The next episode in the multimillion-selling Assassin’s Creed video game franchise has a true Dickensian setting.
London during the early 19th Century, amid the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, is the backdrop for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, due Oct. 23 for the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 video game consoles. A Windows PC version will be available soon after.
Events take place about 75 years after the events that occurred during the French Revolution in 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity.
At the time, London is the epicenter of the world. When the game picks up the Knights Templars have essentially become the victors in their conspiracy-laden centuries-long battle with the Assassins.
By dominating the growing financial center, the Templars have pushed Assassins to the periphery. But a pair of assassins, twins Jacob and Evie Frye, aim to organize the working class and underclass to build a power base.
“To quote Charles Dickens, ‘It was best of times, it was the worst of times’ and this is exactly what I want our players to feel,” said creative director Marc-Alexis Côté of Ubisoft Quebec.
Technological advances such as the train and new weapons including the revolver arrive during the Industrial Revolution. That means the game will be much different from previous Assassin’s Creed games, according to Côté. “It will be like leaving behind a medieval era and moving on to a modern world,” he said.
Players will be able to control both the male and female main character in the game. They can hop on trains and horse-drawn carriages and zip to rooftops using a Batman-like wrist contraption called a rope launcher.
Ubisoft has sold more than 90 million Assassin’s Creed games since the first game debuted in 2007. The historical fiction-based games have been set in Jerusalem, Rome, Revolutionary War America and the seas of the Caribbean.
The Paris-headquartered game publisher on Tuesday reported improved sales for its fiscal year ending March 31 of $1.6 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the same period last year. Three of its 2014 games — Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity, combined with Assassin’s Creed Rogue (released for older systems the Xbox 360 and PS3) — placed among the top seven sellers of the year, the company said.
With the new Assassin’s Creed game and two upcoming Tom Clancy-branded games Rainbow Six Siege and The Division, Ubisoft “has a very strong lineup” in this fiscal year, said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
While players will travel to the past in the new game, there are echoes of modern-day class struggles and the 1-percenters. “The overarching theme of the game is how the few try to control the fate of the many. It’s really a theme of the era with 95% of the population not even having the right to vote,” Côté said. “This game showcases the control the Templars have from the shadows on all the different aspects from the criminal gangs to the transportation or financial systems. … The past defines what we live in today.”
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1bNgKUJ