How Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Learned From Unity

Assassin's Creed Syndicate game director Scott Phillips has spoken to Game Informer about what lessons the game's development team took from last year's Unity and whether or not we'll see the Frye twins in a future game. 

Unity launched with a wide range of issues which plagued the game for months after launch, ultimately leading Ubisoft to cancel the game's season pass and offer free games and DLC as compensation. Ubisoft has admitted that the game's performance impacted Syndicate's week one sales but they expect favourable word of mouth to help propel the new release in future, in much the same way Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag recovered following what many saw as a weak entry in the series in the form of Assassin's Creed 3.

Discussing the fallout from Unity, Phillips said, "We knew, coming from Unity, that we needed to focus and make sure we delivered a polished and high-quality product. We made decisions like not supporting co-op and not supporting a companion app to focus our efforts and make the best Assassin’s Creed we could. [Unity] affected us, for sure. We had to make decisions based on the reception, just as any game would on a previous game. I think we made the right decisions, and I think that shows in the quality of the game we delivered."

Another way Syndicate improves on Unity is with combat, which is faster flowing and more fluid. Philips said the goal with combat in the game was to have the players always be on the offensive and so it was set up in such a way that bringing multiple enemies to near death and then performing a finishing move on all of them at once yields the most experience and the most impressive kills. 

Several Assassins have cropped up in later games, Ezio had three core entries all to himself, but Phillips says that doesn't necessarily mean we'll see the Frye twins again. "That one I can’t really answer, since Assassin’s Creed has a brand team running it," he commented. "For me, my focus was solely on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

"There’s definitely a team that shepherds the Assassin’s Creed brand. They take all aspects of the franchise and look at where it’s going and what it should be. To what I had said earlier, the setting of any game determines the feature set and what is available, so whatever location we’re doing is going to drive what gets in the game."

The interview with Game Informer also reveals why Ubisoft decided to unlock Sequence 8 early and they wanted players to discover the World War I segment on their own. 

Assassin's Creed Syndicate is available now for PS4 and Xbox One. It launches on November 19th for PC, check out the recommended and minimum specs here