It’s one aspect in which Assassin’s Creed: Unity felt a little too true to life – its windows didn’t feel like they were designed for hooded maniacs to climb into them from the streets outside. In fact, navigation was altogether a little muddier than you’d expect from the first brick in a new generation of stabby stealth games.
That’s something Ubisoft Quebec have taken it upon themselves to improve in Syndicate – their pleasantly trashy vision of Victorian London.
Creative director Marc-Alexis Côté specifically mentioned window-clambering in an interview with Xbox Achievements.
“We really took that to heart, tried to find solutions to make it better and make the navigation more fluid overall,” he said. “So that players would stick less on objects that they don’t want to, [and it’s] much more driven by where the player wants to go.”
The introduction of a grappling hook will apparently ease movement in city streets both wider and higher than those of previous iterations.
“One of the things we know for a fact from all the years of experience we have on Assassin’s Creed is: the easier it is for players to get onto rooftops, the more they enjoy the game,” said Côté.
It’s laughable to think of Unity as a stripped back game, with its dense, lavishly animated crowds and sometimes conflicting stealth systems. But I found it to be largely successful in boiling down what makes the series tick, and in encouraging players to practice their fundamental skills again after several years in the hood. Now it’s time for other studios in Ubisoft’s stable to throw in silliness like careening carriages, while taking care not to knock the whole thing down.
Syndicate will host the tallest building in Assassin’s Creed history. Can you work out which it is?