This game takes place during the Industrial Revolution in England. Both Jacob and Evie Frye went to London to liberate it from the Templar control. To do so however, he needs to enlist the help of a lone Assassin working there named Henry Green, as well as working together with other historical figures such as Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Dickens.
The past Assassins storyline is certainly entertaining and intriguing, dealing with issues such as child labour delicately as well as gang wars effectively. It is however, not a masterpiece compared to other Assassin's Creed games' past storylines such as Ezio Auditore's or Connor's storylines, as both character storylines deal with much more interesting conflicts between the Assassins and Templars. The ending of their storyline is certainly conclusive yet unfulfilling to us players as it lacks great epilogue like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's epilogue.
The modern storyline is much more interesting than Asssassin's Creed: Unity and Assassin's Creed: Rogue's modern storylines, but it is still feel too short for players to enjoy. The events have significantly picked up, but it is remain to be seen whether the next Assassin's Creed game will deal more present storyline plot because this game teases a lot on what will happen in the next possible Assassin's Creed game's modern storyline
The characters in this game are likable, especially the twins Assassins Jacob Frye and Evie Frye. Jacob is hard-headed, reckless, yet tough as well as very skilled in combat. Evie is calculating, cautious, and more careful with her approaches when dealing in her missions. The contrast personalities between these two siblings is particularly strong, yet I wish the game would have more cutscenes of them interacting with each other, as their sibling differences are only seen very little in the game. Other villainous characters such as the Templars Crawford Starrick, Lucy Thorne, Pearl Attaway, and Maxwell Roth are engaging and memorable due to their cunningness, ruthlessness and actions. Supporting characters such as Alexander Graham Bell and Henry Green are also well-liked, but they could have more roles in the game's main storyline.
The game plays more similarly to Assassin's Creed; Unity, with improved and retained gameplay controls. You can still do Free Run Up and Down with more controlled precision when freerunning, as well as entering into Sneaking Mode where your controllable Assassin can crouch and hide behind covers for both assassination and sneaking. The whistling feature also returned in this game, which allows you to lure enemies to your position to allow you to kill them. Eagle Vision also allows you to sense nearby enemies and recruits as well. During freeroaming, you may switch between Jacob and Evie to your pleasure, as each character have access to slightly different Skills as they gain levels.
Exploration plays similarly to previous Assassin's Creed games, where you can Fast Travel to any synchronised Viewpoints or to your Hideout. A new tool called the Rope Launcher allows you to shoot a zipline and allows you to ascend or descend to one ledge faster. It allows you to travel and infiltrate many places easily, and gives you a chance to assassinate enemies while using the zipline. You may also drive carriages for fast escapes or traversal. You may also kidnap your enemies to access restricted areas during Bounty Hunts or missions.
Each borough in London is controlled by Templars and their gang The Blighters (main enemies), and you can reduce their influence by completing side activities such as Child Liberation and Bounty Hunt missions. Clearing out a borough from the Blighters will allow you to initiate a Gang War against the gang leader, and winning it allows you to reduce the number of the Blighters on streets of that particular borough. This is highly useful as it rewards you experience points and money, as well as may give you better chances of completing your main Memories.
Game progression is the same as previous Assassin's Creed games, where you complete the main Memories to progress the story. Many of the game's Memories have different objectives, such as infiltration, escorting, and assassinating. Assassination missions play like Assassin's Creed: Unity assassination missions, such as having many different entry points, encourage different approaches, utilise opportunities to sneak and kill your targets. Many of the game's main Memories have optional objectives, which can be completed optional by fulfilling optional conditions. Not all Memories will feature both siblings as playable characters, as many of the game's main Memories will feature only one sibling suited for the storyline purposes and their skills.
The game combat has been reinvigorated to play more like Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with more fast-paced battle system. The battle system utilises a Combo System, where multiple hits will reward you more experience points (XP) to gain new levels, as well as giving you higher advantage to kill enemies in near-death states. You may also attempt Multi-Kills with your weapons on multiple enemies close-by, with flashy animation as well as increased hit counts. You may also break your enemies' defense with a stun move, as well as counter enemy attacks. You may also use Tools such as your firearm and throwing knives to kill enemies faraway.
During gameplay, you may also choose to bring your gang members to fight off your enemies or distract them. Like your equipment, you may also purchase upgrades for them via Gang Upgrades. You may choose to increase their levels so that they can survive better, or investing other businesses to increase your income. It is entirely optional to recruit them during missions, but they can be entirely helpful if you are stuck somewhere in the game.
This game also features a leveling system, where you can gain Sync Points by obtaining enough XP. You may use the Sync Points to learn new skills, such as Combat Skills, Stealth Skills, and Ecosystem Skills. Combat Skills deal with skills used in combat such as increased health and execution moves. Stealth Skills include stealth skills such as double assassination move and other stealth skills. Ecosystem Skills deal with other variety of skills such as increased resources gain and improved carriage driving skills. As you learn new skills, you will gain a level. As you gain higher levels, you will be able to equip better weapons and other accessories. XP can be gained by completing Memories, side activities and combat. Enemies also have their combat levels, as they may have better defenses and weapons to kill you faster.
The crafting system is also back in this game, where you can craft new weapons, outfits, gauntlets, and other upgrades by spending money and resources. Resources and money can be obtained by opening chests, or completing side activities. You can only craft certain gear by only finding the proper schematics, which can be unlocked upon playing the main Memories or completing side activities. You may also receive income as time passes by once you have unlocked your hideout, and it can be increased by investing in Gang Upgrades.
Both Jacob and Evie may equip different gear such as weapons and outfits. Each gear will have different stats, such as cane swords are more suited to stun enemies and kukris are more lethal and easier to kill enemies in near-death states. Gauntlets will grant you increased attack power, and outfits may grant different bonuses such as increased melee damage. All of your equipment can be upgraded further to increase their effects.
