Let us praise a thing that matters a lot in video games: the quality of an in-game map. Zooming in, let us heap praise upon 2015’s most magnificent in-game map, the one that appeared in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
The video above is all the proof you need. This map is great. Shall we count the reasons why?
- It presents the entire game world in a clean, easily scannable format...and then presents that world in greater detail when you zoom in.
- It loads from a single button press, obeying the second commandment of video game menus. (If only The Witcher 3 was so righteous. UPDATE - 5:14pm: Some righteous readers have informed me that you can get to the Witcher 3’s map with a single swipe of the touchpad, a handy shortcut! On an Xbox One, holding start/menu apparently does the trick. Hooray!)
- It loads quickly no matter where you are in the sprawling open-world game to which it is attached.
- It does all of the above while functioning in three dimensions, displaying danger zones as well as numerous recognizable landmarks all with a sense of proper verticality—a key trait for a gaming that is all about climbing over tall buildings.
- It’s pretty.
I have a colleague who believes that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is the greatest Assassin’s Creed game. I cannot go that far. But if anyone told me that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate had the best map of any Assassin’s Creed game and also had the best map of any game in 2015, I would shake their hand and tell them I agreed with them 100%.