5 Things Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Does Better Than Any Previous Game In The Series

If you’ve been feeling a little fatigued with the annual tradition of a new Assassin’s Creed game, you’re not alone. Fortunately for you—maybe not your wallet—Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate ranks as one of the best in the series—perhaps even the best. Here are five things Syndicate does better than any previous game in the franchise. For the record, we could’ve easily listed five more, but you’ll just have to play it to find out.

19th century London comes alive


Set in 1868 Victorian London, Assassin’s Creed’s historical backdrop has never felt so alive. While the series has always boasted vibrant scenery, this city is pulsing with life. Train stations flow with travellers, homeless men and women burn fiery trash cans in dark alleys, and rival gang the Blighters roam the streets looking for trouble. The architecture is equally awe-inspiring, as evinced when your ascend one of the city’s tallest buildings to get a gorgeous panoramic view of dozens upon dozens of smoke-spewing chimneys. The attention to detail cements Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate as one of this generation’s most eye-catching titles. Finally, while the game does spend some time with it’s overarching present-day subplot that I’ve never been a fan of, it’s a fairly insignificant interruption.

Jacob and Evie’s sibling rivalry


Arguably Syndicate’s biggest standout is its twin protagonists, Jacob and Evie. While both characters are charming, witty, and genuinely likeable, they each possess their own characteristics that set them apart, and even cause a bit of sibling rivalry. Whereas Evie is more level-headed and authoritarian, Jacob is a prankster who’s more concerned with building a gang than focusing on the task at hand: locating the powerful Piece of Eden and liberating the city from those pesky Templars. Throughout nearly the entire game, you can switch between the two, but you’ll want to ensure you level up both characters in equal measure. Also, Jacob and Evie have different skills. For instance, when it comes to stealth, go with Evie. But if you’re looking for a fight, Jacob is your brute. Both siblings are fun to control, but what’s most impressive if that the series introduced such a complex heroine. More of that please (sorry, Enzio).

An esteemed cast of historical figures


Not only does the game feature the series biggest roster of historical figures, but they’re also presented as highly amusing, and sometimes endearingly playful, variations of themselves. During your adventure, Evie and Jacob will run into the likes of Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Karl Marx, Florence Nightingale, Duleep Singh, and Jack the Ripper (accessible only via Season Pass). Of all of these characters, Charles Dickens was my absolute favourite, with inventive side missions involving hypnotists, haunted houses, and other odd occurrences about town.

Swift modes of travel


Next to its highly memorable cast, another Syndicate revelation is the grapple gun, which allows you to zip up and across buildings in a speedy fashion. Somewhat of a cross between Batman and Spider-Man, it’s the best way to explore the lay of the land, and you’ll probably forget about the option to fast travel altogether. On the ground, you can also steal and drive horse carriages to bolt through the streets and ram into enemies in your path or on your tail. These vehicles ride surprisingly well and definitely add to the overall variety of Syndicate’s open world. Plus, you can hide dead bodies in them. Convenient!

Bloody-good missions and combat


Like all previous iterations of Assassin’s Creed, escorting, sneaking, stealing, and assassinating are still the main mission staples in Syndicate, but there are more ways to go about it. Whether you’re rescuing orphans or killing rivals, the new gameplay mechanics keep things consistently fresh. And while the game’s combat hasn’t changed much from before, there’s a bigger arsenal than ever. Guns, daggers, brass knuckles, poisonous darts are a blast to use, but the sword cane is the way to go if you want to slay someone in the most brutal manner possible.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.