PCGamesN Nvidia Showcase posts are created in partnership with Nvidia.
It’s been eight years since Ubisoft first introduced players to the joys of Assassin’s Creed’s unique brand of open-world stealth gaming. Over this period there have been an astonishing 26 Assassin’s Creed titles launched onto the market, of which nine are main games and 17 are spinoffs.
The latest chapter in the series, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is launching on PC and now is as good a time to take a look back over this remarkable, epic saga and remind ourselves why it has become one of the most successful franchises in gaming history.
One of the foremost reasons for the franchise’s enduring appeal is its remarkable premise. Bringing together elements sci-fi, adventure, historical drama and political intrigue it spans centuries and allows for a fresh experience each and every time.
The first game in the series sets out the basic backstory that will inform all the subsequent games and, for those new to the franchise, the story goes something like this: it begins in the modern day, 2012, to be precise, where we find a seemingly regular bartender named Desmond Miles, imprisoned in a hi-tech lab where he is being experimented upon. When Desmond is strapped into a machine called the Animus, he is able to access the genetic memories of his ancestors and relive key moments from the past. We gradually learn that Desmond comes from a long line of assassins who throughout history have been locked in combat with The Knights Templar. In the present day, it’s Desmond’s kidnappers who represent the Templars and they are using their prisoner to locate the pieces of Eden that will enable them to control mankind.
As you can gather, the world of Assassin’s Creed is conceived on a grand scale, which brings us onto the next reason the games are so successful. By creating the Animus device, the series’ developers have been able to draw inspiration from various eras in mankind’s history. Beginning during the third Crusade, the main games in the series then take us through the Renaissance, the Colonial era, the French Revolution and with the release of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate we find ourselves in Victorian England. Each new location and historical period is beautifully recreated and finely detailed. It’s what makes the Assassin’s Creed experience so atmospheric and stirring.
Then, of course, there’s the other vital ingredient in Assassin’s Creed’s intoxicating mix… its unique blend of action-adventure and stealth. The gameplay hinges on the use of active and passive moves. By remaining passive the player can move around a location undetected by the guards, surreptitiously eavesdrop on other people’s conversations to gain intelligence or blending in with a crowd to maintain anonymity. Active moves see your character free-running around the environments, scaling buildings and so on. These moves are far more likely to alert the guards to your presence, at which point you can either run to find a hiding place or stand and fight. Although you are generally encouraged to maintain cover and kill targets in a stealthy manner, there will inevitably be the need to occasionally get involved in a full-blown ruck.
This core gameplay is present throughout the series but with significant developments with each new chapter such as the ability to swim, to design new weapons, to captain a ship, to play cooperatively with other players and, with the release of Syndicate we will see the ability to switch between two protagonists as well as new forms of transport including ziplines and trains.
Each new game in the series gets bigger, better and more spectacular which is why Victorian London is the only place to be on November 19 when Assassin’s Creed Syndicate hits our screens.
For a limited time, NVIDIA is also offering the GeForce GTX Bullets or Blades bundle. Purchase a new GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 980 or 970 GPU, or 970M or above notebook and you will get a free copy of either Assassin’s Creed Syndicate or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege.