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Review: Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper

Dec 16 // Brett Makedonski
Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Ubisoft MontpellierPublisher: UbisoftMSRP: $14.99Released: December 15, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One), December 22, 2015 (PC) Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper takes place 20 years after the main game ends. In that time, Evie has traveled to India and learned and perfected a non-lethal fear technique. With it, she's able to send her enemies into a panic, often causing them to flee in terror. Predictably, that's the main gameplay allure in this DLC. Both Jack the Ripper (he's playable) and Evie share this fear mechanic. The add-on nicely juxtaposes the two characters in alternating sequences. In one, Jack will callously and barbarically kill anyone in his way, sending those who see him running scared for their lives. In the next, Evie will use these same fear methods to mostly skirt combat in a completely different, yet equally effective, manner. Jack's sections are easily the most interesting this expansion has to offer. In them, haunting visual prompts pop up like "kill them all" and "leave no witnesses," as if they're coming straight from Jack's twisted mind. As he continues on his homicidal bent, the screen will briefly distort, adding another troubling layer of visual tension to the already disturbing scene. [embed]326720:61550:0[/embed] Evie, on the other hand, spends most of her time trying to unravel the mystery of Jack the Ripper, but always one step behind. Much of her focus is on crime scene investigation and pursuit. Like in Syndicate proper, Evie's tendencies are rooted in stealth and cunning. It's here that we learn most about The Ripper through examining his actions. This is where Jack the Ripper falls flat. Even though Ubisoft doesn't go too crazy in divulging his story, what is told feels contrived. Again, Jack the Ripper is best as a faceless boogeyman. It would've worked if Ubisoft simply sent Evie to protect London from Jack. Instead, he's unnecessarily shoehorned into Assassin's Creed lore, and the expansion is worse off for the artificiality of it all. Unlike main Assassin's Creed installments, Jack the Ripper benefits tremendously from a streamlined approach. The add-on quickly ushers the player from mission to mission, with little dillydallying in between. Ubisoft couldn't resist the urge to pad the expansion with some trademark side events, but they're not pressing, not in-your-face, and ultimately not really important. It's just three hours of mostly quality main story content. Jack the Ripper can't aspire to reach the heights that Syndicate did. But, it also doesn't suffer the same setbacks. In a game where open-world strain can become a serious problem, this add-on is a mostly-focused reprieve. Sure, there are some fumbling moments, but there are also some elegantly-handled ones. Given the difficult source material and the obvious danger of stumbling, Jack the Ripper mostly doesn't, and that feels like a best-case outcome. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Jack the Ripper review photo
Whodunnit?
The tale of Jack the Ripper is one of mankind's great enigmas. More than 100 years ago, someone savagely murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel district of London. He maimed his victims so unthinkably that his legend...

Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Revel in the mystery that's cast by Dying Light: The Following's eerie teaser


When there's nowhere else to run
Dec 16
// Brett Makedonski
Dying Light shelves the parkour and the zombie bashing in the story teaser trailer for its next add-on, The Following. Instead, it wonders aloud exactly how the survivors might go about escaping this hellhole and if a c...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Mercedes-Benz explains Nintendo partnership, doesn't mention bags of money


'Many gamers are skeptical about brands'
Dec 16
// Chris Carter
Once a year now or so, the irregular Mercedes-Benz and Nintendo partnership rears up, only to be quickly forgotten in a few weeks. Last year it was free Mario Kart 8 DLC, and recently, an 8-bit car costume for Super Mari...

The Smash Bros. update has been data-mined, Nintendo Direct spoilers inside

Dec 15 // Jed Whitaker
The biggest piece of leaked information is easily that fan favorite Geno from the SNES classic Super Mario RPG is getting his very own Mii costume! Pretty exciting for most fans, but personally I'm all about that Mallow life, as he is the best character from any RPG ever objectively, obviously.  More information about Cloud from Final Fantasy VII has also been revealed including his alternate costumes none of which are him in a dress sadly. Cloud's solo mode victory video featuring a cameo by a certain six-winged monstrosity, and his victory and stage music have also been leaked. The only other tidbit of information found is that the Kalos stage from Pokémon has been updated, but the details of what that include are unknown. So no new characters or stages may be unveiled, just more information about what we already knew was coming and a peek at a Geno Mii costume. Obviously, take this all with a grain of salt until officially announced from Nintendo. Find out if this final Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct lives up to the hype in just a few short hours! I'm personally still hoping for Scrooge McDuck and Shaq as playable characters. Super Smash Bros. subreddit [reddit]
By the seven stars! photo
One awesome new Mii costume!
The final Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U happens today at 5pm ET. But, an update released last night for both titles has been data-mined revealing some new information, while keeping most surprises under wraps for Nintendo to reveal.

