It’s no secret that last year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity underwhelmed players upon its launch. Setting aside criticisms about the game’s lack of female assassins, Unity was riddled with glitches that removed the faces of in-game characters, caused the frame rate to drop dramatically on a whim, and halted free-running techniques dead in their tracks. The technical issues with the title lead to Ubisoft offering up a free game as an apology to season pass holders, so it's not surprising that some gamers may be skeptical of the newly announced Assassin's Creed Syndicate.
Fortunately, Ubi has owned up to the failures of its last major Assassin's Creed installment and has now assured fans that it has learned from its past mistakes.
During a press visit to Ubisoft's Québec City studio, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with the executive director for Syndicate, Francois Pelland, following a brief demo of the game running on PlayStation 4. We asked about the development process in the wake of Unity's less than ideal debut, and Pelland assured me that the studio has learned from past mistakes.
“There is one thing that we do every year, you know. Whether it’s this year, or last year, or the past five years, for that matter, is that we learn. Sometimes we make things that we look at after and say “we could have done that differently.” And so, it has been a great learning [experience] this year and the reason why you’ve been able to see a live demo on console, that’s a direct kind of learning that we got from last year’s game. To have something early and to polish, polish, polish the hell out of it. That’s kind of the mindset we have, the mindset the team has had since day one."
To already have an, admittedly, very pretty looking build of Assassin's Creed Syndicate running on consoles at this point is a promising step in the right direction. Combine that with the game's three year development period and Pelland's optimism about buckling down and releasing a very polished game, and these all seem to be good indicators that the next entry in the franchise is on track to restore faith in the series for longtime fans.
Couple the dedication to having a finely tuned game available at launch with a slew of new additions like horse-drawn carriage hijacking and the rope launcher – not to mention the addition of a playable female lead in the form of Evie Frye – and it's appearing more and more evident that Ubisoft has learned from its mistakes.
Time will be the ultimate deciding factor leading up to the game's launch, of course, but the latest Assassin's Creed title appears to be on track and in good hands.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate will be arriving for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 23, 2015.