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Watch Assassin's Creed Syndicate's new expansion trailer in virtual reality

VR-based advertisements and trailers are so common that they're barely notable at this point. But if you've got Google Cardboard or the Gear VR, you should check out the latest trailer for Assassin's Creed Syndicate's first expansion. (In case you've forgotten, it's the one that pits Syndicate protagonist Evie Frye against Jack the Ripper.) While it's short and simple, it's the first piece of VR media that Ubisoft is publicly distributing — a 2-minute, non-interactive clip of Jack the Ripper running through a darkened London.

This is more interesting than the usual random tie-in mainly for one reason: it's a very early project from a game studio that claims to be "embracing VR in a big way." Ubisoft announced a full game called Eagle Flight for PlayStation VR earlier this month, the company was a relatively early supporter of Razer's OSVR standard, and it says it has five studios currently working on VR projects. Unfortunately, it's still difficult to gauge how successful these projects will be until headsets like PlayStation VR are actually released. This trailer obviously doesn't tell us what Ubisoft's high-end games will look like, but it shows that the studio is at least confident enough to release one of its experiments.

It doesn't hurt that trailers are turning into a kind of low-key testing ground for VR experiments. Ubisoft's blog post describes this as an internal project that ended up "so good we had to share it," making it a nice bonus for fans instead of a project that can be judged in its own right. It's also a way to gauge interest in the medium. And YouTube's recent expanded support for Google Cardboard makes uploading and sharing these shorts a much smaller investment.

Of course, it's a bit early to make a VR-only trailer, so this one is also viewable as a 360-degree video above. Just click and drag — or tilt your phone — to see a somewhat less immersive version of the experience.