Tag Archives: Assassin’s Creed Chronicles

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Russia review

assassins-creed-chronicles-russia_poster

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles concludes with Russia, a country in the midst of war. You play as Nikolai Orelov, an assassin loyal to the creed, but whose main concern is for the safety of his family. During his final mission for the Brotherhood he becomes emotionally attached to a young Russian princess – Orelov turns against his own creed to help her escape the war, the city and his own Brotherhood.

The art style perfectly captures Russian constructivism – it’s a stark contrast to the previous episodes and is easily my favourite of the three – with the many cutscenes looking like those stunning Russian constructivist posters. The black and white environments are punctuated with a heavy dose of red to highlight areas Orelov can interact with. Its style reminded me of the Xbox 360 game, The Saboteur.

acc-russia-screen3-full_197353

The final part to the Chronicles is rather different from the previous two games. It follows the same excellent 2.5D platform adventure, but rather than flow in and out of the dimensional planes, the action plods along the same one. Combat is heavier handed, lacking the fluidity from China and India, and rather than an option, it’s a necessity but with only one bar of health you won’t want to engage in open combat too often.

Some sequences demand you kill everyone. Rather than go in gung-ho, these sections are tough to get through, a single gunshot can kill Orelov and a route through isn’t always obvious. Orelov does have his own rifle, which can take down enemies at distance but with only three bullets, you really have to make the shots count.

China and India held your hand throughout. Russia does not. Often areas seemed quiet impossible – I either missed something obvious or had to backtrack to loot a guard’s body and gain some extra ammo or smoke bombs so I could get past enemies. One scene I needed to stop a guard from killing a girl, but no matter how hard I tried I could never reach her in time. Just by backtracking to the scene of a previous assassination, I was able to loot a body for some rifle ammo and rescue the damsel in distress – who is then playable as a second character for the rest of the game.

acc-russia-screen2-full_197351

Sniping sections are featured more often but like the many chase sequences, there’s little room for error. Missing a shot or taking your time to line up your target often ends in failure. This instafail mechanic is featured too much for my liking – I spent a lot of time looking at the loading screen – and this constant stopping and starting broke the flow of the game making it feel clumsy. The previous assassins felt light on their feet, Orelov feels like a drunken elephant stumbling around.

I like a challenge as much as the next person, but instafail sections are just not fun. Sure this mechanic can be used to intensify a situation but when there’s no room for error, failure feels like a cheap shot – after playing the same segment of the game for the umpteenth time, retracing your steps again only to fail at the next hurdle is not my idea of fun.

Russia is firmly at the top of my Assassin’s Creed Chronicles list for its looks and its story, which holds together far more than the previous episodes. The ending is somewhat flat, but after the credits have rolled a code screen pops up, treating you to a tidy conclusion to the series – that is if you have been taking note of the hidden numbers throughout the three games!

The gameplay doesn’t quite live up to the same fluid gameplay of India or China, and the level design was at times more of a burden than a joy to navigate, particularly because it didn’t fully utilise the .5D space that India used so well. The excellent challenge rooms, which featured in India return but similarly, there’s just not enough of them – the two rooms for each of the three challenges are excellent and I could quite happily play a game made up purely of these rooms. Russia plays very differently from the first two games but its change in focus just wasn’t for me.

Thanks to Xbox and Ubisoft for their support

[rprogress value=70 text=”TiX Score 70%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi16″]

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India now available

The next chapter in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Chronicles saga releases today for Xbox One, set during 19th-century India at the height of the British empire. Whilst tensions are rising between the East India Company and the Sikh Empire, a race between the Assassins and the Templars to secure a priceless diamond begins.

acc-india-screen1-full_197367

Players find themselves in the shoes of Arbaaz Mir: master assassin. Slightly more nimble than your average assassin, Arbaaz negotiates environmental obstacles with ease and can take down adversaries in an unsurprisingly slick fashion, with moves new to Assassin’s Creed like the helix strike, and the series-classic silent takedown.

Developed by Climax Studios and Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles is a new take on the Assassin’s Creed formula, taking players into a rich, 2.5D Indian world with a hearty blend of satisfying stealth platforming gameplay. Our very own Rich Berry reviewed Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India this week, so go check out what he thinks!

