Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Quebec and published by Ubisoft. It was released on October 23, 2015, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on November 19, 2015, for Microsoft Windows. It is the ninth major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, and the successor to 2014's Assassin's Creed Unity.
|Assassin's Creed Syndicate|
|Designer(s)||Frédéric St-Laurent B|
The plot is set in a fictional history of real-world events and follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with liberty, and the Templars, who desire peace through order. The story is set in Victorian era London and follows twin assassins Jacob and Evie Frye as they navigate the corridors of organized crime, and take back the city from Templar control. Its open world design lets players freely roam London.
The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on foot or by carriage. The game introduces new traveling systems and refined combat and stealth mechanics. Players control the two lead protagonists—twins Jacob and Evie Frye—throughout the game's story, switching between them both during and outside of missions.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate received positive reviews. Critics praised the visuals, the likability of the major characters, especially the Frye twins and the antagonist, the interwoven structure of the sidequests and main objectives, creative mission design, as well as the lightheartedness of the game and the entertaining story. Criticism was directed at the lackluster ending as well as the aging and repetitive gameplay and the lack of diverse character-models, yet overall critics agreed that it was a major improvement over Unity. Assassin's Creed Syndicate was nominated for multiple awards in 2015, including "action-adventure" of the year 2015 at The Game Awards. It was followed by Assassin's Creed Origins, which was released worldwide on October 2017.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is an action-adventure, stealth game played from a third-person perspective, that features similar gameplay elements to the previous games in the series. Players complete quests—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story. Outside of quests, the player can freely roam the open world. Composed of the greater area of Victorian London, consisting of seven boroughs,[a] the world of Assassin's Creed Syndicate is much larger than previous entries in the series.[b] The player can also perform side missions, which were designed to reflect the fight for power in London, and are cohesive to the game's main story. In keeping with a historical context that more closely resembles the modern-day, the city guard of previous iterations is replaced by a Victorian-era police force, who will rarely attack the player unless a crime is committed in their presence; the player's main enemy is instead a Templar-controlled street gang called the "Blighters."
The game lets the player control two characters: twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Jacob is a hot-headed brawler, specializing in close-ranged combat, while Evie is strong in stealth and relies on her intelligence and wit. Additionally, Evie is the first playable female protagonist of the main series.[c] The main weapons of Syndicate include brass knuckles, a compact revolver, a cane-sword, and the traditional Nepalese curved kukri knife. The game also introduces new systems to navigate the world: a rope launcher, which allows the player to rappel up structures, or create a zip-line between buildings; carriages, which can be piloted or simply occupied by the player, and can be the setting of fights and parkour chases; and a train, which serves as the main base for the player throughout the game. Unlike its predecessor, the game has no multiplayer mode, and does not feature a companion app, which was introduced in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
In 1868, at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution, with the Assassin Brotherhood all but eradicated in Victorian London, twins Jacob (Paul Amos) and Evie Frye (Victoria Atkin) leave Crawley for London and arrive to find a city controlled by the Templars, with both the Church and the Monarchy losing their power. Raised as Assassins to follow the Creed, Jacob and Evie aim to take back the city from Templar control by infiltrating and uniting London's criminal underworld, aided by notable figures of the era such as novelist Charles Dickens, biologist Charles Darwin, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, political theorist Karl Marx, nurse Florence Nightingale, Duleep Singh (the last maharajah of the Sikh Empire), Sergeant Frederick Abberline of the Metropolitan Police Service (known for his investigation of Jack the Ripper), and Queen Victoria. Additionally, Jacob's granddaughter, Lydia Frye (Lisa Norton), appears in a separate World War I segment, where she aids Winston Churchill in defending London against a new enemy espionage faction.
In the present day, the Helix player, now an Assassin Initiate, is once again contacted by Bishop from the Assassin Brotherhood and is tasked with reliving the memories of twin Assassins, Jacob and Evie Frye, to find a Piece of Eden hidden in London. Meanwhile, Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings have infiltrated an Abstergo facility and, against orders, decide to spy on a secret Templar meeting.
