Game On: Newest series for “Assassin’s Creed,” Chronicles: India brings series to a new time period, adds new art and gameplay style.
Last year was a great time for the “Assassin’s Creed” series. “Syndicate” was a great addition to the series and “Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China” was the first entry in the new 2D spinoff series. Now the series continues with “Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India” (“ACC:India”) bringing the series to a new time period and adding a new art and gameplay style.
The chronicles series are smaller 2D titles that play very different than the full entries players are used to. These more bite sized entries show off more exotic time periods and locals and they are a great way to introduce new characters and tie together some of the outstanding story elements. “ACC:India” is the second entry in this three-part series and it’s set in India during the conflict between the Sikh’s and the East India Company of 1841, it’s a time period that’s not discussed much in pop culture.
The Chronicles series tries to be stealth games even though they are on a 2D plane. Just like the last entry the gameplay borrows heavily from the game “Mark of the Ninja.” It’s mostly a platforming game that focuses on running and jumping but you have to use your skills to hide from guards and use your environment and some mild puzzle solving to make your way past enemies. The story of “ACC:India” is about a new hero in the series named Arbaaz, he is brash and arrogant, and is trying to be the classic master assassin Ezio Auditore. Arbaaz isn’t as interesting as Ezio so sometimes he comes off pretty irritating and the other characters aren’t in the story long enough to really get to know them.
One of the highlights of the “AC” series is the story, and the plot of “ACC:India” doesn’t really mesh with the rest of the series, it feels more like an action movie but on a much smaller scale. There is a bunch of action sequences strung together but there isn’t a real cohesive thread that brings it all together in a meaningful way. The lack of story would be more forgivable if the gameplay was more fun. Unlike the last entry the levels don’t have the amount of path options and everything feels more streamlined. Most of the challenges revolve around completing an area in a certain time, or finding items in order to continue. The level of exploration and freedom isn’t the same. Another annoying thing is the controls are very finicky, there were several times when I accidently jumped to my death or unintentionally alerted guards to my attention. The combat isn’t as tight as the last entry, there were many times I felt like I won because of luck not skill. “ACC:India” is also much glitchier than any of the other entries in the series, I have always stuck to walls in the AC series but it’s rare to fall through them. There were also times where I tried to climb and couldn’t, which made things very frustrating, especially when trying to make a narrow escape.
Typically I enjoy “Assassin’s Creed” games but “ACC:India” definitely isn’t one of the highlights in the series. I like the setting and the story elements, and I enjoy the art style but the gameplay is very frustrating and full of glitches. If you enjoyed “ACC: China” you will like this game but you might be let down by some poor game design choices. It’s a nice little story in the extended universe but the poor gameplay holds it back from finding appeal for gamers other then devote fans of the series.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
ESRB Rating: T for Teen: Violence, blood, sexual themes
Developer: Climax Studios