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Are You Hyped at All for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate This Year?

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Assassin’s Creed has yet another sequel coming out in a few short days (this Friday, October 23, for the PS4 and Xbox One, and November 19 for PC, to be exact). Big whoop, what a surprise…not. But is it such a bad thing to have one every year?

In my opinion, no. I still think all of the main entries in the series so far were unique enough to warrant a purchase, which is why I own and have finished all of them. But perhaps I am in the minority here, based on the general distaste among most gamers when the series is brought up.

Regardless, the fast-approaching release date of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate brings with it a decision that you, the consumer, must make: Is it, or is it not, likely to live up to the hype?[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=107&v=_GXqBOw-8n8″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]In my opinion, yes. What I’ve seen from the numerous Assassin’s Creed Syndicate videos available on the Assassin’s Creed Youtube channel are only improvements from the success of the previous title, AC Unity. The combat is obviously revamped, but it remains to be seen as to whether or not we, the consumers, will be able to quickly learn and master it as completely as the developer(s) who did the gameplay walkthroughs found on the AC Youtube channel.

If it’s a hybrid between the long-standing combat mechanics beginning in AC Brotherhood through 3 and the unified mechanics in AC Rogue, Black Flag, and Unity, then there’s a good chance that yes, most likely not too difficult to learn. The combat system in Brotherhood, Revelations, and 3 emphasized button-mashing, so that chaining kills while keeping an eye out for other enemies attacking from the side in order to react in time to press the counter button was key to succes. Compare that with the systems of Black Flag, Rogue, and Unity, all three of which mostly follow a timing-focused scheme, rather than just mashing buttons. Strategy rules the day in the latter systems, while pressing the same button summarized the system of the former. Counters still mattered too, but getting the right weapon and skills mattered more in Unity than strategy in brute combat.

In AC Unity, Arno’s Phantom Blade seemed badass at release, but step aside Mr. Dorian, here comes Jacob and Evie Frye’s Assassin’s Gauntlet and Cane Sword, the former being a hybrid of the classic hidden blade, rope dart launcher, and dart launcher. These two new Assassin tools unique to Evie and Jacob are touted as greatly-assisting in better assassination and combat mechanics, as well as improved navigation and parkour-focused traversal. Based on the video and trailers released so far, these boasts are hard to argue with.

Add to that the unique personalities and, as a result, skillsets which Jacob and Evie each possess, and you’ve got a deadly 1-2-punch twin combination. That will no doubt help in the many enemies and situations you’ll face in Syndicate.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxCnMfR1VuU”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]The open-ended nature of completing a mission and achieving a goal that was seeded in AC1, partially-realized in AC2 through Revelations, done better in AC3, stagnant in AC4 and Rogue, and finally achieved with flying colors in AC Unity is back again and improved even more in Syndicate. How, you may ask? Well, combat, I already covered mostly earlier, but what about vehicles?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Vehicles are a new and much-improved feature versus earlier titles in the franchise, specifically AC Revelations and 3 with their carriages and pirate ships, respectively. Carriages are highlighted in the first gameplay walkthrough above, but here’s a short  summary: you can now freely ride, hide in, and fight with horse-drawn carriages in the Victorian-London setting of 1868, a feature never as-fully-realized until now.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKR42Ci000k”][vc_column_text]Traversal with the rope dart launcher is said to be much more vertical and fluid than ever before in Syndicate. Going from ground to rooftop is accomplished by a press of a single button. No more having to worry about getting hit off the side of a building by a stone while you’re frantically trying to climb to get away from pursuers. The same can now also be said of going from one rooftop to another in range of the rope dart.

Stealth in Syndicate borrowed from Unity in several respects. One major element is the highly-vaunted and much-requested stealth mode of Unity, which is again back in Syndicate at the press of a single button, making Jacob or Evie crouch and don the Assassin hood. However, one major departure from Unity is Evie’s unique Chameleon skill, which allows her to blend in anywhere and avoid detection by staying absolutely still, perfect for avoiding the furry-hat-donning Royal Guard which London is well-known for.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”64845″ alignment=”right” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]The Brotherhood-originating concept of fellow assassins helping the player is back in Syndicate, but this time, it’s in the form of street gang members. Jacob and Evie will gradually form their own gang named the Rooks. The Rooks, once formed by the twins and strong in numbers, will go about street by street in London to gradually take back the city from the Templars iron grip.

How, you ask? Why, by helping Jacob and Evie through distractions, intel, and of course some good ol’ butt-whoopin’  brawls alongside them.

So yes, I think there’s plenty to be excited for with Syndicate coming very soon, despite the occasional over-hyping that promotion can cause, and I hope I’m right in anticipating that I’ll love Syndicate just as much as I’ve loved the past titles, if not more so.

