Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has been out for nearly a full month on console, and Zoe really enjoyed the antics of twins Jacob and Evie Frye in the new Victorian England setting. Recently though the latest entry into Ubisoft’s annual franchise finally launched on PC, with the extra few weeks being used to polish a few corners up –  and hopefully ensure a smoother launch than history has told us to be accustomed to when it comes to Assassin’s Creed. And it’s worked, somewhat.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is probably the most stable entry of the franchise for PC in years, but that’s not saying a lot given the faltering of Unity and Black Flag before it. The game ships with some relatively high PC Specifications, which are seemingly warranted when first booting the game up. Syndicate will devour your video card memory like it’s going out of style, and even my 4GB (3.5GB?) GTX 970 had trouble maxing things out at 1080p.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate PC Review 2

What’s handy though is the plethora of PC settings available for you to tinker around with, which give you a great amount of control over the game as any PC game really should. The main killers here are shadow quality and world texturing, which gobble up memory and have the chance to bring the game’s framerate to an absolute crawl. That’s more noticeable with Nvidia’s exclusive PCSS Shadow settings, which really require nothing less than something like a GTX 980Ti to even get stable. Thankfully the more default options work just as well.

And Syndicate is, when in motion, rather lovely to look at on PC. There’s a definite bump up here from the PS4 version I played last month, with textures more sharp than the 900p resolution on console. The added fluidity of 60FPS (when I could attain it, because keeping it locked seemed out of the question) really adds a lot to a game where you’re constantly running around and climbing, although it’s not enough to fix the frankly still infuriating parkour system. Again, something you might want to tackle with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard.

There’re some odd bottlenecks here and there too, especially when it comes to environmental details such as smoke and ambient lighting indoors. In the tutorial section alone some of the light bouncing off furnace which inexplicably dropping my framerate by 15 frames, while it eventually stabilised when looking over the Thames from a high perch. The quieter-than-Unity streets tax your CPU a little less, but crowded areas with lots of shadows bouncing everywhere can still ensure that you framerate will stay far from locked.

But it’s a much better attempt from Ubisoft for a proper PC port this time around, with only a handful of crashes at the start when still figuring out some of the settings and hardly any real bugs to speak of. You’ll still fall through the world’s geometry at least once or twice, but I’m just gad I can actually play an Assassin’s Creed title well on PC just days after it launched instead of full weeks.

Last Updated: November 27, 2015

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PC)
While the franchise still needs to overcome some inherent flaws, Assassin's Creed Syndicate feels refreshingly different and a joy to play. With believable characters and fluid gameplay that feels trimmed of its excess fat, it is the best Assassin's Creed game to come out in years.
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (PC) was reviewed on PC

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