Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has been out for exactly one week and we’ve all been having a great time donning our assassin’s robes and running through the streets of Victorian London stabbing ne’er do wells. However, behind all the cockney charm lies a deep, dark, and… smelly secret. A secret which Ubisoft is no doubt hoping will go unnoticed.
One of London’s most iconic landmarks is the River Thames, which snakes its way through the great city. Visit the Thames today, and you’ll find it to be a lovely site, home to all manner of wildlife from Trout, Eels, Swans, Herons, Otters, and even the occasional Dolphin. The river is a major tourist attraction and visitors can sail down it on sightseeing tours, and there are many restaurants on the river which allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature whilst having some lunch.
The Thames wasn’t always such a crowd drawer, far from it. As London began to expand and grow during the 16th and 17th century’s, people began using the river as a means of disposing of their unwanted waste, including their bodily waste. The Industrial Revolution made London one of the biggest, most important cities on the planet, and whilst it made Britain rich, it had foul consequences for the environment due to the smoke billowing from the factories and the sheer increase of Londoners. By the 19th century, everyone was dumping their bodily waste into the Thames. Not only did this turn the river into a massive stream of urine and feces, but it also caused several major cholera outbreaks which killed tens of thousands of Londoners between 1832 and 1865. Seriously, if you lived in London, you stayed as far away from that river as you possibly could. Even the rich folk couldn’t avoid it. Historians attribute Prince Albert’s death in 1861 to typhoid that had taken hold in the river’s water by Windsor castle.
What does this have to do with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate? Well, Syndicate is set in 1868, the very same time that London’s river had pretty much turned into a giant turd. Syndicate allows players to explore many of the land marks found in Victorian London such as the Houses of Parliament, Scotland Yard, Nelson’s Column, and, you guessed it, the River Thames. Players are encouraged to steal cargo from the boats on the Thames in order to fill their own pockets and I’m willing to bet that you’ve taken a dip. Why wouldn’t you? Just look at that inviting, murky, brown water.
It’s no coincidence the Thames water is brown. The devs at Ubisoft do a lot of research on each historical period. There’s no way they overlooked the fact that taking a dip in the Thames in the 1800’s was pretty much a sure way to die horribly.
Despite being a giant milkshake of feces and piss, Jacob and Evie are made of far sterner stuff than your average Londoner, they’re assassins! Neither of the two will so much as hesitate at swan diving into the bodily fluids of thousands of Londoners. After taking a dip, the twins will continue on their mission like they aren’t covered in shit. Assassin’s Creed is a franchise full of mysteries, but the biggest mystery of all is how anyone can bear to be within a mile of either Jacob or Evie.
I’m still only about half way through Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, and I’m having a lot of fun with it, but I can only assume that it ends with both of the Frye twins dying horribly from the countless diseases they caught whilst swimming around in a river full of piss, shit, and God knows what else.