ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Aside from the Assassin's Creed franchise's bigger releases, such as the surprisingly good [Assassin's Creed Syndicate](tag:3605993) from last year, 2015 saw the release of a new series of smaller proportions - Assassin's Creed Chronicles. The first game in the soon-to-be trilogy was set in China, with the next two installments featuring in India and Russia respectively.

India will be released on the 12th of January, with Russia following suit on February 9th. But while Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China brought in some fresh ideas that the series desperately needed, it wasn't exactly well praised. Therefore, what will India and Russia need to introduce in order to improve the quality of the Chronicles trilogy?

From China, To India, and Then Russia - Assassin's Creed Chronicles

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

Here are some short segments of reviews for Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China that paint a small picture of what you can expect from the indie AC title:

  • That is kind of the way Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China feels like in general — it starts out okay, but soon becomes dull fairly quickly thanks to a lackluster plot and uninspired gameplay.
  • I give this game a 5/10 because it's a half-baked project full of lousy mechanics and half-realized ideas.
  • I've been a loyal assassin's creed fan for quit some time. Have played almost every game. Still seeing an evolution in the aspects of each game. When I bought the season pass for this game I had such high hopes for China chronicles. But that hope is crushed now.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India

So what is it that we really need from the other two games in this trilogy? What do both India and Russia require to bring back fans who disliked China? Well, let's start with something that a lot of Assassin's Creed games need to improve.

Narrative

Chronicles: China suffers from passive pacing. The game can often drag along in spite of its short length (it takes roughly 5 hours to complete). As Shao Jun, a silent killer trained by none other than Assassin's Creed II hero Ezio Auditore, you move through these spaces, sneaking past patrolling guards and avoiding their vision cones. But the game fails to deliver an enticing narrative with interesting characters.

If China had a story that was as captivating and beautiful as its visuals, it would be an essential purchase in the AC franchise. Sadly, this isn't that case. But it's been a while since its release. Perhaps Ubisoft can learn from it and improve the narrative power of India and Russia?

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia

Gameplay

Combat in Chronicles is generally something you should avoid. The game is far more enjoyable from the shadows (like any Assassin's Creed game) and head-on confrontations with enemies generally fail to engage - they're fairly unsatisfying. As Gamespot pointed out:

Design choice or not, fending off patrolmen is hardly fun. It's possible to escape with your life if you are incredibly careful and alert, even when flanked on both sides by multiple sword- and gunmen, but the entire affair is clumsy, and death is quick in many of these situations, regardless.

While the stealthy approach is more enjoyable, the game fails to deliver a sense of variety and challenge that we eventually crave. And the boss fights, much like those in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, are mind-boggling. Why were they needed at all in a game that focuses on stealth? We sincerely hope that combat is either fixed or these boss fights are completely removed from both Russia and India.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

What do you want to see from the rest of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles trilogy? Did you enjoy China? Let us know in the comments below!

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