After last week's wrap up article of all the big games that came out six months ago, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China marks the beginning of a slow descent into next month. From here all that's left is the six month anniversary of Kerbal Space Program moving into a full release, followed by the second long-awaited part to complete Broken Age. That's really it until The Witcher 3 next month. Ah, that mid-year lull.
AC: China follows the story of Chinese assassin Shao Jun who is a former student to the now legendary Ezio Auditore. The Templar group Eight Tigers eliminated the assassins of the area and Shao Jun is here for revenge. What makes this game stand out from the others in the franchise is that this is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer.
Shao Jun brings a variety of items with her in the form of her shoe blade and rope dart among others, and the whistling mechanic that was missing in AC: Unity makes a slightly tweaked return. The controls, movement and icons will otherwise feel very familiar to those who played Polygon's worst game of 2014.
Eagle vision is now used to illuminate AI character paths and as always there is an abundance of haystacks when needed. The most obvious change however is the revitalised emphasis on stealth. In the early levels it comes down to staying hidden or die with your character only being able to take a hit or two before desynchronising, and that mentality stays with you the further you get. As such it might feel like a steep difficulty curve for those used to fighting their way out of situations.
AC: China has a beautiful water colour art style that blends the gameplay and cutscenes in a way that makes it all flow. You could however be forgiven for dismissing the style, as corner-cutting and even dull due to the still frame with a voice over style of those same cutscenes.
Being the first of three new Assassin Creed titles in this style, it's a shame to see that the game hasn't been supported as well as it could have. There's haven't been any updates on Steam since launch and there really was a possibility to do so, whether through extra content or even new modes
If I had to describe this game in one sentence, it would be this. AC: China is the lovechild of Mark of the Ninja and Prince of Persia.
Where To Buy
I picked up AC: China a few months ago when it was available as a part of Games with Gold on Xbox Live, but you can still pick it up cheap at just $10USD through Steam. For fans of the franchise it is a nice change, mixing up the