Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China - Xbox One

Release Date:

April 21, 2015

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.0

Summary:

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China on the Xbox One is the next release in a long line of AC related titles by the team at Ubisoft. We managed to pick up the title for the Xbox One and dove straight into the game. This isn’t like your normal Assassin’s Creed title and that risk alone should be applauded. Instead you are getting a 2.5D look into 16th century China with the veneer of an AC title over top of it. The first in a string of downloadable releases, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China brings gamers to the forefront of a whole new period of history with a cast of entertaining characters and enjoyable artwork. We picked up the title for our Xbox One and wasted no time in falling in love with the game.

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by Ubisoft
Release Date: 11/11/2014

Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Climax Studios
  • Publisher(s):
    • Ubisoft
  • Distributor(s):
    • Xbox One Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • April 21, 2015
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Teen
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A
  • Series:
    • Assassin's Creed
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available

Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 3.25GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Unreal Engine 3
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 8 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-17

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Xbox One

6.9

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China on the Xbox One is the next release in a long line of AC related titles by the team at Ubisoft. We managed to pick up the title for the Xbox One and dove straight into the game. This isn’t like your normal Assassin’s Creed title and that risk alone should be applauded. Instead you are getting a 2.5D look into 16th century China with the veneer of an AC title over top of it. The first in a string of downloadable releases, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China brings gamers to the forefront of a whole new period of history with a cast of entertaining characters and enjoyable artwork. We picked up the title for our Xbox One and wasted no time in falling in love with the game.

The first Assassin’s Creed dropped on the Xbox back in 2007. Since then we have seen eight full titles released across various platforms to go alongside with a whole host of spinoff titles. All told we are rapidly pushing toward double digit titles and many people are beginning to think that the butter is being spread across just a little bit too much bread. Still, Ubisoft has been dropping excellent follow up titles with regularity (Black Flag being one of our favorites) and so we will keep giving the games a chance to impress us, at least until they don’t anymore.

The story of the game is complex, as usual, but the complexity occurs far out into the East. We follow the Jiajing Emperor as he instigates a deadly purge across China after finally securing the throne. The Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins are on his list of targets and Shao Jun, one of the most talented young Assassins, was thankfully gone during the purge. Jun had been out West training under Ezio Auditore and now she is returning home in order to help her fallen Assassin brothers and sisters.

Shao Jun is a deep and interesting character and she is making her return to the series after initially appearing in the animated short film, Embers (released back in 2011). Shao Jun is a former Concubine now hell bent on restoring as much of her Brotherhood as she can and she does it in violent ways told through traditionally Chinese hand brushed animated sequences. The art direction in the game seamlessly grabs on to the Eastern Tradition and tells the story in a beautiful way. Within moments of loading up the game we were already fully immersed into the title.

Environments in the game appear at times to be hand painted with water color textures and smoothly brushed lines. While the colors are relatively subdued, existing primarily in blues and grays and blacks, the game still looks beautiful and vibrant thanks to the depth of detail. You have your array of pan flutes and traditionally Chinese instruments setting the soundtrack and the little spoken dialogue that you get is only adequately portrayed. It was surprising to hear that Roger Craig Smith didn’t come back to voice Ezio during his sequences in the beginning of the game and this was our first hint that the title might not have the budget considerations that other entries in the series might get, which is too bad because there is something new and unique here.

While the Assassin’s Creed franchise has long made stealth a focal point of their gameplay narrative, it seems like the titles have been drifting further and further away from that game design aesthetic. Yet, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is oddly the most stealth based title that we have managed to play so far in the series. Perhaps it is due to the 2.5D graphical perspective. In any event, swordfighting definitely takes a backseat to good old assassinations though there are times when all you need to do is slash your way through your enemies.

Being outnumbered in Chronicles: China is actually a pretty big deal. Unlike in the other AC titles you can’t just counter combo your way out of a horde of enemies. Going for the bravado is a risky proposition and one that will likely leave you dead more often than not. You can play for different ranks while you breeze through the game: Shadow rank, assassin rank, and brawler rank. Shadow means that you were unseen, assassin means that you were unheard, and brawler means that you broke every window on your way through your murderous rampage. Points are accumulated and tallied at the end of each level and they are what you spend in order to unlock more abilities and attributes.

Though the difficulty of the game is relatively high, death isn’t penalized that harshly. Death just pushes you back to your latest checkpoint and you don’t lose anything. Many people will use the death system in order to set themselves back if they mess up on shadow or assassin ranked runs. It’s a useful tool and we are glad that there are enough save points in order to prevent frustrations.

Set in the 2.5D space we almost felt like we were playing a rebooted Prince of Persia title. You’ll spend most of the game running, jumping, and climbing around beautifully designed levels. Red splashes of ink are used as a signal that there is a climbable area available for you and this hint system allows you to keep pushing forward without having to slow down or worry about getting caught. But do slow down, at least on your second play through, as there are loads of unlockables hidden throughout the game that will help boost your character and your final score. After each level you will be able to tack on a new ability to your list and by the end of the game you are using a full complement of moves that actually serve to expand the depth of your experience in a fun and entertaining way.

At the end of the day Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China on the Xbox One is a lighter entry into the AC universe but it is still fulfilling. We suggest it to fans of the core games and those of us who like platformers with style.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
profile Moderator Unlockable Achievements.
Jul 17, 2015
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Release Date:

April 21, 2015

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