Bringing a slice of Victorian life back to the capital for one day only, Lycra was replaced with lamb’s wool while helmet cams were substituted for bowler hats, as hordes of Penny Farthings hit the streets of London. The surprising spectacle was created to mark the launch of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the latest installment in the popular video games franchise that is set in Victorian London and is available to own on October 23rd for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and will be available on Windows PC on November 19th.
In a commute harking back to an era of cobbled streets and horse drawn carriages, the penny farthing riders travelled past St Paul’s Cathedral, weaved through traffic on the Strand, before surprising commuters along Waterloo Bridge. These scenes were inspired by images of Victorian London, which has been painstakingly recreated in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
“The Penny Farthing is the defining image of Victorian commuting and it was a thrill to bring some Victorian style and panache to the grind of the daily commute,” said Neil Laughton, Chairman of the Penny Farthing Club, seen pictured on his Penny Farthing.
In addition to the convoy of Penny Farthings, one commuter’s journey to work was captured on video to showcase just how difficult it would have been to navigate the bustling streets of London on a Penny Farthing, with the added obstacle of modern day traffic.
“Penny farthings are certainly not the easiest things to ride, but we really wanted to find out just how difficult it would be to navigate using one of Victorian London’s most iconic transportation methods,” said Jon Maguire, Penny Farthing commuter. “It’s certainly not something I’d aim to do every day or recommend for others to do, given London’s volume of traffic and general hustle and bustle, yet I made it to my destination in one piece and it’s undoubtedly an exciting way to experience the capital.”
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has taken over two years to develop by the global video games publisher, Ubisoft, who have painstakingly recreated 1868 London in stunning detail. Alongside key historical references in the game such as storylines bringing to life the tension between the rich and poor during the Industrial Revolution, iconic Victorian figures such as Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin also make appearances in the game.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, developed by Ubisoft Quebec in collaboration with eight other Ubisoft studios*, is an epic single player experience set in London during the height of the Industrial Revolution, an incredible age of invention that transforms the lives of millions. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, players explore the largest, most modern open-world city ever created in an Assassin’s Creed game.