Stay with us here at OnlySP.com and on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for all the latest news, previews, reviews, opinions and much more in the world of single-player games.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in July 2019

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Three Single Player Games (July 2019) - Sea of Solitude, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Wolfenstein Youngblood

July, the middle of winter down here in Australia. Even in the bizarre New South Wales climate, the biting cold makes for a great excuse to stay inside and play games. 

Weirdly for single players, quite a few prestige games this month include additional co-op modes. With acclaimed designers behind them, such games will hopefully avoid the pitfalls of accommodating multiple players, as too many games have done in the past.

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

At first blush, Sea of Solitude looks like yet another story of a young adult struggling with questions of identity and mental health while exploring a beautiful but harsh fantasy world.

Actually, that’s what it is. ‘Quirky, life affirming indie adventure’ is a whole cottage industry these days, but the fact that such games are now more prevalent should never dismay.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a masterpiece of refined design and storytelling, and Sea of Solitude appears be something similar—this time dealing with a fantastical vision of depression that turns ordinary people into literal monsters.

Players take charge of Kay, who has sought out the eponymous Sea—or rather, a flooded city based on Berlin—in the hope that there is a cure for monstrosity. However, despite its name, she is not the only person in the Sea. Avoiding the other monsters of the Sea seems to be a major part of the gameplay. These tense encounters are likely to provide rhythm and variety to the adventure and keep it from being a just walking simulator. (Not that being a walking simulator is inherently a problem.)

Although published by EA Originals, one would do well to remember that EA the company does not actually profit off the Originals that they publish. With a focused story and themes that still are not often explored in bigger games, Sea of Solitude should be of great interest to single player fans in a month otherwise dominated by multiplayer titles.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Almost certainly the biggest single player release of the month, and tied with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as another massive Switch exclusive, Fire Emblem: Three Houses might be exactly what single players need right now.

Lately the Fire Emblem franchise has exploded in both its popular profile and sales success, buoyed by a hunger for both deep anime RPGs and polished tactics games. Three Houses seems to have doubled down on exciting trends and features in both genres: particularly a Persona/Harry Potter inspired magic school setting and an even deeper tactical battle system that ditches the rock-paper-scissors for more nuanced character progression options. As with many Japanese RPGs, the story is also a major focus and hinges upon a time-jump.

The early part casts the player as a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, situated in the center of the game world and attended by students from the three most powerful nations. Five years later, the second and likely larger part concerns the drama between the player’s teacher and their former students, whose nations are now locked in a massive three-way conflict.

As is to be expected for a series finally coming back to consoles after a long time on the 3DS, Three Houses is a massive technical leap over its predecessors. The game boasts better realised battlefields, more detailed armies, and a slick animated style that appears much more consistent compared with the three or four different art styles on the 3DS.

With such improvements, as well as the overall pedigree of the Fire Emblem brand, Three Houses should have no trouble satisfying single player fans looking for a meaty middle-of-the-year RPG.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

The recent Wolfenstein revival series is such a remarkable achievement in traditional shooter design and great, if goofy, sci-fi worldbuilding that the co-op focus of this latest instalment is somewhat disappointing.

Yes, as with F.E.A.R. 3 and Dead Space 3, following a well-received second chapter the Wolfenstein series now pivots to a co-operative focused chapter. Though the game is not a mandatory multiplayer experience, combat encounters and puzzles have been redesigned to accommodate the two player mode, giving single players an AI-controlled partner and bullet sponge enemies.

However, all hope is not lost for Wolfenstein: why else would it be the third game on the list? The narrative has been pushed forward in time, as B.J.’s twin daughters are now in their adolescence, now giving players a glimpse at the 1980s of Wolfenstein‘s skewed universe. Additionally, the level design itself is more freeform thanks to development assistance from Arkane, the developers of the Dishonored series.

Will Wolfenstein: Youngblood successfully deliver more of the series’s goofy charm and crazy alternate reality? Almost certainly. On the other hand, will the game be as fun to play alone as in multiplayer? That remains to be seen. Last month’s E3 demo that raised such concerns was naturally only a snapshot of a game in development, so MachineGames and Arkane have had plenty of time to resolve these potential downsides to a co-op focused game.

Those are our three big single player games to look out for this month. Other interesting titles coming soon include Stranger Things 3 on July 4 and Attack on Titan 2 on July 5, both games hitting Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

On July 12 we will see the sequel to an almost-fantastic Minecraft-like RPG spinoff, Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and PlayStation 4, as well as the Switch port of “anime Monster Hunter”, God Eater 3

The week after, July 19 brings us Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and at an undetermined time during the month Klei Entertainment’s anticipated survival-sim Oxygen Not Included will finally leave early access on PC.

Have we missed anything that you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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