Ubisoft has officially announced the latest in its long-running Assassin's Creed games franchise, which will be available for Xbox One and PS4 from 23 October and PC in the "autumn", but what do we actually know about Syndicate?
The gaming giant released a great gameplay trailer and a walkthrough of extra gameplay footage with developer commentary by Marc-Alexis Côté, the game's creative director, during its official unveiling, but we're sure to find out even more during next month's E3 videogames convention in Los Angeles.
Until then, here's a few things we know about the game right now, each of which being excellent reasons as to why we feel that Assassin's Creed: Syndicate could be the best game in the series yet.
1. It is set in Victorian London
To be honest, there have been plenty of games in recent times set in Victorian London or a simulacrum of the city during that time. The Order 1886, and Bloodborne spring immediately to mind. However, the Assassin's Creed franchise has a reputation for adding an extraordinary amount of detail to its locations, with Rome, New York, Jerusalem and Paris among those being feature in some way or another in previous games.
Victorian London is an ideal setting for a number of reasons, not least that it will give you, as the player, plenty of opportunity to leap around buildings and ideal hiding spots considering the rag tag layout of the real London, during that time period especially.
The 19th century setting will also expand the possibilities of what can be introduced in terms of weapons and technology.
2. It will have the largest open-world map yet
There are, according to Côté's commentary, seven boroughs to explore in Syndicate, with a suggestion that the boundaries stretch beyond the city of London. Ubisoft has also confirmed that London it is the largest, most modern open-world city to feature in an Assassin's Creed game. And considering we thought Paris was huge in Unity, that's some boast.
3. It has a female lead character
Right from the off, Ubisoft has revealed that you will play as not just one but two lead characters throughout Syndicate - twin assassin's that are brother and sister.
Jacob and Evie Frye were both raised to follow the creed and each character will feel different in play. They must also be used in conjunction with each other, utilising their unique skill sets, during certain campaign missions.
The publisher was heavily criticised for not having a playable female character in its last game, Unity, so this is definitely a step in the right direction. It has found a solution that should appease everyone.
Incidentally, the lead character in the recently released Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is also a woman.
4. It will feature a huge single-player campaign
Although the main hype about Unity was that it featured four-player co-op gameplay, Ubisoft has highlighted Syndicate as a single-player game first and foremost.
To be honest, we see this as a great move as we found ourselves playing with others less and less as the Unity storyline advanced, eventually seeing co-op missions as distracting and unnecessary.
There will no doubt be an extensive multiplayer or co-op mode in Syndicate, but we wonder if it will be presented in similar fashion to the last game, in that it is integrated into the single-player campaign, or whether it will be separate this time around. We would actually favour the latter - although we do admit that there are plenty of players out there who would disagree.
5. There are GTA style elements
As it is set in the 19th century, vehicles are available to drive around the city in. They are horse-drawn carriages mainly, of course, but it still gives the game a Grand Theft Auto-style perspective and feel as you travel from point to point faster than ever before. It will mean you will no longer have to stick to the rooftops to get around quickly.
And you'll be able to pick up and discard any parked carriage, even hijack those already being ridden, hence the GTA comparison.
6. You'll get to meet/assassinate Jack the Ripper... probably
We don't know this last one for sure but it would be a massive error on Ubisoft's part to not have several missions centred around Jack the Ripper, considering the killer was such a major part of English history around that time.
We do hope that the developer/publisher will avoid including Sherlock Holmes, however. He was purely a fictional character, after all. Although we wouldn't rule out an appearance by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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