ACC-India-elephant

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India comes after the saga’s first entry set in 16th century China, and culminates in the series finale set in early 20th century Russia, releasing in just a few weeks on February 9. At the same time, you’ll be able to grab the lot as part of the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy Pack, releasing both digitally and in retail stores.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles India review

Assassin’s Creed went in a new gameplay direction for its Chronicles series – a 2.5D platformer wrapped in Assassin’s Creed mechanics that played like a modern-day version of the original Prince of Persia. India is the setting for the latest episode in the three-part chronicle – the perfect place for a spiritual successor to the two-dimensional prince.

acc-india-screen1-full_197367

You play as Arbaaz Mir, an Assassin not too dissimilar from Ezio Auditore – he is more interested in the love of the princess than he is about the Creed. Having stolen the Maharajah’s Koh-I-Noor diamond, a suspected piece of Eden, the story unfolds via beautifully painted art stills. It held my attention far more than China’s story, but was just as simple and lacked deep storytelling, but the beauty of the second game, beyond its vibrant art style, is a well-worked set of levels that offered more challenges and navigational options than the first game.

Indian patterns flow across the backgrounds with rich oranges, bright purples and lush greens filling the foreground. India is a stunning piece of artwork and a far throw from the drab palette of China, but on the face of it India is a continuation of the first game – a reskin – but for all that it takes from the first game, India builds upon the mechanics to create a game that feels more exciting than the first.

ACC-India-environment

Navigating the simple platforming puzzles to pick off enemies one by one is far more manageable (and enjoyable) than getting into a mass brawl, but should you decide to go up against a group of enemies, a new Helix ability allows you to perform an instakill until you’ve run your Helix bar dry. The Chakram, Mir’s throwable weapon of choice, can bounce off surfaces but was only really useful in a few instances – when a rope needed cutting to reveal a path, to drop a chandelier or to destroy a lantern – making the weapon somewhat underused. Combat largely remains the same as China’s, but you can now pick pockets, open locks and collect disguises, but these hardly make the game stray too far from the style that China established.

Challenge rooms are new to the game but with only three styles – collect, contract and assassination – and six rooms to tackle I was left wanting more. Each room tests your ability to make it through in the quickest time while completing certain parameters, like avoiding yellow areas or killing all guards without being detected. It’s wonderfully challenging and there’s a high replay value as you chase the top leaderboard spot and collect all four synchronization points – it’s just a shame there aren’t any achievement points for completing them.

ACC-India-elephant

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles India builds upon what made the first game fun with a more rounded package. The game challenged me far more and while there was little depth to the storytelling, I cared for the Assassin I was playing – hopefully Russia, the final part in the chronicle, can raise the bar further and finish the series off on a high.

Thanks to Xbox and Ubisoft for their support

[rprogress value=82 text=”TiX Score 82%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi16″]

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles concludes in 2016

What ever happened to Assassin’s Creed Chronicles? The first title in the trilogy released way back in April and since then things have gone dark over the future of the 2.5D spin off series.

Today Ubisoft have announced that Assassin’s Creed Chronicles India and Russia will release next year on January 12 and February 9 respectively. You can pick up the whole trilogy as a digital bundle or physical edition from February 9.

Chronicles has a great art style, and was a novel take on the Assassin’s Creed style – I’m glad to see that the other episodes will see the light of day and make it to Xbox One. You can read my review of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China here.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China review

A new fad is sweeping through gaming, no, not re-releasing old games with a spit of HD polish – that’s old news – it’s episodic titles. Telltale Games made this business model a success and now every Tom, Dick and Harry is dipping their toe in the water to see how it could work for them. Ubisoft have decided that for their next Assassin’s Creed title, it would suit them best to split it up into three separate games, which is rather fitting because each one takes place in a different time period, in a different land and with a different art style. Chronicles is also a far throw from what I’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed title.

acc-china-screen5-full_197363

The first part is set in China and focuses on Shao Jun, a survivor of the merciless killing of the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins, carried out by the Tigers – aka the Templars. Assassins…check, Templars…check – so far it sounds like an Assassin’s Creed title, Shao Jun even has an artefact given to her by Ezio Auditore – ok so they may be clutching at straws to tie the stories together.