Battlefield photo
Battlefield

Battlefield 4 The Legacy Operations DLC out today


EA rolls out new patch
Dec 15
// Vikki Blake
The latest Battlefield 4 patch rolls out today. Consequently, the multiplayer servers will be offline for up to an hour on each platform. The PC version rolls out at 08.00 UTC, PlayStation 4 09.00 UTC, Xbox One 10.00 UTC, Pla...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny with all the DLC is cheaper than just The Taken King add-on today


Savings that will have you over the moon
Dec 14
// Brett Makedonski
As we inch toward the end of the year, retailers keep doing all they can to turn their existing inventory into profit. Destiny is the beneficiary of the holiday sales creep today, as the legendary edition of the game is ...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's Jack the Ripper DLC coming next week


December 15
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
Assassin's Creed Syndicate has been teasing its Jack the Ripper DLC for weeks now, but this is the first time we've had a really good gander at it. All told, it actually looks quite meaty, and the new story trailer isn't hal...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

The Cartographer's Gift update for Halo 5: Guardians launches next week


Plus the return of Forge
Dec 10
// Joe Parlock
After announcing it at this year’s Game Awards, 343 Industries has released a whole load of details about the upcoming Cartographer’s Gift update for Halo 5: Guardians. The update features the return of the popul...
Binding of Isaac DLC photo
Binding of Isaac DLC

An expansion for The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth is already in the works


Will feature a bestiary and mod support
Dec 08
// Ben Davis
Afterbirth, the expansion to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, which was just released last month, already has some DLC being planned. This expansion of an expansion is tentatively being called Afterbirth+. Afterbirth+ will of c...
The Witcher 3 DLC photo
The Witcher 3 DLC

The Witcher 3's second expansion looks lovely


Blood & Wine
Dec 08
// Jordan Devore
There's no snow where I live, thank goodness, but it is cold and rainy. Gloomy vibes all around with no end in sight. I don't want to think about it, so excuse me for a moment while I get distracted by these warm screenshots ...
Overwatch photo
Overwatch

Future Overwatch heroes and maps will be free for all players


Winston is all I really need, personally
Dec 07
// Joe Parlock
When it was announced at BlizzCon that Overwatch is to be a full price title instead of being free-to-play as many had assumed, there were concerns that it would lead to a mass of community splitting microtransactions and pa...
Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Dying Light: Enhanced Edition will be free for owners of the base game (minus the expansion)


$60 otherwise if you want the expansion
Dec 06
// Zack Furniss
Chris liked Dying Light well enough, and I did too, back at the lovely Rely on Horror. I haven't played it since it released earlier this year, but the way Techland is handling the new Enhanced Edition is compelling...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny's a racing game now too


Get on your Sparrow
Dec 05
// Brett Makedonski
Destiny, a shooter that everyone was down on in 2014 and then very high on in 2015, isn't just a shooter anymore. It's also a racer. Bet you didn't see that coming. Sparrow races are going to be a part of Destiny on December...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

The first Call of Duty: Black Ops III DLC is coming in early 2016


PS4 first, of course
Dec 05
// Brett Makedonski
Black Ops III getting stale yet? It has only been out for a month so I'd hope not. But, if it is, reinforcement is coming soon. Toward the beginning of Sony's PlayStation Experience keynote, it was revealed that the Awakening add-on is slated for early 2016. Of course, Sony's getting its money's worth for its sizable investment and touting it as a 30-day exclusive to PS4. Money talks.
MK X DLC leaked photo
MK X DLC leaked

Mortal Kombat X season 2 DLC leaked


Alien vs Predator, Leatherface, Jason...
Dec 03
// Nic Rowen
Whoops, somebody goofed and released the trailer for Mortal Kombat X's second season of DLC a little bit early. The four-pack will include the Xenomorph from Aliens (so you can finally have that Predator dream match), Leather...
Battlefront DLC photo
Battlefront DLC

Star Wars Battlefront's Battle of Jakku DLC is just okay


But at least it's free
Dec 02
// Jordan Devore
Oh thank goodness, more content for Star Wars Battlefront. While The Battle of Jakku hasn't seen a wide release yet (that's happening on December 8), the free new DLC is now available for folks who pre-ordered the game. It's ...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

It's Shadow Jago's time to shine in Killer Instinct


New trailer and release info
Dec 01
// Jordan Devore
Shadow Jago has his own trailer for Killer Instinct, so you know what that means: he's nearly ready. The character will first be available on December 4, 2015, for folks who bought the Community Fund Bundle or Day One Xbox Live Gold. After a short window of exclusivity, he'll then be up for purchase from December 18 to January 15. Iron Galaxy hasn't given full pricing details yet.
Hungry for DLC photo
Hungry for DLC

Don't Starve: Shipwrecked DLC is out on Steam Early Access


I'm on a boat and I'm starvin'
Dec 01
// Jed Whitaker
Remember the Tim Burton-esque survival game Don't Starve? Its latest single-player expansion Shipwrecked has released via Steam Early Access for $4.99 (currently on sale for $4.49), and it looks pretty amazeballs as expected. Look at how cute Wilson looks on that boat. I wonder if he knows that he isn't the first Wilson to get shipwrecked or if Castaway is what sparked the idea?
Nova Covert Ops photo
Nova Covert Ops