In 1868, Henry Green—born Jayadeep Mir, the son of Indian Assassin, Arbaaz Mir—writes to the Assassin Brotherhood begging for aid. Green explains that the Brotherhood in London has fallen, leaving the city at the mercy of Templar Grand Master Crawford Starrick, a powerful figure in London's industry and its criminal underworld. Starrick plots to use his wealth and influence to increase the Templars' political power within Britain and, through its holdings, the world, effectively making the British Empire an arm of the Templar Order. Outside of London, the Frye twins begin their work, with Jacob assassinating a corrupt factory boss, Rupert Ferris. Evie infiltrates a lab owned and run by David Brewster and Templar occultist Lucy Thorne. Inside, Evie finds Brewster experimenting on a Piece of Eden and assassinates him. Brewster tells Evie that Starrick knows of a second, more powerful Piece of Eden when the first Piece of Eden becomes unstable and explodes, forcing Evie to flee. With their missions successful, the Frye twins decide to disobey orders from the Brotherhood and head for London. In the present, Rebecca and Shaun spy on a meeting between senior Templar figure Isabelle Ardant and Álvaro Gramática. Rebecca and Shaun attempt to capture Isabelle but she had anticipated the ambush, revealing that Sigma Team leader Otso Berg and Violet da Costa were there to intercept the two assassins. Nevertheless, the two manage to flee when Bishop detonates a pre-planted explosive.
In the past, the Frye twins arrive in London and meet with Henry Green, who reveals himself as an old acquaintance of their father. They have different ideas on how to liberate London: Jacob advocates that they take the fight straight to the Templars, while Evie advises they find the Piece of Eden first. They agree to begin liberating the various boroughs of London by defeating Templar-controlled gangs, sabotaging Templar-controlled businesses, assassinating high ranking Templars, and building up their own criminal gang called the Rooks. Along the way, they enlist the help of various people including Charles Dickens, Frederick Abberline, Alexander Graham Bell, Florence Nightingale, Ned Wynert (Ferelith Young), Edward Hodson Bayley, and a young Arthur Conan Doyle.
Jacob decides to investigate the mysterious and addictive "Soothing Syrup" that Starrick has been distributing all across London and is slowly poisoning the populace. He meets Charles Darwin, who is also investigating the syrup. Together, they destroy the factory producing the syrup and interrogate Richard Owen. Owen informs them that John Elliotson has been manufacturing the syrup. Jacob and Darwin then head to Lambeth Asylum, where Jacob assassinates Elliotson. Next, Jacob decides to assist Pearl Attaway, one of Starrick's competitors in the omnibus business. He sabotages Starrick's omnibus company and assassinates its boss, Malcolm Milner. However, Milner warns Jacob that Starrick and Attaway are cousins and that Attaway is a Templar. In response, Jacob assassinates Attaway. Jacob then learns of Templar banker Philip Twopenny's plot to rob the Bank of England and steal its gold reserve. With Abberline's assistance, Jacob breaks into the Bank and assassinates Twopenny. Jacob then heads to Parliament to prevent a Templar plot to assassinate British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who is pushing to pass the Corrupt Practices Act. Jacob assassinates the mastermind, the Earl of Cardigan.
Jacob is then contacted by Maxwell Roth, the leader of the Templar-controlled gang, the Blighters. Roth offers to betray the Templars and form an alliance with the Rooks, which Jacob accepts. After assisting Roth in several missions against Starrick, Jacob breaks off the alliance when Roth tricks him into bombing a building full of child laborers. Jacob infiltrates Roth's headquarters at the Alhambra Theatre and assassinates Roth.
Meanwhile, Evie looks for the Piece of Eden, managing to steal an Assassin journal from Thorne. Analyzing the journal, Evie discovers that it refers to the Shroud of Eden, a Piece of Eden that can heal any injury, including old age, and makes the wearer immortal. She follows the trail of clues underneath the mansion of Edward Kenway, where she finds a map detailing the locations of all of the Assassin vaults hidden in London. Her search leads her to famous landmarks such as the Monument to the Great Fire of London and St. Paul's Cathedral. She obtains the key needed to access the Shroud's vault, but it is stolen by Thorne. Evie then heads to the Tower of London, where the vault is located and assassinates Thorne. Thorne explains the Shroud is not in the Tower and claims that the Assassins have no idea of the true power of the Shroud before dying. Green believes the real vault is hidden in Buckingham Palace, and enlists the aid of the Maharajah Duleep Singh to find the schematics for the building. Unfortunately, the Templars manage to seize the schematics first. In addition to her hunt for the Shroud, Evie also helps correct the unintended consequences Jacob's assassinations have caused such as medicine shortages and currency inflation.