Chronicles: China is a 2.5D scrolling platformer that’s wrapped in Assassin’s Creed gameplay mechanics. The watercolour graphics are beautiful and the voice acting is well delivered, and minus the cutscenes that are little more than stills from a book, Chronicles: China could easily convince you that this is a normal Assassin’s Creed title, but it’s anything but normal.

Unfortunately, the story is rather throwaway, with an average tale of revenge. I found no empathy for the characters, something I’ve come to love about the series (all bar Conor in Assassin’s Creed III).  The platforming is smooth and as good as any of the other recent titles in the genre published by Ubisoft (Child of Light, Valiant Hearts); unfortunately the combat is something I struggled with.

acc-china-screen3-full_197359

I’ve come to expect smooth and fluid combat from an Assassin’s Creed title but in the case of Chronicles: China, it’s anything but that. You start off with a limited skill set but by the end of the game, and if you’ve collected enough points to unlock them, you will have a full set of skills that you can use to easily takedown your foes, although I would advise against getting into a brawl with several enemies. The key to triumph over Chronicles: China is to sneak past or take out your enemies with stealth kills. Any fluidity of combat versus groups has been stripped away in favour of picking off enemies one at a time.

Shao Jun’s objectives fit perfectly into the world of Assassin’s Creed but they’ve been diluted to work with the style of a 2.5D platformer, it’s a welcome change of pace from what we are used to, and for the most part, it works really well, particularly the environmental navigation. Awareness states, jumping, hiding, Eagle vision, Eagle Sync and Leap of Faith, it’s all there and tweaked perfectly to work within the 2.5D space – it makes for an enjoyable experience although lacks the freedom that the Assassin’s Creed games have become known for.

There’s something strangely intimate about the assassinations in the Assassin’s Creed titles, but the same can’t be said for Chronicles: China – the final kills lack any satisfaction or intimacy – they serve as a means to drive the story forward. I couldn’t help but feel that the gameplay is merely a glimpse into the world of Assassin’s Creed – a lite version of the full titles – lacking the ‘umph’ that I’m used to experiencing.

acc-china-screen6-full_197365

What Chronicles does do well is to offer a new take on the style of Assassin’s Creed, and to mix up the world of the assassins with that of Prince of Persia – all throughout my gameplay, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this felt more akin to the Prince than to the Assassin titles.

For a small investment (£7.99/€9.99/$9.99) you are getting a rather charming platformer wrapped up in some stunning watercolour visuals, just remember that Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is merely wrapped in the cloth of an assassin and not something that is as demanding or involved as a full Assassin’s Creed title. It will be interesting to see how (if at all) the three games that make up the Chronicles are connected – China’s end is rather “single serving”.

Next up in the series is India.

We bought our own copy of the game to bring you this review

[rprogress value=78 text=”TiX Score 78%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi16″]

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles begins with China

I am stupidly excited for the next entry into the Assassin’s Creed series – Chronicles. The new trilogy kicks off with China, and the launch trailer is below – it looks wonderful!

In 16th-century China the recently appointed Jiajing Emperor instigated a sudden and ruthless purge of all he felt were a danger to his newly acquired throne, including the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins. A young Assassin, Shao Jun, fled to the West to complete her training under the legendary Assassin Ezio Auditore in the animated short Assassin’s Creed: Embers and has returned, determined to restore the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins.

The fun begins tomorrow, April 21 – I can’t wait to get home and download this!

Ubisoft announce brand new Assassin’s Creed trilogy

ACC_INDIA_Screen_Combat_wm_20150331_6PMcet

Ubisoft have revealed that Assassin’s Creed Chronicles will be the next title in the popular series, however it’s not what you might expect! Chronicles is a trilogy that will take you on a journey spread over three games with three different assassins, across three different periods in history and three different empires – China, India and Russia.

Check out the trailer below… Do I spot a bit of UbiArt! It looks fantastic and I’m already buzzing with excitement. The side scrolling 2.5D action will make for a great change of pace to the series and has a Prince of Persia vibe about the gameplay.

China will be the first chronicle in the series, which will release on April 22.