StarCraft II's Nova DLC is cheaper up front


Pre-purchase to save 33 percent
Dec 01
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard has opened pre-orders for StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. Each of the three DLC packs will come with three story missions, and the first pack releases this spring. They'll be $7.49 each, or you can pre-purchase the co...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront's Jakku DLC looks like a good start


Casualties aplenty
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The first wave of free Star Wars Battlefront DLC debuts tomorrow for players who pre-ordered the game, while everyone else can get it a week later on December 8. As we've heard a few times now, the Battle of Jakku is made up ...
Rocket League photo
Rocket League

Play ice hockey in Rocket League


Here comes a Snow Day!
Nov 26
// Vikki Blake
Psyonix has confirmed that from December 14, you'll be able to jump into the Winter Games event, Snow Day, in Rocket League. The ice hockey-inspired playlist (well, it's a puck instead of a ball) replaces the Mutator Mashup a...
Jack the Ripper photo
Jack the Ripper

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's Jack the Ripper DLC is probably imminent, maybe


Achievement lists light the way
Nov 25
// Brett Makedonski
It has only been a month since Assassin's Creed Syndicate launched, but the first add-on might be lurking in the shadows, ready to strike any moment. The compelling Jack the Ripper DLC is the biggest expansion that...
Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Dying Light's next DLC gets jacked-up in price, but you can make the most of it


Season pass to the rescue
Nov 25
// Brett Makedonski
In a surprisingly transparent moment, Dying Light developer Techland has decided to be upfront about raising the price of the game's next add-on, The Following. Back in August, it was originally announced that the DLC would c...
Divekick photo
Divekick

Divekick's final update brings in a new free character


The Fencer from Nidhogg
Nov 25
// Joe Parlock
After over two years of ongoing support, fighting game parody and community in-joke Divekick has received its final update. Dubbed Divekick Addition Edition Plus Final, the free update introduces The Fencer from the popular ...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Tripwire's president discusses Killing Floor 2's new microtransactions


A case study in how to handle criticism
Nov 25
// Joe Parlock
Why does this keep happening? Why do developers who have normally pretty positive communities go and add microtransactions to their games, making everybody angry? First it was Overkill with Payday 2, and now it’s Tripwi...
Battlefront photo
Battlefront

There will be more free DLC for Star Wars Battlefront in the future


Alongside the season pass content
Nov 25
// Joe Parlock
After launching with no single-player content and only 12 multiplayer maps, EA has announced what sort of things to expect from Star Wars Battlefront’s coming DLC. The first bit of new content will be the free Battle of...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Battlefront's new free mode should be chaotic


Turning Point
Nov 24
// Jordan Devore
I'm far enough into Star Wars Battlefront's progression system that I have most of the unlocks I genuinely want (aside from the best Rebel and Empire characters, which is the final carrot on the stick). I've played every mode...

Very Quick Tips: Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

Nov 24 // Chris Carter
[embed]322164:61224:0[/embed] General tips (contains light, general spoilers): For a quick rundown of how to access the DLC, check out the video above. To locate the object to fight the optional boss, get to the point where you raise the giant elevator after the first boss fight (the room with the two human hunters). Step on and then step off to raise another platform. Grab that item and return to the main room in the Cathedral near the start of the DLC. Note that this one seems to be paced to fight after the first. If you're struggling with the DLC, try to at least have a Soul Level of 100 before attempting it. As always, it's possible to beat it no matter what your current level is, just keep that in mind. To obtain the Holy Moonlight Sword, talk to the head that appears after the first boss battle. If that doesn't work, equip the rune you obtained after beating him (Rally Bonus) and try again. If that fails, kill the head and take the weapon. For the boss that has multiple enemies, try to focus in on one at a time and quickly take them out. If you wait too long and don't keep track of the ones you've damaged, they will overwhelm you. When they summon the meteor attack, try to sprint around the arena clockwise. If you roll, you might get stunlocked. Alternatively, the Old Hunter's Bone spell is a great thing to trigger and use when the meteor chant is initiated. This one took me a while. After defeating the third boss (the humanoid opponent inside the clock room, pictured above), to get to the final area, you'll need to use the item you get from that fight on the giant window. At first I wasn't positioned correctly and nothing came up, so try to move around a bit if it doesn't trigger.
Bloodborne DLC tips photo
Wake up from the nightmare
When Bloodborne launched, I provided a series of tips for newcomers. They're still very much relevant for the dawn of the Old Hunters DLC pack, which debuts today, but I figured I'd provide a few add-on specific pieces of info. Note that there are light non-specific spoilers involved.

Batman photo
Batman

Batman: Arkham Knight's Catwoman DLC looks as bad as the others


Needs more Eartha Kitt
Nov 23
// Chris Carter
The Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass has been one of the most disappointing passes I've seen to date. In addition to a bunch of skins, there's a few okay to bad DLCs so far, and two more are coming up. Catwoman's ...
Bloodborne photo
Bloodborne

Here's how to access the Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC


Step by step
Nov 23
// Chris Carter
Bloodborne, much like its predecessors, is a relatively esoteric game. Even simple things like locating a $20 DLC package can be hidden beneath the surface, so here's a quick rundown of how to enter the Old Hunters add-...

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