The trilogy began back in April 2015 with the release of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
. After a nine month gap, the second instalment, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India
, was released. Now comes the release of the final game in the trilogy, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
, less than a month after its predecessor. We're introduced to yet another new assassin and we're taken to a new location, but is it really possible that the game has actually changed anything when compared with the last two titles?
Time to explore Russia, Assassin style
This time the story starts in St. Petersberg, Russia, where we join our newest assassin, Nikolai Orelov, at a time in his life where family is more important. We take control of Nikolai on what he claims will be his last mission for the brotherhood before he and his family head for a new life in America. As expected, his last mission doesn't quite go to plan. As he searches for a piece of Eden, Nikolai gets drawn into a whole different mission. The story feels the most interesting and engaging of the three, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. If you aren't betrayed by someone whom you thought that you could trust then you are being captured, or you're hearing of children being murdered. The story is harder hitting and has a more serious tone this time around instead of the light-heartedness that we may have expected, something that does well in making Russia
stand out more than its predecessors.
The story sees the introduction of a new playable character to accompany Nikolai: Ana. Having two playable characters in the story gives this game an edge over the previous Chronicles
titles -- some hints might have been taken from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
with Jacob and Evie. Whilst both Nikolai and Ana both have the same kind of play style, their gadgets sometimes differ. Where you might be able to shoot someone with the rifle as Nikolai, with Ana you might have to whistle the guard away and use your helix power to sneak past. Two playable characters allow for more interesting and exciting gameplay moments where you might have to use one to save the other. The parts with both characters are done well and you're left wondering if it was a missed opportunity for co-op gameplay.
I've got to catch that truck! But first climb that ladder, jump that gap, walk that tightrope...
The gameplay has barely changed from its predecessors, sticking with the 2.5D style that means that you are mainly sidescrolling with the option to move between the foreground and background as well. You also still have the choice of how you want to play through the game, whether that is running through and killing everyone, or sneaking past without being spotted by anyone. The rooms full of enemies are still present where you can't be seen and must take everyone out one by one, something that requires caution and planning but at the same time must be done quickly. On the other hand, you have the chase sequences in which you have to be constantly on the move; if you stop, you will die. While these chase sequences must be fast paced by their very nature, they sometimes feel a little too fast. Whatever is chasing you often catches up, or you miss whatever you are chasing. It is difficult to realise what you are doing wrong when the game doesn't always give you an indication of where you should be going, or what you should be doing in these sequences, even if most of the time it is obvious.
As well as the chase sequences and short picture-based cutscenes, there's also the introduction of sniping sections. Sometimes this is to protect the other character and sometimes this is to clear a path ahead for you; either way, it mixes up the endless running and climbing based gameplay of which you might be getting a little bored. Going into eagle vision allows you to see the paths of your enemies as well as the ones hidden behind walls and doors, so this makes aiming and sniping a lot easier. If shooters aren't really your thing then you needn't worry because these sections are fairly scarce. The rest of the time is spent climbing, jumping, hanging, crawling and riding various vehicles to your next destination. Sometimes the paths split and the game offers you the choice of which way to go and how to tackle the area, but this seems redundant when you'll end up at the same place and conclusion anyway.
The rating system has also stayed the same, with you being ranked as gold, silver or bronze in either the Assassin, Silencer or Shadow categories. The rating system scores you at the end. If you get a high enough score then you will unlock new abilities, such as quicker pick-pocketing and bigger health bars. These abilities seem fairly difficult to unlock in the first playthrough and, annoyingly, only get harder to unlock the further through the chapters you progress. If abilities are important to you, even if their upgrades aren't particularly essential to be able to complete the game, then you'll be wanting to complete the game a second time on the new game plus mode that is offered. For those who need more of a challenge, new game plus hard mode is available as well.
Compared with the bland appearance of India
, this time around an increased effort has been made to inject a bit of colour into the game. The skies in the background are filled with reds and orange, connoting a sense of war and danger that carries through into all of the different areas. Unfortunately, the foreground buildings are still fairly dull and drab, doing very little to stand out from one another. Whilst the game flows well between the areas, you would be forgiven for not noticing the differences between them. Meanwhile, the accompanying soundtrack is suitably dramatic and exciting in the chase sequences, while going eerily quiet when you are in an area through which you need to sneak.
The game's achievements are fairly similar to the list from the past two games. With 17 achievements for you to get, only five of those relate to completing sequences in the story, as well as finishing the story
. You'll want to be able to earn each of the ratings 30 times, as well as completing some of the sequences in certain ways -- either without killing anyone
or without being seen. For those of you looking for the usual challenging achievement in the bunch, you'll be wanting to complete the game on hard plus mode
without ever alerting an enemy.
Whilst still being a very similar game to the first two instalments, our visit to Russia is definitely the most interesting of the three. Bringing in Ana as a second playable character makes the gameplay more interesting, allowing for sections where you switch between the two and help each other out. The overall look and feel of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
is exactly the same as China and India; there isn't anything new in this game that makes it stand out from the other two, or from other games in the same genre. If you enjoyed the past two Chronicles
games then you will most likely enjoy this one. Otherwise, this one won't be changing any opinions.
- Updated gadgets make assassinations and overall gameplay more entertaining
- Interesting story that brings a second playable character into the game
- Chase sequences are sometimes too quick so that you can't always tell where to go or what to do
The reviewer spent approximately six hours making their way through Russia, and assassinating nearly everybody along the way. She managed to unlock 14 of the game's 17 achievements. An Xbox One copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.