An Assassin's Guide to London - Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Gamereactor
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Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

An Assassin's Guide to London

Let us take you on a tour of Victorian London as seen in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.

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It's not unreasonable to assume many of you have already seen London and its plethora of seminal landmarks, but unless you're some kind of immortal being, chances are you've not cast eyes on the English capital circa 1868.

The talented people at Ubisoft have created a visually stunning and impressively accurate representation of London during the industrial revolution and thanks to the wonder of video games you're free to take a virtual history tour of the city during one of its most iconic eras.
With a map that's 30% larger than the Paris seen in Assassin's Creed: Unity, it's a big place with lots to see and clamber on top of. Allow us then to be your guide to the must see sites of Syndicate's Victorian London.

Whitechapel

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Spitalfields Market: Now referred to as Old Spitalfields Market, this market has been in existence for over 350 years. It was initially opened in 1638 after King Charles gave the licence for fresh, fowl and roots to be sold on Spittle Fields.

During the time of the Commonwealth the rights to the market lapsed and trading on the site ceased. In 1682 the market was re-founded by King Charles II in order to feed the then rapidly growing population of London.

Market buildings were erected on the open ground and it's the beginnings of this new covered market that can be visited in Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

St Mary Matfelon: This church, popularly known as St Mary's Whitechapel was a Christian Church on White Church Lane in Whitechapel. It was the second oldest church in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

On 26 August 1880, however, a fire broke out leaving only its tower, vestry and church rooms intact. It was rebuilt and opened again on 1 December, 1882.The building was ill-fated though and during The Blitz, on 29 December 1940, was once again destroyed, this time by an enemy fire raid. It was demolished in 1952.

Today it's the site of St Mary's Gardens, but thanks to the timing of the Fyre twins' revolution of London, players can take a break from all the killing and visit the historical building in all its glory.

The Borough of Westminster

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

The Clock Tower 'Big Ben': This is one of the most iconic landmarks of London and one that's wrongly referred to as Big Ben by the vast majority of tourists, and possibly British too.

Big Ben is actually the nickname of the Great Bell in the clock that's situated at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012, during the Victorian era the structure was simply referred to as The Clock Tower.

Thanks to the Frye twins' impressive climbing abilities you can even climb the face of the clock itself. Somehow we don't see that being available on any guided tour.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Westminster Abbey: If you happen to be riding your hijacked horse around the Borough of Westminster why not stop by Westminster Abbey? This large abbey church constructed in mostly Gothic design is one of the most famous religious buildings in the United Kingdom.

Located right beside the Palace of Westminster it has long been the place of coronation and burial for British monarchs. While the origins of a church on this site can be dated back as far as the 7th century, the construction of the present church began in 1245 under the command of King Henry III.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Victoria Station: London Victoria Station is one of London's main railway stations. It gets its name from nearby Victoria Street, itself named after Queen Victoria, the reigning queen during Syndicate.

Originally opened in 1844, the popularity of the station saw it undergo massive expansion to include six platforms and ten tracks and of course the notable high angle glass ceiling.

Between April 2013 and March 2014 it was used by a mind-boggling 81 million passengers making it the second busiest terminus in London. While it wasn't quite as busy in the Victorian era, Syndicate's version of Victoria Station is still a vibrant, bustling hive of activity.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

10 Downing Street: While in London you should also take a trip to number 10 Downing Street at the heart of Westminster.

10 Downing Street serves the same purpose in Syndicate as it does today, that is it's the home and office of the British Prime Minister.

The residence looked much the same then as it does now, except for the usual scramble of press and police seen hovering around on the news. There's not much to do there, but you can plod on the flowerbeds if you're feeling mischievous.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Buckingham Palace: After visiting the Prime Minister's house why not stop by the Queen's abode at Buckingham Palace. This impressive structure and its beautiful gardens are often the venue for state occasions and royal hospitality.

