Why No Multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a Good Idea

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Posted May 13, 2015 by Ryan Campbell in Video Games

So earlier today Ubisoft did its usual Spring reveal of the next installment in the uber popular Assassin’s Creed franchise Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. It was filled with the usual mix of shots of parkour and general assassin-y things mixed with a ton of marketing speak about how this one is unlike any other Creed game before it. Mixed in all the noise was a very interesting bit of news however, for the first time since Brotherhood the game will not feature any multiplayer. Now in an age where any game that doesn’t feature both is meant with a loud cry of “over priced!” or “incomplete” this is a bold move from a annual powerhouse franchise. I also believe it is a great move that the franchise really needs to get back to what made it special when it peaked in Assassin’s Creed 2.

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The reasoning behind the change was best explained by Creative Director Marc-Alexis Cote. “”The reason we are doing this is to really focus on the roots of the franchise,” Cote said. “That’s why all nine studios are focused on delivering this single-player experience.”

He also mentioned some technical details about the dynamics of the world requiring so much detail it became a give and take but the clear focus of the “core experience” and the roots seems to be the drive. This a bold and great decision to rejuvenate the franchise that has seemed to become a monster constantly biting off a little more than it could chew, and that’s with the entire Canadian game developing community lending a hand. If we go back to the first games that were  a success, the over all arching story and focused nature of the tale really made it special. Since then the game has been more focused on side content, game modes and anything else it could throw in, it’s just become a jumbled mess. One look at the progress wheel from Unity makes this apparently clear. A fuller game does not mean a better game. Give me a giant world and tell an engaging story in it, that’s more important to me than if I have 50 floating pieces of paper or feathers to collect. While I’m sure Syndicate will feature these things, axing Multiplayer removes such a giant distraction that now those side things can  be better inserted into the narrative. This isn’t about weather Ubisoft can deliver two great experiences it’s about pouring all those resources into refocusing a franchise on what got it so large.

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Another matter at hand is the increased instability every AC game has released in over the last few years. 3 had its issues, Black Flag had it’s issues and it all culminated in what was a giant buggy mess in Unity last year. The hope is by refocusing the team they can deliver a solid, stable experience that restores faith in the fan base.

Many have been saying for years the franchise just needed to take a break, well until sales dip to unprecedented lows I doubt that is going to happen, but this may be the next best thing. Sometimes we all get a little to “big for our britches” and need to step back see what got us where we are and re commit to our roots. I hope that is what we are seeing with Syndicate and I’m excited to see if this decision pays off.

Plus all the “Gangs of New York” like imagery isn’t hurting at all.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate arrives on PS4 and Xbox ONE on October 23 and PC “Holiday 2015”.


About the Author

Ryan Campbell

Avid gamer from Cincinnati Ohio. Also love Star Wars and Wrestling. Big basketball fan and dabble in really every other nerd thing out there. I would rather have a Gundam then Superpowers, so there is that.