Skip to main content

Why Assassin's Creed Syndicate had to be in London

This year's addition to Ubisoft's annual stab simulator, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, not only sees a new approach to combat, but also the long awaited appearance of Victorian London as a setting. In the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, creative director Marc-Alexis Côté explains the decision to modernise the AC sandbox has pushed his team at Ubisoft Quebec to revolutionise every element of the franchise (including not locking chests behind a companion app a la AC Unity). "One of the things that I think the series needs in order to innovate is to have a more modern setting; to modernise the experience," says Côté. "Both in terms of gameplay and in terms of narrative, and there’s no other place to do that than an age of transformation. An age like the Industrial Revolution."

From advances in engineering to Britain's transformation into one of the world's first true superpowers, there are a lot of themes that makes the age of the Victorians so compelling - but it turns it was London itself in the 1800s that really fascinates Côté and his team. "Our biggest investment, without a doubt, is in the city itself. In creating a city that lives and breathes. A city that is, for the first time in the history of the franchise, full of movement," comments Côté. "The city is split into seven different boroughs. The key to the experience is to make each of those boroughs feel very different for our players. I want our players to have a voyage through the city as they travel from the riches of Westminster to the poverty of Whitechapel."

The latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on the cover, is out now. Download it here and subscribe to future issues.