With all of his lieutenants dead, Starrick moves to retrieve the Shroud personally. Throughout the latter part of the game, the twins' different views on approaching their time in London come to a boiling point when Jacob and Evie get into an argument over Jacob's recklessness and Evie's apparent inaction. Henry warns the Frye twins that Starrick plans to break into Buckingham Palace, steal the Shroud, and kill all of Britain's heads of church and state. The Frye twins agree to work together to stop Starrick before going their separate ways. The twins infiltrate a ball being held at the palace, where they meet Queen Victoria and Starrick himself. Starrick beats them to the vault and obtains the Shroud for himself, which grants him superhuman strength and regeneration from wounds. Working together, the Frye twins and Green manage to defeat and kill Starrick. After the battle, Jacob and Evie return the Shroud to the vault, reconcile their differences, and agree to continue working together. In recognition of their deeds, Queen Victoria knights the Frye twins and Green.
In the present, with the location of the Shroud confirmed, Shaun, Rebecca, and Russian Assassin Galina Voronina head to the vault. Unfortunately, Otso Berg, da Costa, and Ardant beat them there and a fight ensues in which Berg is knocked unconscious, Rebecca is shot and wounded and Ardant is killed by Shaun while da Costa escapes with the Shroud. Hacking Isabelle's computer, the Assassins find out the Templars plan to use the Shroud to construct a living Precursor. The recording also shows that Juno is secretly manipulating certain employees within Abstergo from behind the scenes to sabotage the company, and has her own plans for the Shroud. Juno also contacts the Initiate through the simulation, leading them into a new memory segment of Lydia Frye, where she tracks down and kills a Sage in a war-torn London during World War I.
The Dreadful CrimesEdit
The Frye twins are approached by Henry Raymond, a penny dreadful writer, as well as his follower, a young Arthur Conan Doyle. They team up to investigate a series of murders across London, visiting crime scenes, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and suspects, and ultimately solving the crimes by accusing the true perpetrators.
The twins are eventually summoned to Buckingham Palace by Queen Victoria, in order to solve the murder of one of her guards. It turns out that it is, in fact, Raymond who has posed as a guard and faked his own death, so he may steal the Queen's Sceptre of the Dove by observing up close the combination to the safe that holds it. He has also left a series of false clues suggesting a bomb threat in the palace in order to cover his escape. However, Doyle has already uncovered his plan and set out to stop him, but is held hostage on the palace roof in the process. One of the Fryes manages to distract Raymond while the other sneaks up and kills him, saving Doyle and recovering the Sceptre. In the aftermath, the Fryes encourage Doyle to try his own hand at writing detective fiction.
The Last MaharajaEdit
After an unpleasant conversation with Duleep Singh regarding his lack of commitment to the people of India, Henry Green decides to enlist the help of the Frye twins so the Maharaja could be persuaded to reclaim his birthright. The twins manage to recover Singh's letters to his mother, which were previously intercepted by the British Indies Company (B.I.C.) in order to stop any correspondence. This finally convinces Singh that he should take action.
Singh orders the twins to locate and recover the stolen Punjabi gold, before arranging for transports to ship the gold back to India. He then proposes to recover the Koh-i-Noor, a diamond in the possession of Queen Victoria, currently kept in the Tower of London. The twins accomplish the goal by infiltrating a gala held at that location; however Henry shows that the diamond they recover is a replica, and the true Koh-i-Noor is in fact in the safe hands of the British Assassins, thanks to Jayadeep's father Arbaaz Mir handing over the diamond to Jacob and Evie's father Ethan Frye.
The twins head to a B.I.C. factory and put an end to the company's production of biological weapons. In the process, they also discover that Brinley Ellsworth, a close friend of Singh's, is in fact behind the plots against the Maharaja. Singh arranges for a meeting where he confronts Ellsworth. With Evie's help, Ellsworth is subdued. However, as Evie prepares to execute Ellsworth, she is stopped by Singh, who chooses to exercise mercy. Singh thanks the twins for their contribution before parting ways with them, continuing to fight for his heritage.
Jack the RipperEdit
In 1888, Jacob Frye meets Mr. Weaversbrook and warns him not to publish Jack's letters as he wants to spread fear in London. He then receives word of another murder and goes to investigate. Jacob goes after the Ripper, who begins following him before eventually attacking. As the Ripper pursues Jacob, it is revealed that he knows Jacob personally, and possesses Assassin abilities. After escaping, Jacob reaches his lodgings, but the Ripper arrives and attacks again, with Jacob seemingly being killed.
