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Assassin's Creed Syndicate takes the player back to the days of Jack the Ripper and Victorian London. But before getting to London, and being awarded the luxury of a mini map, you have to complete two chapters using three characters. I am not usually that good on action based arcade style adventures but I found that Assassin's Creed Syndicate gives me just that extra tick to react - even if that meant me not being as brilliant as I would have liked (and even dying once or twice en route) - and that makes it a game that players like me (slightly older than the average player of this type of game) can play, enjoy and complete - not that, at this moment in time have I completed the whole game; I am in London though and well into the action. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm not sure that is 100% correct, though if it is then this page is valued at well over 10000 words. I have taken as many screenshots as I could - remembering that the game continued to play on while I was saving each [PrtScrn] shot; I don't know about other PCs but I can only take one via Print Screen and then I have to manually save it as a jpeg and then go back to the game.

I hope that my screenies, and my Official Collector's Edition Strategy Guide photo's, give you, the reader, a good idea of just how good this game looks and how well it plays.

 

ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE The Guide Book

The PRIMA Games Collector’s Edition of the Strategy Guide of UBISoft’s excellent new Assassin’s Creed game, is a hard cover, 416 page, fully coloured, glossy and informative volume that enhances your playing of the game with a free digital eGuide, Interactive maps, wall clings (more about these in a moment) and an bonus in-game weapon-Angel Knuckles (brass knuckle-dusters). Plus there is a complete walk-through of the game from start to finish, 16 pages of concept artwork, and a large poster (double-sided to show the Frye Twins, Jacob and Evie, on one side and a map of London on the other).

  

A word of warning, at least for players in the UK, when you register your book at Primagames.com you are asked to input your free code. Once you do this you have two offers available, neither of which have anything to do with the game or the book – they are voucher sites. I have registered and input my code but at the moment I haven’t discovered how to obtain the in game Angel Knuckles weapon. I haven’t tried too hard to find them, to be honest I thought they would appear in my inventory like things do in online games such as World of Warcraft, but to date that hasn’t happened.

  

Within the book you will occasionally find maps using an overhead view. These aren’t particularly clear or easy to identify in-games. However in the book, these maps are dotted with numbers and arrow lines with each location or objective found in the text paragraphs that follow the map.

  

From as much as I have read, I have read through a lot but I haven’t read every page in the Guide, it is possible to play the game by following the walk-through page by page, stopping reading only when you have thugs or minor henchmen to kill or maybe just fight. But I have found it much more fun to play the game in my own way, whether this means going slightly off route at times, and then when I find I am running round in circles, caught in a dead end or simply dead (okay, maybe not quite dead) then I have a look at the book to see where I went wrong or what I should have done and then I continue. This book makes it as easy as you want it to be to locate everything you need to find, it’s really up to you how much you want to play and how far you need to get in the game by going through the numbers, literally. 

  

The Assassin Brotherhood has been virtually eliminated in London so the twins leave Crawley and head for the smoke. You play them one after the other, sometime a mission each and other times they are part of the same mission and one replaces the other at certain points until its conclusion.  The twins are full of themselves and their skill sets so they are off to London to take it back from the Templar. Along the way they meet up with some notable dignitaries from 19th Century London: Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Florence Nightingale, even Queen Victoria, Fred Abberline and Jack the Ripper (you need the download content for the JtR story) get in on the act. Jacob and Evie are commissioned by a Brotherhood Bishop to discover a Piece of Eden. The Pieces of Eden are technically advanced devices that each have a different and speculative property – maybe even able to make someone do something against the will by invading their mind and thoughts.

