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So I've been very critical of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate's melee combat and it's something Ubisoft finally discussed in depth with a new walkthrough video. They explain what some of the new features are like in the upcoming game as well as what they're doing different from past games. Scope it out in the video below.
The game's combat is aimed more at the lead-up to the kill rather than the kill itself. As explained over on the official Ubisoft blog, Marc-Alexis Coté, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s creative director, stated...
Jacob’s really about close combat,[...] You’ll see him breaking bones and really putting enemies on the ground and taking them down very, very efficiently. We’re making sure that the combat is faster, We’ve cut the latency of the fight in half to make it more responsive for our players as they jump from one target to the other.
While the latency may have been cut in half I feel as if the flow of the fights aren't very smooth or cohesive at all compared to Assassin's Creed III. Of course, that's just my take on it based on the time and effort the team put into Connor's fighting style. When you see Jacob fight there appears to be a slight bit of disjointedness in his one-on-one fights with opponents.
However, I do have to admit that the multi-opponent encounters look quite good in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. Ubisoft's teams have always done a pretty good job about making the multi-character fights look compelling and dynamic and the same applies here with this game. Again, I haven't seen enough to say if the multi-opponent component rivals that of Assassin's Creed III, but when Jacob was fighting the two henchman on top of the train it looked smooth, fluid and seamless, something that was missing in his one-on-one fight with the big fellow at the start of the fight.
I would have expected that they would have pulled a page out of Naughty Dog's book when it comes to the one-on-one fights; Uncharted has some of the best mano-e-mano encounters you'll find in a third-person action title. Having a nice, fluid back-and-forth with the option of counters would definitely make it more cinematic.
Don't take it that I mean the combat is trash, because it's not. Just compared to some previous games and other titles on the market I suppose I'm comparing what we're seeing in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate to said titles, which may be somewhat unfair... especially as far as Uncharted 4 is concerned.
Something else mentioned in the blog and showcased in the trailer is the zipline. We get to see how Jacob and Evie can traverse the environments like Spider-Man by using the grappling hook to either scale environments vertically or traverse them quickly by turning the grapple into a horizontal zipline.
The grapple isn't quite as comprehensive as Just Cause 3, but it's designed to help players get around environments quick and easy, just as we saw with Jacob hitching a ride on the train to catch and kill his target.
You can learn more about the game over on the official website. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is due to drop this fall for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.