Following the incident, Jacob's sister Evie arrives from India, having been summoned by Jacob sometime before, where she is greeted by police inspector Frederick Abberline, who informs her that Jacob is missing and presumed dead. He also tells her that she may be the last Assassin remaining in London, and the only one capable of stopping the Ripper. After finding Jacob's lodgings, Evie takes some non-lethal fear tools used by the Indian Brotherhood. She also deduces that the Ripper is, in fact, one of Jacob's Assassin Initiates. Afterward, she kills the Ripper's lieutenants who have been aiding in his crimes and frees a number of prisoners he had been keeping hostage. All the while, the Ripper stalks Evie.
With more murders occurring, Evie is pressured to find the Ripper quickly; after the Ripper's final murder, Abberline makes it plain unless she delivers the Ripper, he will not be able to stop her from being arrested for the crimes – Evie vows to stop the Ripper or die trying. She re-examines all of his old crime scenes and finds hidden clues that lead to him, as well as learning the fact that all of the women he murdered were Assassins. She later finds a message left by the Ripper, which reveals that he never forgave Jacob for failing to protect his mother from being killed by Starrick's men. Evie deduces that the Ripper is waiting for her at Lambeth Asylum, where he was imprisoned before Jacob recruited him into the Brotherhood. Meanwhile, the Ripper returns to the Asylum and murders his former tormentors and destroys all records of his true identity. Evie arrives shortly after the Ripper and kills him in battle. Afterward, she finds an imprisoned but still alive Jacob. With the Ripper dead, Abberline agrees to cover up the Ripper's identity as an Assassin in order to protect the Brotherhood.
Following the game's events, Jacob has at least one child (whether out of wedlock or by marriage is unknown), who was inducted into the Brotherhood. Jacob's child marries and later has a daughter named Lydia Frye, born in 1893. She was likewise inducted into the Brotherhood and trained under both Jacob and Evie. She later marries an Assassin named Sam Crowder, but she keeps her maiden name.
At the outbreak of World War I, by 1914, Jacob and Evie were removed to the safety of the countryside, while Lydia remained in London to fight off German spies and Templar terrorists.
In 1916, at the behest of Winston Churchill, Lydia infiltrated and eliminated a German Templar spy facility in Tower Bridge. She later sought out, on his request, the rest of the group and their Sage leader that he deemed to be a pressing matter of national security which he was unable to broach with the government as he lacked strong enough evidence. In exchange for her services, Churchill promised Lydia that he would do what he could for the enfranchisement of women when he had returned to parliament after the War.
Lydia later conquers every single Templar-infested area, killing German spies and Templar captains, finally flushing the Sage out of his hiding place and killing him.
For every target and objective Lydia killed and completed, Juno appeared and told of her past and rise. Juno ultimately learns of the mentioned Sage's fate, and thanks to the initiate for finding it out, before suggesting her hope that she and the Assassins can work together in the future.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is the second major entry in the series not to be developed by Ubisoft Montreal, following 2014's Assassin's Creed Rogue. Instead, on July 2, 2014, Ubisoft announced that Ubisoft Quebec would handle lead development as part of "a major investment" in the studio, who had assisted in the making of the six prior games as well as The Tyranny of King Washington and Freedom Cry, downloadable content for Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag respectively. Marc-Alexis Côté serves as the creative director for the game after working in various positions on Brotherhood, Revelations, Assassin's Creed III, and Freedom Cry while François Pelland returns as a senior producer after Assassin's Creed III, has also been an executive director on all three in-between entries. Lydia Andrew is the game's audio director, returning from Assassin's Creed III, Black Flag, and Unity. Historian Jean-Vincent Roy served as a consultant on the game, having previously consulted on Assassin's Creed III, and held various other positions at Ubisoft. The game is also first in the series to feature a non-playable transgender character.
Information on the game, then titled Assassin's Creed Victory, first leaked on December 2, 2014, through the website Kotaku, which published details and screenshots from a seven-minute "target gameplay footage" video the site had acquired. Kotaku received a large amount of backlash for this article due to the article being placed up with very little information whilst proclaiming several facts that were proven false. Ubisoft confirmed the news later that same day in a statement where the company expressed disappointment that "internal assets, not intended for public consumption" had been leaked but said that they were "excited to officially unveil what the studio has been working on at a later date". The game was officially revealed on May 12, 2015, and was released worldwide on October 23, 2015, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on November 19, 2015, for Microsoft Windows.
