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Here’s the first Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gameplay footage

As part of today’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate reveal, Ubisoft Montreal showed off the first gameplay footage of this year’s Assassin’s Creed title.

The footage is in alpha, but what we’re seeing is looking good so far. There is, of course, much we’re used to, here. In this clip, protagonist Jacob Frye intends to take down a Templar gang’s stronghold. To do so, he has to rescue a couple of his compatriots first, using eagle vision and a hidden blade – not much new there.

We do get our first look, though, at a few elements that should significantly change the pace of the game.

First, there’s the grappling hook. Jacob can fire his hook, at the very least, as a way to climb buildings and zipline between them. Considering the way the rope dart played into past editions, it’s safe to assume this might be a way to yank enemies off their perches or hang them out to dry, as well.

Second is the addition of vehicles. Carriages move back and forth throughout the city and now we can drive and climb on them. Unity smoothed out parkour quite a bit, but that was a more subtle change. The addition of moving vehicles like carriages and trains could have a huge effect on the speed of gameplay.

Finally there’s the combat. No one walked around with swords at their waists in Victorian London, and Jacob won’t be either. Instead of a constant dueling of crossed swords, smaller weapons will play a much bigger role. Hand-to-hand combat is faster and more fluid than it’s been in the past, and Jacob is a skilled boxer and grappler. Brass knuckles will give him an edge in combat, and he can resort to smaller blades and, now, six-shooter revolvers.

The environment can be used to assist, as shown when Jacob drops a stack of barrels hanging from a rope on top of some unaware enemies. Also, when Jacob goes into stealth mode, he changes from his fancy top hat to his assassin’s hood. Nice touch.

Ubisoft has some major obstacles to overcome with Syndicate, thanks to last year’s game, Unity. If they can overcome the technical hurdles, though, this could be a big change for the series.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Oct. 23.

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