In the wake left by E3 2014, Ubisoft found itself under fire for a lack of female assassins in Assassin’s Creed Unity. After claiming that the gender posed a challenge for developers to add to the game, there was an ample amount of heat on the company and those behind the development of the blockbuster franchise’s next installment. This scenario is something that the publisher is hoping to avoid this time around in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
With the option of suiting up as either Jacob or his twin sister Evie Frye, that hot-button issue has affectively been squashed, but apparently the decision to add the playable female protagonist didn’t stem from the controversy surrounding Unity.
During an interview with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate‘s executive director Francois Pelland, we asked about the decision to include two playable characters this time around in lieu of one central assassin. According to Pelland, the decision to have male and female twin assassins was to incorporate a modern story that best fit the team’s narrative – hence why Ubisoft started building it roughly two and a half years ago.
“For us, two and a half years ago, we said let’s talk about a modern story. Right from the start, we knew we wanted to have Jacob and Evie in as twins. They come into London at that time, so they explore London during the same time that the player is going to do. So for us it’s not like we were trying to do anything special with it, we were just saying that this is the best way for us to have the greatest story, for the period, for the game.”
So while the implementation of two central characters is one of the more interesting developments in Syndicate, many fans are likely curious to know how it works. Pelland was quick to address this by stating that users can simply switch to their preferred Frye on the fly during free-roam sessions, but will have to saddle up as one or the other for a number of different story missions.
“So the player will choose between Evie and Jacob and the narrative will switch between the two depending on the missions and depending on the storyline. So, it’s more the duality between the two where we feel like with Jacob and Evie we exploit the two sides of the English culture – or English personality, I should say.”
Despite both looking equally kick-butt in their dark assassins robes, both Jacob and Evie will have very distinct personalities. Jacob, for example, is brash and strong-headed which one could foresee getting him into a whole heap of trouble. Based on the gameplay footage Ubisoft was kind enough to show me behind closed doors, it would appear as if Evie is more calculated and precise where her brother lacks that foresight.
Together the pair should have a very interesting dynamic and it’ll be interesting to see how their unique approaches to any given situation will differ from one another. Still, giving players some options in terms of whom they can play as for the bulk of the campaign is a very progressive step forward for the Assassin’s Creed franchise and it’s something that longtime fans are sure to appreciate.
What do you think of the dual protagonist addition? Will you play through the bulk of Syndicate as Jacob or Evie Frye?
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be arriving for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 23, 2015.