Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China is a 2.5D platformer that takes a marginally different approach to the classic AC gameplay style. While some may find this disgraceful that the Assassin’s Creed series can be something other than a 3D open world slaughter simulator, I found the gameplay change rather refreshing. Although, this shouldn’t be seen as a game in the main series, just a side game for fans who wish to delve deeper into the franchise. This game is the first instalment of a three part series of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, with India and Russia to come soon.
The first section in this saga takes place in China, 1526, and you play as Shao Jun who is the last assassin left of the Chinese Brotherhood. Her mission is to gain vengeance on those who destroyed her brotherhood, as she is trained by Ezio Auditore in all things combat. Despite having a completely different approach to the series, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China still has the classic AC feeling which fans of the series should enjoy. The voice acting in this game is also enough to keep you interested, there are no mandatory blocks of text to read unless viewing the detail is what you wish to do. This means there is no time to get bored, as constantly reading in a game where you could be assassinating everybody can be dull to some people.
The controls on a whole were very good, it seemed simple to get the hang of and there weren’t any crazy combos you had to learn. The fighting was based around timing and striking at the perfect moment. The simplicity didn’t make it boring either; I mean it was a lot more fun than the button mashing I did in the original Assassin’s Creed. The stealth system is done very well too. Enemies have a sight cone displaying how much they can see, making it clear when the perfect time to strike is. As well as this there are hiding places in the background and foreground, meaning you can sneak past a couple of baddies with no hassle and no mess.
You can also cover up enemy bodies when you have killed them to save raising any suspicion; this is done automatically when you assassinate someone from a hiding spot. You can even jump from hiding spot to hiding spot if you’re brave enough, which is great for players who wish to avoid conflict and stay in the shadows. These are the great aspects borrowed from the main series of Assassin’s Creed games, which is why I found the game so enjoyable.
After completing each small section a rating pops up the side telling you how well you did in that part and what style you did it in, the highest rating was gold and the lowest was bronze. The rating was dependent on how many people you had killed and in what way, as well as how long you alerted enemies for. There are three different types of method you can get scores in: Shadow – for those staying hidden and being unseen while killing minimal enemies, Assassin – for killing with only a small amount of confrontation and for staying hidden most of the time, and Brawler – for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and going straight for a fight. I thought this was cool to see as I could view what I did well, and what I didn’t do so well. This adds a replay-ability factor as well, for you perfectionists out there.
The aesthetics in this game were also done very well; all art was drawn like a painting which looked amazing. Cut-scenes were told in stills, but with the addition of voice overs made them even more enjoyable. For those who love reading extra details about the game, there was an extensive collection of character and scene history in the pause menu waiting to be read. This was another borrowed factor I enjoyed from the other Assassin’s Creed games; the amount of depth there was for those who wanted it.
Personally, I enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China. I liked all of the control methods, the story, the art style, I enjoyed pretty much everything. I though this game was great for the same reason I thought Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was great, as it took a different approach to an established series and it was a side game that fans could choose to play if they wanted to. For these reasons I’m giving Assassin’s Creed Chronicles an 8, the price tag is a little steep for a game so simple but it still manages to be a lot of fun.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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