Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Review Roundup

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (ad) has been out for a few days now and the reviews are rolling in. In this post, I thought we’d take a look at what people are saying about the latest AC game and whether it is a game worthy of your time this holiday season.

Site Score out of 10
GameInformer 8.5
Polygon 9
Gamespot 9
IGN 8.2
the Telegraph 4
the Guardian 4
Attack of the Fanboy 8
The Escapist 8
Average 7.3

As you can see from the table of scores listed above, people are scoring this game all over the place. Metacritic has the game at a 80 out of 100 currently, which is okay. However, a lot of the major gaming sites are giving it 8.5’s and 9’s. I think it is interesting that the two English publications gave the game poor scores, as this game takes place in London. The user score on Metacritic is 5.9, which is terrible, although Metacritic often has problems with users being over critical, over enthusiastic, or rating games without playing them.

I’ve read a lot of the reviews on this game. Some general things I’m hearing are:

  • This game is a “return to form” for the Assassin’s Creed series.
  • There are a few glitches, but this game works for the most part, which was not the case with Unity.
  • London is an amazing location and the city is really the star of the game.
  • The present day AC story that ties the series together is as random, all over-the-place, boring, and unrewarding as ever.
  • The controls can be extremely frustrating.

Let’s look at what some reviewers are saying specifically:

Jeff Bakalar, CNET: “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a captivating adventure game that rebounds happily from the disappointment that was last year’s Unity. Syndicate makes great use of its setting, doesn’t overwhelm the player with mindlessness and stands on its own as a great open world game, even if its core is slowly growing tired.”

Alex Ray Correira, GameSpot: “London feels alive. Towers breathe smoke into the sky, stations bustle with passengers and passing trains, the homeless burn fires in trash cans in alleys, and stray cats pause to look at you while you lie in wait for your target. Bystander AI can be overdramatic at times, cowering in fear indefinitely after witnessing you murder someone in front of them, but those visceral reactions are what make starting fights in public such a delight. You throw a punch in a marketplace and crowds immediately vacate the area, fleeing from your wrath. Little boys and women run and scream as you sink your blade in someone’s throat. NPCs also yell at you when you loot bodies, bid you good-day as you walk by, and make whispered comments to companions about your looks. And piled on top of it all is a brilliant soundtrack, a seamless sea of tunes that capture the sadness of the poor and the determination of the Fryes.”

Kirk McKeand, the Telegraph: “Everything just feels slightly off, and it ruins the overall experience. Take the horse-drawn carts for an example: driving them feels like you are driving a bus with shopping trolley wheels, on ice. You can ram other carts, but the cart just flails wildly, most of the time not shunting in the direction you were hoping for. It is as if everything is made out of magnets.”

Joe Juba, GameInformer: “For all of the familiar parts of Syndicate, it still feels inventive. It may draw inspiration from previous installments, but features like the zipline and revamped progression system demonstrate a willingness to cut stagnant elements loose. With a cool setting, memorable characters, and a wealth of content, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has all of the hallmarks of a great Assassin’s Creed entry – but it also surprised me by challenging what I previously thought a great entry should be.”

The overall impression I’m getting of this game is that this just isn’t an amazing game, but it still might be worth it to give it a try just to see how they built London and whether it feels like actually being there.

What do you think of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (ad)? Have you purchased the game or do you plan to? Leave a comment below.