After yesterday’s reveal, some questions were finally answered about Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, but with months to go before release, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the world of Jacob and Evie Frye.
How involved will Evie Frye be?
We’ve heard that Jacob’s twin sister will be a playable character in the game, but to what extent? Ubisoft told The Guardian that players will be able to swap between Evie and Jacob during the open world sections of the game between missions. But what sort of split the twins will have for the main campaign missions is unknown. Although, it hardly looks like a 50/50 split is likely as Jacob is dominating the box art and promotional imagery along with the statues of the special editions. It’s unlikely we’re looking at a pair of co-headliners this time. Still, it’s nice Ubisoft managed to scrape together enough cash to mo-cap a female actor climbing a wall this year.
Improved counters and combos?
Combat was redesigned for Unity and consequently broken. Gone were the combos, and deadly counters were replaced by a parry system that prolonged fights just enough for you to get shot to pieces by one of the many guards that sensibly brought guns to Arno’s knife fight. The scrapping shown in yesterday’s Syndicate reveal certainly looks smoother, but until the hands-on reports immerge, we’re remaining sceptical of the Anvil engine’s capabilities.
Can we leave London?
Syndicate’s London will be 30% larger than Unity’s Paris. So, if you thought Paris was too big, this isn’t great news. With any luck though, ‘London’ will stretch to some of the local countryside to give the game a little scope beyond endless repetitive streets. There’s a reason Black Flag was one of the most enjoyable games in the series and the sooner Ubisoft realise we don’t want to be shackled to one city, the better.
Is there a naval mode equivalent?
Navigating the seas was an inspiring piece of gameplay in Black Flag/Rogue and Unity felt remarkably one dimensional in comparison. Seeing as we’ve driven around cities in games for years now, we’re not taking the addition of horse carriages as an exciting new feature for the series. Fingers crossed Ubisoft have something big up their sleeves for E3 to convince us they’re not content to sit back and keep reskinning their Assassin’s Creed games.
Improved mobile/tablet features?
Eventually, many of the incredibly annoying tablet/mobile related unlocks were patched out in Unity, but it was too little too late. So many chests and activities demanded various online signups and proved incredibly distracting. Hopefully, they can get back on form with something akin to the naval trading missions/battles in Black Flag, which could be done in-game, or via an addictive free app that allowed us to earn extra in-game cash. Maybe something similar; delegating gang members to take over/secure areas of the city in your absence could work. Think GTA: San Andreas’s gang invasions, but without you having to go over and get your hands dirty.
More modern-day missions?
Last time, the modern world part of Assassin’s Creed was almost invisible aside from a few Animus missions where a voice instructed your to escape rifts or put you in WWII Paris for a couple of missions (the WWII events were pretty cool to be fair). We’d like to be able to take the Animus headset off for a while though and stretch our legs to explore the modern day setting, possibly to uncover more secrets about Abstergo and the Templars.
Those are just a few of the questions we’re hoping to learn answers to before release, as Ubisoft has a lot of work to do to convince gamers to put a preorder down. As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts.