Sunday, 26 May 2024

Afterwords – Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Building on the Past, Crafting a Bright Future

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate marks a significant step forward for Ubisoft’s renowned gaming franchise. Learning from the challenges faced by its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Syndicate combines the best elements of previous games while adding its own unique flavor. We had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Phillips, the game director of Syndicate, to gain insight into the development process and the team’s decision-making along the way.

Lessons from Saints Row: The Third

Syndicate’s focus on ensuring players have fun and enjoy the game echoes lessons learned from Saints Row: The Third, a game known for its playful nature. Phillips emphasizes the importance of celebrating players and providing ample opportunities for self-expression and experimentation. By constantly rewarding players for their actions, Syndicate creates a positive and enjoyable experience.

Deliberate Decisions Post-Unity

The challenges faced by Unity undoubtedly influenced the development of Syndicate. The team recognized the need to deliver a polished and high-quality product, leading to decisions such as omitting co-op and a companion app. The result is a game that showcases the lessons learned and the team’s dedication to delivering an exceptional gaming experience.

Retaining the Best, Embracing the New

With a franchise as expansive as Assassin’s Creed, it is essential to carefully select which elements to refine and which to leave behind. The time-traveling nature of the series allows each entry to focus on what best fits the setting and storyline. Syndicate introduces new features, such as the rope launcher, which seamlessly blend with the game’s Victorian London setting. By constantly evolving, Assassin’s Creed stays fresh and captivating with each installment.

Balancing Innovation and Tradition

The introduction of the rope launcher raised concerns about de-emphasizing the beloved climbing elements that define the series. However, Phillips assures players that the rope launcher enhances the experience, providing a unique and exhilarating gameplay dynamic. When it comes to implementing formula-changing ideas, the Assassin’s Creed brand team ensures cohesion and coherence, aligning each game with its specific location and narrative.

Engaging Gameplay and Functional Carriages

Carriages serve as a means of transportation in Syndicate, and the team focused on making their controls intuitive and enjoyable. While carriages may not offer the same excitement as modern cars, they possess their own charm and functionality. The inclusion of living animals as the driving force behind carriages adds to the dynamic, making the experience distinct and engaging.

Discovering World War I and Sequence 8

The decision to allow players to discover the World War I sequence on their own was born out of the desire to create water cooler moments of discussion among players. By placing an icon on the map, the sequence is subtly hinted at without being explicitly directed. Similarly, making Sequence 8 available from the beginning allows players to engage with the open world immediately, fostering an organic gameplay experience.

Crowd Control and Empowering Combat

Syndicate introduces fluid multi-enemy combat, emphasizing crowd control and offensive gameplay. The focus on allowing players to swiftly switch between targets and achieve impressive combos creates a unique combat experience. Enemies are balanced to ensure players can fully revel in their offensive prowess, resulting in satisfying and impactful finishing moments.

Weapon Categories Reflecting the Setting

The selection of the three weapon categories in Syndicate was driven by their relevance to Victorian London. The brass knuckles represent the violent and brutish nature of close-quarters combat, while the cane sword adds a touch of elegance. The inclusion of the kukri pays homage to Indian culture, adding depth and diversity to the game’s weaponry.

Thoughtful Implementation of Microtransactions

The implementation of microtransactions in Syndicate was approached with careful consideration. Ubisoft aimed to strike a balance between visibility and intrusiveness, ensuring that players could engage with microtransactions at their discretion. In-game collectibles reward players with Helix credits, providing an enticing opportunity to utilize microtransactions without forcing them upon players.

A Standalone Tale

The story of Jacob and Evie Frye in Syndicate exists as a standalone tale within the Assassin’s Creed universe. While the future direction of the franchise’s overarching narrative is managed by the brand team, Syndicate offers a self-contained and immersive experience focused solely on the adventures of the Frye twins.

Balancing the Past and the Present

Developing an interesting historical story while advancing the modern-day arc requires careful deliberation. The team engaged in extensive discussions to strike the right balance for both new players and dedicated fans. By introducing unique elements like the WWI time anomaly, Syndicate allows players to delve deeper into the present-day storyline while experiencing the rich historical setting of London.


Q: How does Assassin’s Creed Syndicate differ from Unity?
A: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate builds upon the lessons learned from Unity, delivering a polished and high-quality experience. The game introduces new features and refines existing ones to create an enjoyable and immersive gameplay experience.

Q: What makes Syndicate’s combat system unique?
A: Syndicate focuses on crowd control and offensive gameplay, allowing players to swiftly switch between targets and execute impressive combos. The combat is designed to empower players, providing satisfying finishing moments.

Q: Does Syndicate continue the overarching Assassin’s Creed storyline?
A: While Syndicate offers a standalone tale focused on the Frye twins, the direction of the franchise’s storyline is managed by the brand team. The game provides a rich and immersive experience within the Assassin’s Creed universe.


Assassin’s Creed Syndicate represents a significant milestone in the franchise’s evolution. Learning from past experiences, the development team has crafted a game that combines the best elements of its predecessors while introducing fresh and captivating features. With its engaging gameplay, immersive setting, and thoughtful implementation of microtransactions, Syndicate is sure to delight both new players and devoted fans of the series.

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