Assassins Creed: Syndicate, Review

Assassins Creed: Syndicate, Review by Jenni Contrisciani

Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure video game series created by Montreal based Ubisoft. The games are set in actual historical settings with the protagonists being the Assassins, an organization that fights for free will, with the Templars set as the antagonists who desire to control the world and mold it to their dictates. As of 2015, there have been nine main games, however it is only the latest, Assassins Creed Syndicate, that has a playable female character. Ubisoft is to be congratulated and given positive reinforcement for this change despite taking so long to allow players to play a woman. Over the past year Ubisoft has heard from its fans who essentially demanded a playable female character. In addition, Ubisoft threw in a transgender female to male non-player character (NPC) named Ned Wynart. The beginning of the game now indicates that the game is not only put together by a team with various religious beliefs but also sexual orientations and gender identities. Now that is listening to your fan base. What many reviewers seem to have missed is that Ubisoft featured a crossdressing NPC in Assassins Creed: Unity, in the form of the historical Madame Chevalier d’Eon, an actual French spy and diplomat.

The female character you can play is named Evie Frye, however in a nod to hard core male gamers who might have balked at playing “just a girl” and not bought the game, Evie’s twin brother, Jacob Frye, is also a playable character. The Frye twins have to take over the gang world of London in typical Assassin’s Creed fashion. Evie’s character has a few more stealth skills than her brother, who conversely has a few more brawler skills. Of the two, Evie comes off as more intellectual and focused, while Jacob is portrayed as somewhat impetuous and hot headed. Otherwise, they can be played the same, with the player actually determining how sneaky or frontal assault attacks they wish to do.

Physically, Evie Frye is pleasing to a female gamer. She is pretty without being unrealistically “Hollywood glamorous.” With her black hair pulled into a controlled plaited bun behind her head she looks effectively coifed for an assassin, as opposed to pornstar hair flying around her face obscuring her vision. It was a plus for Ubisoft developers as that type of hairstyle is much easier to mod than Lara Croft’s in Tomb Raider, which incidentally was one of the best hair treatments I’ve ever seen in a video game (non cut-scene.) Evie is fairly well endowed up top, although not comically so, and her bosom is kept under wraps with outfits that show nary a hint of cleavage. Despite how hard boy gamers may try, there is no getting a peak down Evie’s shirt. This is welcome and respectable as far too many game companies think a metal brassiere is enough armor for a medieval female warrior.

Personality-wise, Evie is layered, much more so than her brother, with opinions on topics ranging from Imperialism, to child labor, to strategy and tactics. She shows loyalty to her father and a dedication to the Assassin order that Jacob only gets superficially. She isn’t ever put in a situation where she needs to be rescued, which I half expected to see throughout the game at some point, but was pleasantly surprised not to. There is a slight love interest but very light, and she is the one in charge of it.

Overall, Ubisoft has done a nice job on this latest version of Assassin’s Creed and I hope to see more playable female characters from them in the future. Girls are gamers too you know!

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Posted on January 24, 2016, in Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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