Single Player Focus
Since Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the series has been experimenting with multiplayer in various ways. While a hit at first, some of the series’ later forays into multiplayer (like with Unity’s co-op) haven’t stuck the landing that well. Ubisoft is trying to make the most out of the situation, though, and clearly they’re trying to learn from mistakes.
The Assassin’s Creed series has always had a strong central idea for its story, diving into ancestral memories through a machine to relive the past and unravel the truth behind an age old war.
Multiplayer, though, can often get in the way of these stories, especially when it creates systems that just don’t work very well. Unity of course being the prime offender here, with its social clubs and broken co-op among other glitches that hindered the game.
With Syndicate, the team has a clear vision. To tell the brother-sister story of two assassins fighting to bring justice to the working class. With single player back at the forefront, this allows the team to focus on interactions between Jacob and Evie, as well as how the two interact with the world around them. Hopefully, Syndicate can create a sibling story that feels natural and genuine, and from what we’ve seen from the interactions between the two so far, it seems likely.
At its heart Assassin’s Creed is a series about truth, freedom, and justice. Making Syndicate purely single player can let the game explore those themes with reality and a historical background as the setting. There’s no way we can know how much manpower or resources were diverted in previous games to work on multiplayer aspects.
Either way, freeing up Ubisoft’s massive teams at Montreal and Shanghai to collectively work on one aspect of the game is certainly not a bad thing.