Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is the second game in the 2.5D Chronicles trilogy spin-off. It’s a series featuring 3 standalone games that are somehow narratively interconnected. The games seem to be housing some cryptic secrets and insight into the mythos as well that might appeal to long-time fans. It’s an interesting concept to help keep things fresh while moving in a different direction -, but unfortunately, I don’t think backwards was quite the direction Ubisoft had in mind. .
The game’s narrative is relatively simple and straightforward. It follows assassin, Arbaaz Mir as he tries to retrieve the famous diamond known as Koh-i-Noor . The diamond is actually believed to be a Piece of Eden and in classic Assassin Creed fashion, he has to prevent it from landing into Templar hands.
That’s it really, outside of a few interesting collectable pieces of information, the story just doesn’t provide a compelling narration. Arbaaz, while seemingly interesting on the surface, never gets any character development, so it’s hard to take a liking to him, or any other character for that matter.
India plays out in a similar way to its predecessor in both gameplay and level design. You’ll end up traversing each area like a master assassin by climbing up and down landscapes (as well as moving along the z-axis at times) and sneakily making your past enemy guards. It manages to capture some of that magic of the mainline titles and sections that require quick yet thoughtful manoeuvres are some of the best moments this game has to offer.
Most of the time the game requires precise movements and actions and points used for upgrades are earned by adopting a more stealthy form of gameplay. When it works, it’s great, but unfortunately, the stiff and sluggish controls make it hard for the player to actually pull off the perfect run.
Arbaaz’s movements and animations feel slow and delayed at times which becomes a major problem when you’re trying to quickly take out a guard or sneak past undetected. There are times when it all works out and I manage to move on without any hassle, but it always feels like a chore just getting Arbaaz to do what you want.
To make matters worse the game starts introducing often hard to see traps that could either one-hit kill you or alert all nearby guards. It’s frustrating and tedious to have to redo sections because of a hard to see trap.
Combat doesn’t fare any better as well. Encounters feels like a game of chance, instead of a graceful exchange of blows. Most of the time I ended up mashing the attack buttons hoping it would connect, and even though it does offer ways to dodge and defend, it never felt like a viable option due to the slow and delayed responses during combat.
Thankfully you’re equipped with numerous tools to make it easier to sneak past enemies. Noise bombs are used as distractions while smoke bombs practically grant you invisibility within a limited area. Chakras are used to interact with objects in the environment such as destroying light sources and whistling is used when you need to grab a guard’s attention. There are disappointingly only these few tools at your disposal but at least they’re fun to use.
To be honest though, I managed to beat the game through sheer brute force instead of completing objectives with skill and insight. This kind of repetition and trial and error style of gameplay became preferable after numerous attempts of careful execution which failed due to trivial mistakes caused by bad controls.
Visually the game impresses on multiple levels with a slick and authentic art style and environments bathed in bright and vibrant colours. The game does suffer from odd frame dips every now and then and I was surprised to see some actual slowdown though it never really affected the game and it only served as minor annoyances.
Last Updated: January 20, 2016