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Hands-on with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on PS4

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Hands-on with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on PS4
3 Author Replies

Evie Frye speaks, stands, and moves like an assassin. Fitting, of course, considering her close adherence to the Creed and her mastery of the shadows. She, alongside her brother Jacob, serve as the two playable protagonists in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on PS4. They mean to take back London from Templar control. But, as I experienced during my time with Syndicate, Evie is designed with stealth players in mind — more so than her rather puckish, headstrong counterpart.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Drifting up to a small pier next to the Tower of London, Evie plots the assassination of a valuable target. Amidst the evening sway of street musicians and the clatter of passing, horse-drawn carriages, Evie moves with the characteristic calmness of a highly-trained killer. But her skillset extends beyond her predecessors and includes techniques that highlight her specialization in the art of stealth.

Evie can blend into the streets with near-perfect results, giving her and players an additional avenue for stealth play (and an escape route when things go terribly wrong). Couple this with the new rope launcher — which Jacob can also use — and the stealth game of Syndicate feels markedly different from previous entries in the series. The rope launcher sends our friendly neighborhood assassins rocketing into the air and also gives them a means of moving from one building to the next at a much quicker pace.

Assassin's Creed SyndicateAssassin's Creed Syndicate

The moment-to-moment gameplay of Syndicate should still feel familiar to long-time Assassin’s Creed devotees. A mix of stealth, traversal, and counter-heavy combat oscillates in real-time as missions change by the minute. The sudden arrival of a guard may throw a well-laid plan down the drain, demanding strategic use of Eagle Vision to spot potential threats and track them as they wind through alleyways and across rooftops.

Evie moves through these massive environments handily, dispatching guards in both lethal and nonlethal fashion. Choosing how to tackle missions is a highlight of Syndicate, as the development team has put black box missions (missions open to player choice) at the forefront of the experience. Players can choose how to approach a target, either by interacting with agents of interest (a friendly character, key master, or the like) or simply pressing on and carving a path of their own design.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

While certain story missions will require Evie or Jacob’s participation, the open world of London will give players their choice. And if my time with Evie is any indication, stealth players will most enjoy donning the stylish coat and hood of Ms. Frye to take full advantage of her chameleon-esque techniques.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate launches October 23rd on PS4.

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17 Comments

3 Author Replies

  • It sounds like they’re just dividing the techniques individual characters had in previous games across these two characters, which doesn’t sound as fun, just arbitrarily limiting.

    I liked the concept of Aveline changing attire in order to change her abilities and her play-style, kind of like a Superhero changing from their blending secret identity to infiltrate an area, and then quick-changing to their uniform so they could go loud and do superhero things, then back again to slip away.

    I’d hope that they incorporate some element of that for Evie, but make it so that changing costume doesn’t require you to go into designated changing rooms, and instead can happen from hiding spots, or when no one’s around, or just even drop a smoke bomb and quick change.

    • Ryan Clements
      Ryan Clements

      Great comments here. I can’t speak for the dev team, but from what I gathered the intent was not to strip away abilities from a singular character and create two, but to specialize two characters and give each a unique feel (though they are both equally capable).

      In the open-world section, you’ll be able to switch between them easily, though I’m not clear on the exact mechanic.

  • ” drop a smoke bomb and quick change.”
    Yes, please. The series takes itself too seriously.

  • I like the direction this game is heading, love the grappling hook too. It was such a chore to run around in past AC games, even with fast travel running would take too long.

    All they have to do is make sure the game is polished at launch.

    • Ryan Clements
      Ryan Clements

      Yeah, the rope launcher is clutch. Can’t wait to see more of it in action.

  • CrusaderForever

    Sounds good to me! Going to be a lot of fun playing both protagonists. I am especially excited about Evie. Aveline from ACIII Liberation on the Vita was a killer assassin. Looks like another beautiful AC game. Loved AC Unity and thought it was the best of the series with II a very close second. I really enjoyed playing as Arno. Paris was absolutely stunning with it’s 1:1 architecture. Being able to go through buildings really improved the immersion factor. Looks like the amazing cut scenes are making a return as well. The Platinum for Unity was a lot of fun. Looking forward to playing this day one!

  • I like most of the AC games but it will be cooler if the next one goes to feudal Japan.

  • CommandingTiger

    I know this isn’t the post for this.
    About PS Morpheus. Can you add 2 frontal camera “PS eye” for Augmented Reality.
    This would allow Project Morpheus to do both Virtual Reality and Hollowlens Augmented reality all in one device without costing too much more.

  • Still waiting for the team that made Black Flag to do a new one. Unity lost me from the series and this looks like Unity 2. Boring.

  • desert-punk-86

    from call of duty to assassin’s creed the playstation brand doesn’t feel genuine anymore it feel more like an xbox.

    but i guess that’s what you do once on top you become what you conquer.

    may the sony of 2006-2014 rest in peace.

    • platinum4490

      Everything you liked about Sony from that time frame is still there. They just have an arguably bigger audience to satisfy now, so of course you might see a few things that you specifically don’t appreciate. Cheer up :-)

    • @ comment #8 — I’m not quite sure why you arrived at that conclusion since the only games you listed were realeased across both platforms… try playing a PS4 exclusive like Bloodborne, and just wait until Team ICO’s, The Last Guardian comes out — it will be an experience only Sony and those brilliant developers over in Japan could create ;)

  • Following up the awesomeness that was AC Black Flag with the less than stellar AC Unity has probably caused a very large drop-off in the franchise’s fanbase, which leaves the arrival of this new entry that’s being shoved out the door less than a year later highly suspicious and dare I say, reeking of a desperate attempt to recuperate some profits that were surely lost last winter.

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  • I guess you could say that I’m cautiously optimistic about this release, but I am still really skeptical. Black Flag was the best AC since 2. I also really enjoyed Rogue. However, in my opinion, Unity was a let down. First of all there were the numerous glitches, then once those were repaired, I found that I still couldn’t play the game because the game play/combat had taken a 180 degree turn from everything that came before. If syndicate does indeed play like the previous games in the series, then I’m in. However, if it is more like Unity, then I’ll pass and play Black Flag again.

  • The games release so quickly it seems best just to wait for a price drop. I picked up rogue for $9.99 new a few months ago, and it seems like that just came out.

  • ahem. i think we (playstation and clements) should at least make sure Syndicate wont be a broken glitchy mess before being “excited” for an ubisoft title.

  • I am waiting for this game because i have bought the jacob frye coat last month from “dramas replica jacket store” and I will wear it when I play.

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