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Assassin's Creed Syndicate launching Oct. 23, set in Victorian London

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the next Assassin's Creed game, will bring the series to Victorian London in 1868 when it launches Oct. 23, publisher Ubisoft announced today in a livestream.

The game will be available that day on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and later "this fall" on Windows PC, according to Ubisoft.

Assassins Creed Syndicate box art

Development on Assassin's Creed Syndicate is being led by Ubisoft Quebec for the first time in the Assassin's Creed franchise, along with nine other Ubisoft subsidiaries: Montreal, Singapore, Annecy, Montpellier, Reflections, Sofia, Shanghai, Kiev and Bucharest.

Today's livestream confirms previous reports about the game's name and its protagonist, Jacob Frye. Ubisoft confirmed in a blog post that Syndicate will allow people to play as both Jacob and his sister Evie, another first for the series. Jacob is the headstrong one in the family, while Evie is more tactical.

Creative director Marc-Alexis Côté presented a couple of pre-alpha cutscenes as well as some pre-alpha gameplay footage to show off Syndicate's new elements. Frye, who was raised by Assassins, fights with a weapon called a kukri, a Nepalese blade similar to a machete. Syndicate will deliver the fastest, most responsive combat in Assassin's Creed history, according to Cote, and Frye used swift hand-to-hand melee strikes along with his kukri and a handgun to make quick work of his enemies. You can watch the full gameplay demo below.

The next gameplay clip went to the slums of London, which is where Frye and the Assassins are looking to start a revolution against the city's aristocracy. One of Frye's new tools is a rope launcher, which works a bit like Batman's grapnel gun, allowing Frye to fire a bolt into the distance and shoot up to the top of of a building or even create a zipline between rooftops. The rope launcher looks like it will eliminate a lot of the climbing that Assassin's Creed heroes have traditionally had to do.

Assassins Creed Syndicate - Jacob concept art

Frye can use the environment against his enemies, another feature that's new to the series. In the footage, he fired at a bunch of barrels that were hanging in the air by a rope, bringing them crashing down upon an unsuspecting foe. Along with the rope launcher, Frye can fire hallucinogenic darts from his wrist, which will turn enemies against each other.

Frye used the drugged darts to take down a thug and his minions in a back alley, which resulted a "gang stronghold occupied" notice on Syndicate's in-game map for the area of Westminster. Frye and his followers, the Rooks, are attempting to gradually wrest control of London's slums from the seven Templar gang leaders who currently run them. In fact, it turned out that the alley fight was just a trap set for one of those Templars, Bloody Nora, and when Jacob's sister Evie disrupted Nora's attempt to kill the Assassins, it kicked off a horse-and-carriage chase.

You can steal any carriage in London, and trains will factor into Syndicate as well. The chase sequence didn't look buggy per se, but the movements of the carriages certainly appeared finicky, and Frye seemed to have no regard for the innocent pedestrians in his path. As Ubisoft noted with a prominent message in the gameplay demo, the clip contained early footage.