Despite the relative flop of a game that Assassin’s Creed Unity ended up being, it heralded an intriguing standalone DLC in the form of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles. This installment in the franchise appeared to be everything I wanted – it took place in Asia with a female assassin and seemed to take its cues from Mark of the Ninja. However, chronicles are plural, and the story will go beyond China.
According to Ubisoft, ACC: China is all about the stealth. Reading the description of blending into shadows and dark alcoves to hide from guards (or murder them in the darkness) sounds so much like Mark of the Ninja – which isn’t a bad thing. Still, read this description and tell me it doesn’t instantly remind you of Klei’s incredible game:
Shao Jun can also use her rope darts to climb and cling to the ceiling – or, in certain places, to simply swing over to platforms in the background layer to avoid detection. And if the environment doesn’t offer any immediately obvious routes, you have two powerful tools for strategizing at your disposal: Eagle Vision, which shows off the patrol routes of guards; and a whistle with an adjustable radius, which can be used to lure guards away from their posts. If all else fails, she can use her supply of firecrackers like stun grenades, dazing guards just long enough for her to slip past, or toss a noise dart to draw the guards’ attention elsewhere.
I think this is officially my most anticipated Assassin’s Creed game. I love every aspect of it and I’m incredibly excited for this smaller title. I think Ubisoft does really well with these types of games; they let some innovative developers explore a unique vision and it can really turn out well. However, Shao Jun won’t be alone as we also explore stories in other regions. Here is the rather sexy announcement trailer:
Arbaaz Mir takes on the Templars in the time of the Sikh Empire in 1841 while Nikolai Orelov brings down death from above in post-revolutionary Russia around 1918. These sequels will play similarly to ACC: China, albeit with distinctive looks and feels. According to ACC’s Art Director, Glenn Brace:
They’re all illustrative, and that brings them together. For China, we took a 16th century influence – very flat, 2D illustration. We then melded a very contemporary Chinese ink take with it, so it echoes Shao Jun the character and how fluid she is. We end up with a romantic, impressionistic vibe.
Russia’s really exciting. It’s 20th century, so we have photography, graphics, poster art, constructivism, and we fused all those together to achieve an even more stark contrast to the other episodes.
Meanwhile India’s art style is more influenced by lithographs and unique colors and Sikh-influenced patterns. Personally, I’m drawn to all three, although the Russian one is the biggest change and most intriguing to me at this point.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China releases 21 April while the rest of the trilogy will be completed by this fall, presumably before the launch of the usual AAA Assassin’s Creed title for the year. While there is a narrative link between the three, you can also just play the installments that you prefer. Personally, I am keen for all three – I really like the art styling and unique gameplay these titles are offering. It’s experimentation like this where I think Ubisoft really shines. How do they do this to me every time? I had all but given up on Assassin’s Creed titles, and now I’m all aboard the hype train again. Curses Ubisoft!
Last Updated: April 1, 2015