April 26, 2015

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

Lasting First Impressions

When one speaks of the Assassin’s Creed series of games, one usually thinks of cutting edge 3D game engines and photo realistic graphics paired with a huge open world sandbox of a game.  Well, throw all that away because Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is none of this.  And yet it is still very much an Assassin’s Creed game.  Developed by Climax Studios in collaboration with Ubisoft Montreal, this is a completely new take on the beloved series of games.

In the animated Short, Assassin’s Creed Embers, young assassin Shao Jun flees China after the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins is wiped out by the Jiajing Emperor.  There she studies under the tutelage of Assassin Master Ezio Auditore.  Now, she has returned to China determined to wreak vengeance on those that wiped out her Brotherhood and free her homeland from the tyranny of the Templars.

ACC China Screen (6)

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is a 2.5D sidescroller game that reminds me a great deal of games like Shadow Complex and Mark of the Ninja.  Visually, the game is absolutely beautiful and every scene is rendered to look like classic chinese water colour paintings.  I am reminded of the beauty of the hand painted images found in Ubisoft’s Child of Light.

Over the course of 12 chapters, each consisting of nearly a dozen checkpointed sections, the player will guide Show Jun in her quest to rid China of those that wiped out her order.  After each checkpoint, the player is rated on how well they played that section.  Get through without being seen and without killing any opponents and you are rated Bronze, Silver, or Gold as a Ghost.  Assassinate all your targets without entering into combat, and you are rated as an Assassin. Finally, if you choose to go toe to toe with your enemies, you will be rated as a Brawler.  The choice is yours. With each rating also comes a point score with Ghost earning the most points, Assassin second, and finally Brawler trailing the other two.  The more points you score the faster you will unlock more skills such as a crouch sprint, or longer health bar, or the ability to carry more ammunition.

ACC China Screen (4)

It’s not a long game but Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is most definitely fun.  The voice acting is well done, although I would have preferred that Shao Jun would have been voice by the same actor as found in the animated short.  This is simply because, in the short, she sounded much more Chinese than she does in the game.  All the voice actors in this game have a distinct English ring to their voices, yet they are all Chinese characters.  The 2.5D aspect of the game also means the player will need to suspend disbelief quite a bit more than usual when it comes to what the enemy can actually see.  Each enemy has a cone of vision that allows the player to know what and where the enemy is looking allowing them to plan their path accordingly.  This cone, however is, quite literally, two dimensional.  The player could be right beside the enemy but on a different plane of the level, and Shao Jun will not be seen.ACC China Screen (1)These are simply small complaints in the scale of this incredibly fun game.  I have completed the entire game and have now restarted in Hard Plus mode.  Hard mode allows the player to start the game again with all the skills obtained already available.  Hard Plus is the same but gives the player only one life bar forcing them to be either very good in combat, or play the entire game in Ghost or Assassin mode.  Which is absolutely how I play.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China seemed to come out of nowhere and is most certainly a different kind of Assassin’s Creed game.  Fans of the series will enjoy it and those who enjoy side scrolling action/stealth games will also enjoy this new style of AC games.  At only $9.99, you certainly can’t go wrong with this game.  It will be followed up with two more games in the Chronicles series: India and Russia.  I personally look forward to playing more in this subseries of the Assassin’s Creed IP.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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One Comment

  1. I just started this game and hope to finish it this weekend. It’s the essentials of AC in an environment that has been crying for this type of game since Tenchu. I’m all about this game. Thanks for the impressions.

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