planetary Pack (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) SimCity 2000 Special Edition (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Theme Hospital (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) Dungeon Keeper 2 (DRM-Free) — $2.39  (list price $6) More PC Deals The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (DRM-Free) — $29.99  (list price $60) Dying Light (Steam) — $29.99  (list price $50) Pillars of Eternity Hero Edition (Steam) — $18.95  (list price $45) Blackguards Franchise Pack (Steam) — $15  (list price $55) Sid Meier's Civilization V: Complete Edition (Steam) — $12.50  (list price $50) Console Game Deals Disney Infinity: Marvel 2.0 Starter (XOne.360, PS4/3, Wii U) — $34.99  (list $75)** Skylanders Trap Team Starter Kit (PS4/3, XOne/360,) — $29.99  (list $60)** Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter 2.0 (PS4/3, XOne/360) — $29.99  (list $60)** Madden NFL 15 (PS4/3, XOne/360) — $19.99  (list $30)** The Evil Within (PS4, Xbox One) — $19.99  (list $60) Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (PS3, Xbox 360) — $5.99  (list $10) Borderlands 2 (PS3) — $3.99  (list $15) PS4 Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete (PS4) — $29.99  (list price $60)** Duck Dynasty (PS4) — $27.99  (list price $40)** Trials Fusion (PS4) — $19.99  (list price $40) Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4) — $15.99  (list price $40) Xbox One Xbox One + Kinect + $50 Gift Card (Refurbished) — $379.99  (list price $380)** Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Gold (Physical Card) — $35.99  (list price $60) Xbox Live 12 Month Gold (Digital Code) — $34.95  (list price $60) Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox One) — $9.99  (list price $40)** Titanfall (Xbox One) — $7.99  (list price $20)** Xbox 360 The Voice + Microphone (Xbox 360) — $29.99  (list price $40)** Ultimate Stealth Pack (Xbox 360) — $14.99  (list price $30) Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (Xbox 360) — $9.99  (list price $20) Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox 360) — $7.99  (list price $30)** PS3 Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3) — $29.90  (list price $50) The Awakened Fate: Ultimatum (PS3) — $27.99  (list price $40) Alien: Isolation Nostromo Edition (PS3) — $19.99  (list price $30) Dark Souls II (Xbox 360) — $11.99  (list price $30) Escape Dead Island (PS3) — $8.99  (list price $30) Michael Jackson The Experience (PS3) — $3.99  (list price $20) Just Dance 2014 (PS3) — $2.99  (list price $40) Wii U Mario Party 10 + Mario Amiibo (Wii U) — $39.99  (list price $50) Zombie U (Wii U) — $8.99  (list price $30) 3DS Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 3DS) — $29.99  (list price $40) Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo 3DS) — $19.99  (list price $30) Skylanders Giants Portal Owners Pack (Nintendo 3DS) — $9.99  (list price $60) Laptop Deals 17.3" MSI Stealth Pro i7-4710HQ, 16GB, GTX 970M — $1,499.99  (list $1,850) 17.3" Asus ROG i7-4720HQ, 16GB, 512GB, GTX 960M, 4K — $1,399.99  (list $1,699) 15.6" Lenovo Z51 i7-5500U, 8GB, Radeon R9 M375 — $669  (list $1,080) HDTV Deals 55" Sharp 2160p 4K Ultra HD LED TV — $899.99  (list price $1,000)** 60" Westinghouse 1080p Smart LED HDTV — $649.99  (list price $700)** 50" Seiki 2160p 4K Ultra HD LED TV — $399.99  (list price $1,000) Game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.
Weekend deals photo
Come grab the 18th or whatever # title
Where GMG's Summer Sale ends, Games Planet picks up the baton to take a stab at your wallet. The retailer's sale has been going fairly well in terms of the variety of titles at historic low prices. Fri/Sat batch inc...

Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Here's more Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for you

Now with more "being a jerk"
Jul 21
// Vikki Blake
As some of us weren't overly impressed with the first-hour playthrough of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate we saw yesterday, here - take a look at another video released by Ubisoft. This teaser may be less than five minutes long, ...
Hour of Ass photo
Hour of Ass

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate looks a little empty

Horse battles, though
Jul 17
// Jordan Devore
Ordinarily, Brett would be the one to tell you about this nearly hour-long Assassin's Creed: Syndicate video, but he's out of town for a wedding. He doesn't typically keep up with the site day to day. That means we could say ...
Toy Soldiers photo
Toy Soldiers

Cobra Commander and Assassin's Creed, together at last

They're both in Toy Soldiers: War Chest
Jul 09
// Jordan Devore
After showing He-Man and G.I. Joe in Toy Soldiers: War Chest, Ubisoft noted that it would announce two more licensed armies for Signal Studio's latest tower defense/action game. We dreamed big, as you do. That was a mistake. ...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Want to play Assassin's Creed at SDCC? You have to write a short essay first

Compose to be chose
Jul 07
// Brett Makedonski
Are your writing skills as sharp as your hidden blade? They'll need to be if you want to play Assassin's Creed Syndicate at San Diego Comic-Con. It's a jam-packed show, and only the most qualified of assassins get a chan...
Comic-Con photo

Ubisoft's Comic-Con plans include you jumping off a tall structure

If you want, of course
Jul 01
// Brett Makedonski
For the second straight year, Ubisoft's giving people an opportunity to showcase their assassin prowess. Equipped with a Ninja Warrior-like course, the French publisher is promoting Assassin's Creed Syndicate with a ser...

