Warning: Significant spoilers. These have to be addressed in order to analyse the game.
The story is set 20 years after the events of AC Syndicate and reintroduces the now older and wiser Frye twins, Jacob and Evie. After an altercation involving Jacob and The Ripper, Jacob goes missing and his sister, Evie Frye, is called on by the familiar Scotland Yard Inspector Frederick Abberline to solve the Ripper murders and potentially find her brother.
Unfortunately for me, they just felt so dull and repetitive, that I couldn’t bring myself to play more of them.
The gameplay and activities were very similar to AC Syndicate, but Ubisoft has introduced new skills that can be levelled up. These new skills, referred to as ‘Fear’ really change up the gameplay mechanics, giving you the ability to approach and eliminate enemies in new ways.
Also featured in this DLC are new weapons for your arsenal. For instance, the ‘Fear Bomb’ and ‘Spikes’, are all craftable within the main menu.
I found the portrayal of Jack the Ripper quite menacing, I loved the depiction of him in this game. Apart from that, however, I found the actual story of ‘Jack the Ripper’ a tad disappointing. For me, I feel this is because they tried to fit it too much into the ‘Assassin Creed canon’, while not really acknowledging most of what they did know about The Ripper at the time. I mean, I get that this is ‘historical fiction’, so Ubisoft shouldn’t have to adhere to boundaries, they can do their own take on a famous historical figure and that’s fair enough. I suppose I just wanted something that was a little more fleshed out, instead AC Syndicate depicts him as an Assassin who has gone rogue from the Creed. Following this logic, the reason why Jack the Ripper’s identity was never known was because he was an Assassin and this had to be covered up. Can’t have word getting out that one of the most sadistic men in history was associated with your respectable organisation. Now I get that Ubisoft were trying to make their own unique ‘conspiracy within a conspiracy’ surrounding Jack the Ripper, that could fit nicely into the AC canon, but I felt that this was too convenient of an explanation. Maybe if the DLC were longer, and gave itself time for us to know more about this version of The Ripper that Ubisoft are trying to portray, then it might of snagged my interest, but there were just too many odds and ends that weren’t tied up, that made the end of the story feel unfinished. I just felt that if the Ripper had a different story arc instead, it might have made the game feel closer to fact than outrageous fiction.
Like previous Assassin’s Creed titles, they never shy away from accentuating the finer details of the time period. For me, I always feel as though I’m learning something new about history when I play an Assassin’s Creed game. AC Syndicate does this as well, I particularly loved the little historical tidbits of information given in the loading screen about the Industrial Revolution. Since the DLC takes place 20 years later, these historical tidbits reference how London has progressed in that time. I liked how you could access information on Jack the Ripper as new evidence and information occurred. These are fairly detailed as well, listing The Ripper’s murder weapon, details about his victims and where/when he committed these crimes.
Some of the main story missions involve Evie investigating the crime scenes where Jack did his dirty work. These are very reminiscent of the missions titled ‘Dreadful Crimes’ in AC Syndicate (exclusive only to PS4). In AC Syndicate, these missions had a very old school ‘whodunit’ detective feel, so it’s appropriate re-introduction for Jack the Ripper was most welcome.
Finally, I need to address how I loved that Evie, one of the best protagonists of the AC franchise, in my opinion, is the one to rescue her brother and catch the Ripper. Evie Frye’s character is humanised further as you start to see her empathy and rage build for these helpless women, members of her same sex, who are being murdered in brutal ways.