  

London 1868 in the Assassin’s Creed world is a lot like the history books tell us London 1868 was in actual times. It is grimy, dirty, filled with streetwalkers, thugs and poor people hoping for and looking for a day’s work here and there. The air is thick with smog, the roads are cobbled with horse drawn carriages and Hansom Cabs bumping along them. The Industrial Revolution, as seen at the 2012 Olympics Danny Boyle style, is now in full swing and economic growth in all areas is unbelievably high. Unfortunately with this new found wealth come new opportunities for villainy. In this game the main protagonist is one Crawford Starrick, the GrandMaster of the British Rite. He has an organised army of thugs and leading-hands who all do his bidding for the piece of the pie. His organisation isn’t just located in London, it is global, and it is under the Knights Templar banner.

  

One of your best weapons is stealth. Go into stealth mode and you can sneak up on people and assassinate them in a single stroke. Once you have the skill you can take out two thugs at the same time without suffering a scratch. If you do get into hot water during a fight a message will inform you it is time to run away. Do this and with luck you can heal up before attempting to get past the enemy again. Standing still for a time in stealth might leave an implant of you that can be found and followed by an enemy, so the clue is not to stay in one place or the wrong place for too long. You can also use Eagle Eye that lights up the hotspots for you. This game just keeps getting better.

  

You can make your avatar climb up walls, buildings, cranes, trains and automobiles and many other surfaces. You can jump up, spring across (gracefully of course) wide gaps; lLand on and crouch, totally balanced, on thin wires, swing trapeze style on any king of pole or protrusion and then use Eagle Eye from the highest viewpoint to plan your next move (or look in the book for it).

The game is filled with Missions, all of which are explained fully in the walkthrough, as are the five major side-Quests and all of the collectibles. These latter are found attached to walls (as poster adverts), in chests - these glow white as you approach them and open when searched. Books contain Pressed Flowers plus you can even have fun visiting the bars and other merchants to collect Beer bottles. There are Letters about the Great war, Royal Correspondences which should never reach the wrong hands and also a secret vault where lies the Precursor Armour.

  

You will also encounter Helix Glitches which are located around the city and easily reached once you have the Rope Launcher. Just move to and through the Helix Glitch and you may find some interesting Intel in an Audio Log. The Prima Guide book tells you clearly where to locate all of the Glitches, Flowers, Bottles etc. shown by number on the map and descriptive text under separate headings and alongside each number. Something else to note is that there is no multiplayer option.    

  

If you fail to complete a mission in the time required you become desynchronised and you find yourself in a white zone while the game resets and off you go again. Always read your missions completely because it is easy to go in straight for the kill and complete successfully only to discover that you killed the right guy but in the wrong manner – I assassinated a Doctor early in the game and the cut sequence began to play. After it ended I was shown a success rate and then realised I was supposed to kill him by dropping from on high not by sneaking up behind him, which I had thought was really brave and clever of me. I should have read the book!

  

I am playing the game on my PC, which is barely of a quality to run the game smoothly – logging in and out takes seemingly forever. Using the mouse and keyboard keys is a possibility but the Official Guide doesn’t linger on this, or even show a graphic of it. There are illustrations, fully detailed of course, of using 2 different hand controller unit for the XBOX ONE and the PS4 and using the information thus gathered I plugged in my THRUSTMASTER Dual Analog F1 hand controller and lo and behold most of the buttons equate to those for the consoles – just a few keys are required at times and the lowest buttons – where my hand comfortably rests – sends me to the exit screen, somewhere I rarely want to go but end up regularly by reflex. It’s great to be able to use a hand controller on the PC for games like Assassin’s Creed, it helps so much.

  

    

Below are the two sides of large poster. Unfortunately, although it is separate from the book's pages, it is folded and thus in need of some careful ironing. As well as the poster you get two A4 sized pages that have peel-off backdrops of the London skyline that you can stick on your wall adjacent to each other (butt one up carefully) to create a 19th Century Londonscape. There are also various wall/window stickers of varying sizes useful for decorating wherever you stick them. The cityscape is the best of the lot but the Twins stickers run it close. If you look very carefully there is also just visible the Assassin's Creed  Brotherhood icon and the Templars sigil in white. These stickers are one-offs so make sure you use them with thought and care.

      

Excellent game, excellent book.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015