You actually play as twins, a brother and sister. I like that element because both characters bring different strengths and weaknesses to the gameplay. They also have very different personalities. Jacob is the male twin and he's the brawler, comic relief, and the 19th century Romantic. His sister Evie is much more serious, the strategist, motivated, and more traditional with her views as an assassin. She's also the one who uses the epic cane sword, which I really appreciated. Both of them are fighting against the Knight Templars who are corrupting Victorian England. The player takes over various parts of England, including Whitechapel, Westminster, London, and other well known cities. Basically, you're building and leading a rebellion. I really enjoyed the open world environment. Syndicate has accessibility to lengthy streets, lots of buildings, horse drawn carriages, and even landmarks like Big Ben. The cities are full of people who are friends and foes alike. Jacob and Evie use their skills and gauntlets to leap with great ability across buildings and machinery. I thought the acrobatics were a lot of fun and an effective way to evade villains. As the gameplay continues, the main characters level up and build more skills. For example, you'll learn how to pick locks and open areas that were previously inaccessible. I also thought the storyline was interesting. It's probably not historically accurate, but at least Syndicate shows some of the conflict and misery that occurred during the Victorian period. In real life, there were quite a few problems in Victorian England, such as high unemployment, filthy living conditions for the working classes, poverty, child labor, prostitution, unsafe working environments, sky high crime rates, and other issues. Most of these problems are creatively addressed in the game. Is the scenery beautiful? Realistic is probably more accurate. The wealthier parts of Victorian England are quite pretty. Other areas look like run down slums and I found it relatively accurate. Steampunk fans rejoice! Syndicate takes many steampunk elements like steam power, clockwork mechanics, wacky gadgets, anachronisms, and factory mayhem. The gauntlets and cane swords also seemed to fit the steampunk motif.
What are the bad parts? I really can't complain about much, but there were some imperfections. It takes a really long time to level up and build new skills. You can also create new outfits that will help the game's progress. The player steals a lot of money along the way, but many items are really expensive. It takes a lot of patience to save enough money to build adequate weaponry, clothing, and supplies. Leveling up is a real grind. I like to push through the game levels and storyline, but that's not easy to accomplish. Many enemies are too strong until the main character levels up and becomes stronger. Therefore, it's necessary to undertake a lot of side missions and quests that will speed up the leveling up process. I feel like it burns up a lot of time and detracts from the main objective. This game might be disappointing if you primarily want to play in stealth mode. Certain areas and objectives require stealth approaches, but Syndicate largely emphasizes open combat. Sometimes, lengthy brawls with multiple enemies can attract unwanted attention from other villains. At that point, I felt mobbed by enemies and my only chance to survive meant fleeing like a coward.
Overall, I thought Assassin's Creed: Syndicate was a fantastic game. I would recommend to action gamers and steampunk enthusiasts. It's definitely one of my favorites. Have fun and I'll write another post next week.