Assassin's Creed will be heading to Victorian-Era London this October with the newly announced Assassin's Creed Syndicate — but will fans want to come along for the ride? Last year's Assassin's Creed Unity was mired by technical problems that prevented many players from being able to enjoy the game. Even after a series of updates improved the game's performance, Unity's gameplay and story still left much to be desired.
In addition to the new setting, the game will feature a number of new gameplay elements, such as two playable characters, a grapple gun and vehicles. That's all exciting news. However, it will be for naught if Ubisoft can't improve many of the problems that have begun to creep into the series. Ubisoft has a golden opportunity to learn from the mistakes of Unity and to use that knowledge to make Syndicate the best Assassin's Creed game yet.
Here are five ways we think Ubisoft can improve the franchise with the latest chapter in the assassin vs. templar saga.
Bring Back The Present Day
For the majority of the franchise's history, players have jumped back and forth between the struggles of the present-day assassins and the memories of their long-dead ancestors. Assassin's Creed Unity, however, dropped the time-hopping entirely. There were no current-day segments to speak of — you play as an unnamed character in the events of Arno's life, while assassins in the present give you some direction about the game's events.
This series needs a modern-day storyline to bring all the pieces together and give the events in the past importance. We don't know much about Syndicate's storyline at this early stage — but hopefully it doesn't ignore the modern-day assassin vs. templar war like its predecessor.
Less Emphasis On Crowds, More Emphasis On Gameplay
One of the major selling points of Assassin's Creed Unity was the technology used to bring the game's digital version of Paris to life. The number of characters on screen and the graphics were impressive... but those same crowds contributed to the game's poor framerate and performance at times.
Rather than putting so much effort into having hundreds of characters on screen, Ubisoft should first focus on making sure the game's other systems (like stealth, for example) work as intended.
Free running across rooftops and climbing buildings has always been a staple of Assassin's Creed. Syndicate will be no different — but as the series moves ever forward in time, it only makes sense to open up more possibilities for players navigating these historical cities.
Syndicate looks to be on track in that department. Players can use a grappling hook to zip to the top of buildings and swing from rafters, which should introduce a number of new exciting gameplay opportunities. It will also feature vehicles like stagecoaches that players can hijack to drive from point A to point B. If Ubisoft can deliver on these new promises, – while continuing to refine the parkour system that helped make the franchise stand out in the first place – Syndicate could be a major step forward.
More Interesting Side Activities
The franchise has long struggled with finding meaningful side activities for players to experience. Sailing the high seas and improving upon your ship in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag proved addictive — and Unity's murder mysteries stand out among the few activities in the game that leave a lasting impression. Syndicate needs compelling side missions to truly elevate itself above its predecessors, and Victorian London should be rife with opportunities.
Make Sure The Game Works
If you played Assassin's Creed Unity at launch, you know where we're coming from. From framerate problems to terrifying (and hilarious) glitches, the game simply didn't work like it should have. It made playing Unity a chore. Video games aren't supposed to be a chore — they're supposed to fun!
If Ubisoft wants to improve the franchise and win back the hearts of gamers burned by last year's installment, Assassin's Creed Syndicate needs to be the best experience it can be, right out of the gate... not two months later.
What ways do you think the Assassin's Creed franchise should improve? Let us know in the comments below.