Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China Reviews

  • PhatDaemienPhatDaemien931,898
    23 Jun 2015 24 Jun 2015
    31 2 16
    So it is not your normal Assassin's Creed game. No, not even close. Side-scrolling action brings you a completely different view and combat is...well...not easy...unlike holding the right trigger and countering everything like you are probably used to. That being said, I think this game is a very good game and I am looking forward to India and Russia.

    As I played through this, two games continually popped in my head. Child of Light (another Ubisoft game) seems to me to be the cloth the game was cut from, visually at least. Water color art is absolutely beautiful and makes this game very easy to look at through the several playthroughs that are required for 100%. The combat and necessity for stealth constantly brought Styx to mind. In both games, more than two combatants is trouble. Patience is required if you plan on completing both games, lots of patience.

    The story falls right in line with the Assassin's Creed puzzle. I won't go into it and spoil any of it for you. I figure if you are reading this you are probably pretty familiar with how this story has been playing out and I am really pleased with how this one plugs into the line.

    So, all that out of the way, let's talk about the achievements. This is an achievement site after all. If you are a completionist this game is going to require a minimum of two full playthroughs. There are two achievements for completing the game, one on regular and one on plus or plus hard mode. You must complete the game on regular difficulty to unlock the other modes, so there are your two playthroughs. Thankfully, unlike the other Assassin's Creeds, this game really isn't very long. If you get a good grip on the controls you can probably play it through in about 5 hours the first time. For me it took about 8 as I really didn't get it for a while. Once I did, I started to have a blast playing this game.

    Collectibles aren't that bad. Most of the collectibles are on your path to the finish line, or just barely out of the way. When I finished my two playthroughs (I was not looking for my collectibles until after I completed it both times) I only needed 2 scrolls and 18 shards to clean up those two achievements which I found to be rather satisfying. Of those, there were only about 4 that were a pain to find. Unlike Unity, gathering your collectibles is not going to add another 24 hours to your game time, thankfully. I enjoy collectibles but I think they went a bit overboard on Unity and I was happy to see they dropped back to a more reasonable amount in this one.

    There were maybe two achievements that were a real pain for me to complete. The helix kill achievement was a real drag. I just couldn't get the helix kill to work for me. After about 80 kills, one at a time, I figured it out and it really didn't seem to make it any easier. Combat in this game is not easy, not in the least bit. The other hard one was completing sequence 11 without being seen. Not that it was terribly difficult, there is a good guide posted on the achievement, I just had a hell of a time doing it on regular difficulty. I changed to plus mode and whipped it out in very little time. I actually found plus mode a lot easier for my style of play. It also allows for playing with all of your bonuses earned in the regular playthrough.

    On that second playthrough, plus mode, I did the Shadow Gold achievement at the same time and found the guides posted on that achievement are fantastic. Getting your secondary objectives is the hardest part of the shadow gold achievement and will cause you to rip your hair out at times. Several of the other achievements are directly tied to the secondary objectives so you can save yourself some time if you do it this way.

    I rated this game a 4.5 out of 5. The half point is due to the fact that I feel they made the combat a bit too hard. I am sure this is on purpose to force you to be more of an assassin and use your stealth skills as much as possible, but there were times that I felt this ruined some of my enjoyment of the game. Yes, it is very satisfying to run through and do it the way that it seems to be meant to be played, but there are times you want to take on a few guys and have a chance to survive it. But that is only a small ding in the very solid armor of this game.

    So, it is different, visually and mechanically. It is not different as the story is an added bonus to an Assassin's Creed tale that seems to just keep getting bigger and bigger. I'd recommend this game to just about anyone out there. And I would also advise you to be patient. If you can be patient, you can really enjoy this one.

    As per request:
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    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Warboy925Its free next month for GWG
    Posted by Warboy925 on 25 Aug 16 at 00:20
    PhatDaemienEveryone should at least try this lol! Ty Beaver smile
    Posted by PhatDaemien on 25 Aug 16 at 00:36
    WhyattThrashPoor man's Mark of the Ninja
    Posted by WhyattThrash on 08 Oct 16 at 13:14
  • ultrachrist2ultrachrist2210,657
    14 Aug 2015
    5 3 0
    This was originally published at The Scrying Orb.

    Sometimes you don’t realize you miss something until it’s gone.

    The Assassin’s Creed series has a notoriously goofy sci-fi framing story. It bends history to allow its protagonists to be the guiding hand/blade beyond all major events. From Ezio Auditore thwarting the Borgias and murdering their patriarch to Conner-Ratonhnhaké:ton sparking virtually all of the events in the American Revolution. It’s silly. I make fun of it. But it’s somehow charming and absorbing. Chronicles dispenses with the sci fi portion and barely interacts with the history, instead opting for the most phoned in revenge story of all time. Meet Shao-Jun, our nearly entirely character-less main character, as she mumblemumble loses a magic box and mumblemumble must avenge her brothers and mumblemumblemumble-walking away from the TV now…

    Assassin’s Creed’s most valuable and absorbing element is its ability to take you back to another time period, to gorgeously render the Holy Land of the crusades era, the rooftops of Renaissance Italy, or the cerulean waters of the Caribbean’s golden age of piracy. This is more or less impossible to achieve in 2d. Chronicles is pretty and nicely stylized, but it doesn’t feel much like China in the way the 3d games feel like their respective places. It’s an extra shame that the main series has devolved into Things White People Did, so more interesting and varying locales — Chronicles is set to be three games: China, India, and Russia — are shunted to 2d sidestories.

    So all and all, this game does not feel like Assassin’s Creed. It’s a fun little timewaster though.

    Shao-Jun moves across a 2d plane, with depth. She can run (or swing, with a blade attached to an elastic rope that would be swell to use in 3 dimensions…) into the background or foreground, occasionally several levels deep. Enemies patrol these areas; they have a field of vision displayed on the screen (seen in my screenshot above). If Shao wanders into these fields, the enemies spot her, call reinforcements and charge. Unlike the whirling dervish protagonists of the main series, this hero is extremely vulnerable and easy to kill. Open combat is always a last resort.

    The game grades you on how you manage each segment of a level. It splits it up into Shadow (don’t get seen), Assassin (kill everyone without being seen), and Brawler (kill everyone in open combat and don’t get hit). Then there is Gold-Silver-Bronze for each of those types. Unfortunately, not all play styles are treated equally. Shadow means more points than Assassin which means more points than Brawler. It’s strange because Brawler is actually the most difficult and Assassin is the most fun. So if you’re chasing a high score, which you ought to be in this type of game, you have to ignore a large swathe of Shao-Jun’s abilities and learn how to navigate the entire game without ever being seen. It’s satisfying when you nail it, especially with enemy-dense later levels that require some real thought, but I do wish all styles were equally valued.

    The game has the good sense to mix it up a bit — some levels dispense with the stealth and turn into a mad dash where you must outrun snaking tendrils of flames, and explosions, and in the most memorable and history-evoking, a Mongol attack on The Great Wall. They’re reminiscent-but-not-quite-as-good as the runner levels in Rayman Legends/Origins. In addition, Chronicles is short and does not overstay its welcome, with repetition or its somewhat shoddy controls. Just enough to get me to pick up Chronicles: India when it arrives.