The Ripper descends upon us all.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has placed the series back into the good graces of fans the world over. Its dual protagonists, amazingly rendered London, visceral combat, and new methods of traversal have been well received and even earned the game a GOTY nod from us here at Twinfinite. Ubisoft had managed to once again deliver a game that you simply can’t help but love. It finally came time for the game to receive an expansion, and this tends to be where things go a bit…odd. Though they may seem simple on the surface, it’s fairly difficult to deliver something that’s the same yet still undeniably new to a game fans have already poured hours into. Jack the Ripper, the first major expansion for AC Syndicate, aimed to do just that. The question is: did it do enough to be worth not only your time, but your money as well?
For starters, this isn’t Jack the Ripper’s first foray into the realm of video games. The vicious murderer has been used in one form or another in games for nearly 30 years, so it’s hard to take such a well known entity and make it your own. But, surprisingly enough, Ubisoft managed to do just that, and they did a damn good job of it. Without spoiling any of the plot points, like his identity or motives, Jack is one seriously demented dude with a strength and ability that has yet to be seen in any entry of the series. He’s fast, cunning, and hell bent on accomplishing his goals, and he’s willing to murder everyone in the city to do so.
You could say that about pretty much any villain in just about any game that needs you to hunt some dangerous person down. But it’s more than what Jack the Ripper does that makes him so intriguing, it’s how he does it. He operates through fear. No, he doesn’t just throw fear gas like a certain Batman villain, although they do bear a striking resemblance. He publicly eviscerates anyone in his path, causing paranoia and chaos everywhere he goes, and is as monstrous as any human can be. But he’s not the only character in the game who deserves major attention.
Instead of switching between Jacob and Evie like in the main game, this time you play as the latter the whole way through. Twenty years have gone by, and although the passage of time can be read on her face, she doesn’t miss a beat. But this isn’t just the Evie you’ve already played with for countless hours. She has some new tricks up her sleeve, and they revolve around a couple of new tools as well as these bangles she wears on her wrists.
You’ll still be able to sneak around, assassinate, and/or beat the living daylights out of anyone you come across, but you now have the added bonus of causing intimidation, paranoia, and fear. You can drop into a group of enemies and make them wish they’d never seen anything as they scurry away screaming at the top of their lungs. This makes them easy pickings since they are unable to fight back, or you can just watch as they run through the streets, people reacting to the psychotic ramblings of the enemies you’ve frightened. It adds a new dynamic to infiltration, and how you approach battle.