Originally called Buckingham House, it was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It was enlarged during the 19th century to the building we recognise today, thus becoming Buckingham Palace, the official palace of the British Monarch.

In Syndicate the palace's interior can be explored by simply hopping over the railings. Watch out for those guys with the tall furry hats though, they won't take kindly to an assassin roaming around.

The Thames

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

River Thames: What would a tour of London be without the River Thames? The longest river in the whole of England, the Thames runs right through London. Scale a nearby tall building and you can look down at the rather congested fleet of boats sailing along the water's surface.

In the 19th century the quality of the water in Thames deteriorated due to the dumping of raw sewage, and it was a breeding ground for bacteria. Thankfully Syndicate hasn't been so accurate in this regard and the chances of contracting cholera or typhoid, should you take a dip, remains unlikely.

Turn to the next page for even more landmarks from Southwark, City of London, and The Strand.

Southwark

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Waterloo Station: Located near the South Bank of the River Thames, the first railway station built on this site was in 1848, 20 years before the events of Assassin's Creed Syndicate.

Formerly known as Waterloo Bridge Station, it was originally intended as a through station with services to the City of London. It officially became known as Waterloo Station in 1886 thanks to common usage of the name.

Waterloo is Britain's busiest railway station with just under 100 million passenger entries between April 2013 and March 2014.

City of London

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

St Paul's Cathedral: This Baroque-style Anglican cathedral sits at the highest point of the City of London. The original church built on this site dates back to AD 604.

The present structure was founded in the late 17th century and was part of a major rebuilding programme after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Its large dome and framed spires make it one of the most iconic sights of London. Its dome is among the highest in the world making St Paul's Cathedral the must-scale building for any assassin.

The Strand

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Covent Garden: Today Covent Garden is a popular destination for major retail therapy and street performers, but before it was home to big brand labels and jugglers alike, its central square played host to apples of the more edible kind.

Its central square was the location of a former fruit and vegetable site around 1654. The market and surrounding area developed a bad reputation with taverns and brothels opening up.

By the 18th century it was a popular red light district, but in 1830 plans were made to establish the market once again and those of questionable morals moved on. The market continued to grow by the 1868 version of Covent Garden depicted in the game.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Trafalgar Square: Existing in much the same form then as it does now, Trafalgar Square contains the famous Nelson's Column accompanied by the four lion statues and its base.

There are also a number of other commemorative statues and sculptures here, making this public space a popular tourist attraction in central London.

Trafalgar Square has become a place to gather in times of celebrations, such as New Year's Eve, and during unrest, making it the site of many protest marches and political demonstrations.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Piccadilly Circus: Piccadilly Circus is today distinguishable by its neon signs and huge video display. But of course the place looked a lot different in the 1800s.

Piccadilly Circus was opened in 1819 at the junction of Regent Street to connect it to Piccadilly. It gets its name from a house that belonged to a Robert Baker who sold 'piccadillies', a word used for collars.

With the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue in 1886 the circus is no longer the circular shape that existed in 1868, although its name has remained unchanged.

City of London

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Bank of England: The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Established in 1694 it's the second oldest central bank in the world.

The Bank moved to Threadneedle Street in 1734 where it can be freely explored in its Victorian form. Unfortunately the option to take out everyone and make off with the vast riches it holds isn't a viable option for getting rich in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

Monument to the Great Fire: This structure is more commonly referred to simply as the Monument, and was constructed to commemorate the Great Fire of London. Built between 1671 and 1677 it stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, near Pudding Lane where the fire started in a baker's house on Sunday 2nd September, 1666.

The fire raged through the city, destroying the greater part of it before it was finally extinguished on Wednesday 5th, September.

The column contains a stone staircase of 311 steps leading to a viewing platform. But of course seasoned climbers Jacob and Evie prefer to quickly scale its exterior to take in the view.

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate made its way onto PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 23, and you can read our review of the game here.

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