Since Ezio Auditore Di Firenze opted to hang up his cape, Ubisoft have been trying and failing to replace the rugged Italian.
First there was Connor Kenway, who was a dullard, then Edward Kenway, who was a lot of fun to play as.
Just the main problem there was he was the lead star of a pirate game disguising itself as a assassin’s one.
It may have led to another pirate based spin off, but the next main game took us to France, and the now infamous Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Unity gave us Arno Dorian, who had no noticeable personality trait, a lot of bugs and microtransactions, as well as the poorest story within the game to date.
It looked pretty, but it was a rotten, smelling wolf in sheep’s clothing.
But Ubisoft Quebec have done well in their effort with Assassin’s Creed syndicate.
They have two leads, one of which is the first female lead in the main series and they’ve done a very good job with her.
Evie Frye is well rounded, funny even at times, and fits in well with the Assassin’s Creed aspect of the series pretty well, compared to her brother at least.
Jacob is brash, cocky and more prone to going in like a bull through a china shop, than trying to get through unnoticed.
They are both handled extremely well, and the story so far is more captivating than Unity, and is easily the most enjoyable since Brotherhood.
But the game doesn’t quite hit the mark, or at least not yet.
Victorian London is once again, a quite wonderful place to visit.
The smoke billowing into the skies, the soundtrack that builds to a crescendo, as you drift through the city, finding your target, it all sets the right tone, without quite finding the perfect tune.
And that’s because the city still feels a bit like a virtual tour in a different time.
Death, or getting noticed, as your trying to stealth a mission still does not mean anything.
In an age where open world games like Metal Gear Solid 5 and the Witcher 3 give you branching options, and world defining repercussions, in the tiniest of details, Syndicate still feels like an ode to those with slight OCD, who want to tick everything off the map (in fairness I include myself in this).
Taking back the city doesn’t drift beyond three succinct types of missions; templar hunts and child liberation quests, which are both enjoyable, and the more bizarre bounty hunts, where you have to kidnap someone, put them in a horse and carriage and take them to a select spot, where a Detective Fred Abberline in drag will take them away.
Quite frankly, they’re annoying and restrictive.
Take them out of the carriage to bring them to the spot, even if you’re a few steps away from it, and you get a warning that they need to be in the carriage.
And it has a bizarre alert system. I got noticed once on the outskirt of the mission area, nowhere near the target, and I get a notice tell my target is running away. No one else knew I was even there and were stood at their posts. It’s the simple things like that which takes away the immersion of the game.
But fortunately, none of it takes away what is fun entry in the franchise, but you still sense the series is trying to find the same solid ground it had with Ezio Auditore Di Firenze as it’s lead.
Additions like drivable horse and carriages and the rope launcher make for neat additions to the franchise, but the series still needs to be redefined for the new generation, rather than putting a couple of cherries on top of a cake, which is fast reaching it’s sell by date.