Life-size toy replicas of weapons used by Evie and Jacob in the game, the "Cane-sword" and the "Gauntlet with Hidden blade", were available for purchase at launch. On May 13, 2015, five different editions of the game were announced for Europe.
The game was supported with multiple downloadable contents, as well as a Season Pass. The Darwin and Dickens Conspiracy downloadable content was available for players who pre-ordered the game and was also later bundled into the Streets of London DLC on January 19, 2016. It adds three missions involving Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens into the game. A DLC called The Dreadful Crimes, which was exclusive for the PlayStation 4 until March 2016, is also available for players to purchase (but was NOT included in the Season Pass for the PC). The DLC expands upon Unity's murder investigation system and tasks players to solve multiple murder cases. A DLC entitled Jack the Ripper, loosely based on the notorious crimes committed by the serial killer in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888, was released on December 15, 2015, for consoles and December 22, 2015, for Microsoft Windows. The Last Maharaja, the final DLC following Duleep Singh's quest to reclaim his heritage, was released on March 1, 2016, for all platforms.
(consoles and PC)
|The Rooks Edition
(consoles and PC)
(consoles and PC)
|Charing Cross Edition
(consoles and PC)
|Big Ben Edition (Uplay exclusive)|
(consoles and PC)
|Exclusive packaging||Yes||Yes (Black, fold-out cardboard box)||Yes||Yes (Charing Cross box)||Yes (Big Ben box and Futurepak disc case)|
|Darwin and Dickens Conspiracy mission||Yes (pre-order only)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Runaway Train mission||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Baker Street outfit||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Season Pass||No (can be purchased separately)||No (can be purchased separately)||Yes||No (can be purchased separately)||Yes|
|Official soundtrack CD||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Double-sided London map||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Jacob Frye statuette||No||No||No||Yes (26 cm figurine on Charing Cross rails)||Yes (30 cm figurine in Big Ben clockwork)|
The score to Assassin's Creed Syndicate was composed by American composer Austin Wintory. The lyrical songs in the game, murder ballads, were composed by Wintory and Australian musical comedy band, Tripod. The soundtrack was released on Amazon MP3 and iTunes on October 23, 2015.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate received "generally favorable" reviews for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, while the PC version of the game received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
Alexa Corriea from GameSpot praised the fluidity of Syndicate's new combat system, as well as the beauty of the map and the addition of the rope launcher. She hailed the game as "a triumphant return to form for the franchise". Daniel Krupa from IGN gave the game an 8.2/10, citing the design of the city and the lighthearted plot as high points, while criticizing the repetitive combat, yet saying it was better than Unity's combat. Brett Makedonski from Destructoid gave the game 7.5/10, praising its cast of memorable characters and the uniqueness of its assassination missions. However, he also stated "almost all of its missteps are in the gameplay", criticizing its combat and carriage-driving mechanics. Besides, while acknowledging that the grappling hook has indeed made traversing London easier, he believed it "feels like cheating" and takes the pleasure of climbing out of the series. Christopher Livingston from PC Gamer gave the game 66/100. He praised the characters and the main missions, though noting that the side missions are repetitive and not as enjoyable, and "the novelty ends hours before the game does".
Assassin's Creed Syndicate debuted at number one in the UK according to Chart-Track. However, in its first week, it was the second worst-selling game of the franchise in the UK, only outselling Assassin's Creed Rogue. According to reports from Ubisoft, these lower sales in the first week were due to the release of Assassin's Creed Unity (2014) having a negative impact on the sales due to its notorious number of bugs and glitches at launch. Syndicate's second week sales beat those of Unity's. The game was the ninth best-selling retail game in the UK.
|List of awards and nominations for Assassin's Creed Syndicate|
- The seven boroughs of London are Westminster, the Strand, the City of London, Whitechapel, the Thames, Southwark and Lambeth.
- The development team stated that the map is approximately 30% larger than Paris in Assassin's Creed Unity (2014).
- Assassin's Creed III: Liberation featured a female protagonist, but Liberation is not considered a part of the main series.
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