This game also feature many side activities to be completed, such as Associate Activities where you can help historic figures in their quests such as completing Bounty Hunts and Child Liberation missions, competing Fight Clubs, participating carriage Races, hjiacking Blighter's cargo and deliver it to your destination, hijacking a Train, and many more. Collectibles are also present in the game, and you may purchase some of the maps to view their locations. Many of the game's side activities have their own optional objectives, which may grant you additional XP and money upon completing them.
Overall, this game offers better gameplay experience than last year's Assassin's Creed games, especially Assassin's Creed: Unity. Improved traversal and exploration, improved combat system, easy-to-learn crafting and equipment systems, easy leveling system, better gameplay controls and lots of side activities.
The gameplay, however is still not perfect. The combat is still too easy, and enemies are not really aggressive to kill you easily other than their levels and better equipment. The lack of techniques to knock enemies unconscious is notable, as you can only knock out enemies from behind and not from higher platforms like Assassin's Creed III or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The number of Tools available in this game is many, but I personally feel Assassin's Creed: Unity's or Assassin's Creed: Rogue's Tools are far more useful for missions. Jacob and Evie have their own sets of Skills, but each of them have actually very few exclusive Skills to separate each other from being a total combat specialist or a total stealth specialist. Their Skills trees would have benefited more if each of them have more exclusive skills to use during both missions and freeroaming to make each character plays differently than the other. The streamlined equipment system is also notable, because Assassin's Creed: Unity has more complex equipment system where you can actually customise every clothing pieces, as well as more advanced stats bonuses. The final boss fight is also poorly designed, personally. Sometimes the controls can be imprecise, such as the combo moves shown during loading screens and free-running. Enemies could also use more variety, with more different gear and appearances.
However, certain streamlined features such as the equipment system could be a boon as well, since the equipment system in Assassin's Creed: Unity can be too complicated for certain players, as well as reducing the amount of stats that players should pay attention to. Regardless, I personally think the game's many improvements and the smooth gameplay made the issues somewhat minor as the game is incredibly fun to play.
Again, this Assassin's Creed game looks stunning with beautifully designed environments in London, as well as greatly detailed characters. Many NPC characters share the same character models, especially the enemies however. The main characters during cutscenes such as Jacob, Evie, Henry, and other main Templar enemies look really great, however. Not only that, both Jacob and Evie have some unique killing animations when using different weapons, which is really good.
By far, this game has better graphical performance than Assassin's Creed: Unity with better framerate and less bugs as well as glitches. There are still few bugs and glitches, but they are very few that I encounter with while playing this impressive scale of an open-world game with lots of details.
Overall voice acting is great, with commendable performances by Jacob's and Evie's voice actors. Other voice actors also did commendable job on their roles, especially Crawford Starrick, Lucy Thorne, Maxwell Roth, and many other voice actors.
The game's soundtrack is also more memorable than Assassin's Creed: Unity and Assassin's Creed: Rogue's soundtracks, with more memorable and beautiful themes, such as when climbing on Vuewpoints or during exploring in the game.
Like many other Assassin's Creed games before, this game has high replay value. You may complete every main Memory's optional objectives and synchronise 100%, complete side activities for you associates such as Robert Topping and Henry Green, complete other 'economic' activities such as hijacking trains and boats, complete other side quests such as Charles Darwin's memories, collect all collectibles such as beers and pressed flowers, or obtain all Trophies. PS4 players may also play Dreadful Crimes side missions where you can participate in investigations to find the murderer in a crime scene. This is a specific side mission feature brought back from Assassin's Creed: Unity, and it is fun to do so.
So far, this game is the best Assassin's Creed game so far in current generation consoles that I have ever played, many thanks to many improvements made since Assassin's Creed: Unity. Better storyline, improved gameplay, likable characters, improved combat system, many easy-to-learn game features, and improved graphical performance made this game a highly recommended playable game than it's predecessor Assassin's Creed: Unity. The reduced online features and primary singleplayer gameplay experience makes this game more immersive as well. The pacing in main missions in the game is also steadily good.
This game has some issues however, such as streamlined equipment system, easy combat and enemy A.I., few imprecise controls, and less viable Tools. These issues, however, can be minor or ignored due to how much the game plays smoothly when playing it. Puzzles are also lacking, and puzzles like the gears puzzle in one of the missions is the only one available in the game, and the game could benefit more puzzles when playing the missions.
In conclusion, this game is a great improvement over other Assassin's Creed games last year, and it is personally the smoothest Assassin's Creed game that I have played so far. I highly recommend players to try out this game over Assassin's Creed: Unity or Assassin's Creed: Rogue, and this is now one of my favourite Assassin's Creed games ever.
Final Score: 9.0/10.0 or 36/40
Pros and Cons
- Engaging and fun storyline.
- Many likable and memorable characters.
- Improved overall gameplay than Assassin's Creed: Unity.
- Fast-paced, smoother and improved battle system.
- Easy-to-learn gameplay features such as equipment and crafting systems.
- Smooth exploration features, such as carriage driving and ziplining.
- Fun and many side activities to be done.
- Gorgeous graphics.
- Improved graphical performance.
- Great voice acting.
- Likable and beautiful soundtrack.
- High replay value.
- Poor design of final boss fight.
- Lack of enemy variety.
- Lack of exclusive skills for both Jacob and Evie to make them truly unique playable Assassins.
- Lack of puzzles in missions.
- Modern storyline feels too short to enjoy.
- Possible issue of less complex equipment system.
- Less useful Tools compared to Assassin's Creed: Unity's Tools.
- Minor bugs and glitches.