It's truly fun traversing Assassin's Creed Syndicate's London

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
As these things go, our E3 demo was free of any sort of missteps that would hint at a repeat performance. No surprise there; these showings are almost always incredibly polished even though they're all in "pre-alpha." What is worth noting is that Ubisoft actually let us have hands-on time this year. In 2014, it was a one-on-one hands-off session while a developer played. That could be a small indicator that the publisher has more faith in this year's iteration. I was turned loose in a very small section of London, and I immediately felt a knowing comfort. Assassin's Creed isn't going to change that much, after all. Having just walked out of a pub, protagonist Jacob was on the ground and surrounded by three story (or so) buildings. Rooftops are the much preferred method of getting around, so it's time to start ascending. This is where Syndicate made its open-world pacing apparent. Rather than climbing the face of every structure, Jacob can shoot a grappling hook that will almost instantaneously transport him to any summit. It may seem like it wouldn't be all that noteworthy, as several titles have implemented the same feature in recent years. But, it does such a great job of opening up the Assassin's Creed traversal, it's impossible to ignore its significance here. [embed]294140:59097:0[/embed] Once on the rooftops, it was simple to shoot ziplines across to even further destinations. It's no longer necessary to go from roof to ground and back up when trying to cross a city. Now, pathfinding is incredibly simple because it just requires a quick tap of a button to fire across the chasm. These ziplines serve another purpose too, though. Partway between two points, Jacob can decide that whatever's underneath him needs a quick blade in the back of the neck. Performing air assassinations while gliding along proves to be quite satisfying, not to mention efficient. This particular demo tasked me with clearing out a relatively small compound, which was a great opportunity to test out the only new weapon I was shown. Jacob has hallucinogenic darts at his disposal, which make enemies easy to deal with. What's more, shooting them into a fire gives them an area-of-effect radius instead of only harming one target. I took out three people with one dart and then threw a knife to drop some cargo on the head of a fourth. It was a pretty great way to quickly and creatively dispatch a handful of enemies. That's when the faction leader began fleeing, necessitating commandeering someone's buggy to chase them down. With a terrified horse pulling me around with all the grace you'd expect from a panicked animal, I eventually caught up. This initiated a "gang war" where I fought alongside approximately ten others to kill those on the other side, which concluded the demo. For the few takeaways I had, I was left with more questions. What role would Evie play opposite of Jacob? Will either be playable under any circumstance, or do they each have scenes dedicated to them? How will gameplay differ between the two? What are Ubisoft's plans for the modern story? How will the boroughs of London seem unique? I had a lot of inquiries, but the developers were tight-lipped about almost everything, simply stating that oft-repeated line "We're going to be talking about that later." Frustrating as it is, it's par for the course. Information's always locked down until the publisher's ready to reveal. From what we saw, everything about Syndicate is very Assassin's Creed. That's not much of a revelatory statement, but it is what it is. The grappling hook -- the one thing that isn't very Assassin's Creed -- was undoubtedly the finest feature. It's not the type of change that will be at the forefront of someone's mind when they think about the game, but it's an improvement that will keep traversal from becoming too much of a slog. That's a welcome addition if I've ever heard of one.
AC Syndicate preview photo
And a whole lot quicker
Ubisoft finally had all the perils that come with annual franchise installments come crashing down on it last year with Assassin's Creed Unity. It was the most ambitious Assassin's Creed title to date -- with its insanel...


Assassin's Creed Syndicate gets PS4 exclusive missions, Dreadful Crimes

Jun 15
// Nic Rowen
The PS4 is getting some exclusive Assassin's Creed Syndicate missions based on the works of some of Victorian England’s most famous authors (although curiously, they didn't name which ones). The Dreadful Crimes exclusi...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is mean to horses

Jun 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate made an appearance at Ubisoft's E3 press conference (Shocker, I know!). And one of the big additions to this year's game involves vehicle combat, some of which involves horses getting caught in the crossfire. Which makes me real sad. Go crash some trains or something, you monsters. Leave the poor ponies alone.
Assassin's Creed E3 photo
Assassin's Creed E3

Ubisoft scrambling to make Assassin's Creed E3 demo more playable than final game

Disappearing face epidemic under control
Jun 12
// CJ Andriessen
With just a few days until the start of E3, sources within Ubisoft say the company is doing everything possible to make the E3 demo of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate the ultimate gaming experience -- unlike the broken, bug...
AC Syndicate photo
AC Syndicate

Ubisoft: No second screen experience for Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Getting further and further from Unity
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
Plenty of publishers are high on the second screen experience, but Ubisoft's coming down from that -- well, at least a little. The next installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise won't come paired with a companion app...
Syndicate photo

First historical inaccuracies spotted in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Only likely to bother train enthusiasts
May 18
// Laura Kate Dale
Eagle eyed Reddit users have been pouring over last week's Assassin's Creed: Syndicate trailer with a fine tooth comb and have started spotting some of the game's first historical inaccuracies over the weekend. Perhaps the mo...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Is that Brock Lesnar in Assassin's Creed Syndicate?

Bloody well looks like it
May 13
// Vikki Blake
An eagle-eyed Kotaku reader has spotted a familiar - if unexpected - figure in the recent Assassin's Creed Syndicate stream: wrestler and all-round I-kick-asses-for-a-living-dude, Brock Lesnar.  To check it out for yours...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft: Assassin's Creed: Syndicate coming October 23

It's officially official
May 12
// Kyle MacGregor
After months of leaks and speculation, Ubisoft has finally unveiled the next entry in its annualized cash cow. As expected, it's called Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and takes place in Victorian London. It seems Ubisoft has tak...

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