10 Brilliant Video Games That Surprised Everyone

10. Assassin's Creed Syndicate


Whilst not a masterpiece, and by no means the greatest entry in the Assassin's Creed series (that honour will always go to Black Flag), Assassin's Creed Syndicate was awaited with dread rather than excitement. Unity, released the previous year, was rife with technical issues and dogged by microtransactions, and many considered it the death knell for Assassin's Creed.

However, the release of Syndicate was a pleasant surprise for a weary fanbase. Its Victorian setting was exceptionally well-realised, dual protagonists Jacob and Evie Frye were likeable and engaging, and combat had had a much-needed revamp. Hand-to-hand brawling was the order of the day, and fights frequently involved large groups of urchins in dust clouds of flailing limbs and broken teeth.

Central assassinations were also vastly improved, and were much more rewarding player than in previous entries. Here the player is simply given a multifaceted location and their assassination target, and is free to go about their kill as they see fit. Want to sneak up on the evil doctor and give him the classic hidden blade treatment? Perfectly viable. Want to pose as a corpse then leap off the operating table and stab him up in front of a theatre full of horrified onlookers? Infinitely funnier.


Revisionist western fan, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.