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Join The Gang Wars of Victorian-Era London on video of course 

By: Paul Alberici, Lions Eye Staff Editor, paa5102@psu.edu, updated by the Lion’s Eye Web Staff

For years, fans of the Assassin’s Creed video game series have been taken to a variety of unique moments in history, spanning from Renaissance Italy to the blood-soaked battlefields of the American Revolution to the high-seas of the Golden Age of Piracy. They have seen the characters’ little conspiracy twists to make things fit within in the context of the ever-constant war between the freedom driven Assassin’s and the power hungry Templars.

This year was no different with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Set in 1868 Victorian era London, Syndicate takes place during the height of the Industrial Revolution. The creators at Ubisoft captured the realism of the city in that time period, as noted by Brandywine freshman Brian Raftery.

“Assassin’s Creed (Syndicate) was able to dazzle again with amazing scenery of 1860s London,” Raftery said. “I have high expectations, and they continue to meet them game after game.”

The story is set around two Assassins, Jacob and Evie Frye: twins bred into the Brotherhood of Assassins. The chemistry between the two gives new life to the story and its characters.

Evie is more “by the book,” searching for ancient powerful artifacts to keep out of Templar hands. Jacob, on the other hand, is more reckless and concerned with taking out the Templars, with the help of a street gang he forms called “The Rooks.”

“The creators captured a sibling relationship well,” Brandywine sophomore Sam Kelly said. “They tease each other and occasionally fight, yet they’re still loyal to each other.”

Aside from characters, there are playable differences between Evie and Jacob. Evie is more stealth-based, while Jacob is more suited for head-on conflict. Both are playable at anytime, unless a mission calls for that character specifically.

The time period highlights the innovation and improvement of many technologies, including the steam engine, trains, and factories. This also gives the Assassins some new “toys.”

Some of the new tech featured include multi-shot revolvers, kukris (which are like machetes), cane swords and brass knuckles. Of course, what would an Assassin’s Creed game be without the signature hidden blade gauntlet?

However, much like in last year’s title Unity, the Assassins of Syndicate have been given a unique upgrade to their gauntlets, including a poison dart gun and the zip line. This grappling line makes traversing London very quick, enabling players to scale building and span gaps with ease.

“The zip-line gauntlet is a fun new toy,” Kelly said. “It’s well integrated into the free running and offers new ways for the player to air-assassinate. It can be a bit tricky to aim at first, but after that it becomes a simple way to get around London.”

The same free-running improvements of Unity are also back, making the free-running feel very natural.

The fighting has become more brutal and graphic, adding more animation and visuals to the fighting that is not for the faint of heart. The challenges of fights makes players reconsider engaging an enemy.

Overall, many people believe Syndicate has really brought back the feel of the older games that so many fans enjoyed.

“I’d say a solid 9,” Ratery said. “I feel like Ubisoft was able to bring back a lot of the old Assassin’s Creed magic from the Ezio trilogy that they had lost over the last few games.”

If this series stays with the formula they have for Syndicate, fans of the series are surely going to be able to live by the creed even more.

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