Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Reviewed on: PS4
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Climax Studios
Release Date: 12 January 2016
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is the second instalment in the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series, after last years release, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China. The game promised to improve on the past title by tweaking combat, visuals, stealth and more. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is an improvement on the past, in some cases, but in others, unfortunately, it’s a step back.
From the start you’re welcomed to a beautiful storyboard platformer. The environments shine with a cel-shaded look, and there are a few hand-drawn animations that make for a pleasant visual experience. Temples and catacombs are filled with an ambience that you can almost feel thanks to its rich art style.
Where Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India makes up for visuals, it lacks in gameplay. From the start you are introduced to the game’s main mechanics, and as you progress through the starting missions, you slowly grow accustomed to your few gadgets and the traversing mechanics that the game has to offer. Noise bombs and chakrams are often used in combat to distract enemies away from your position, or to chop down a crate on top of an enemy to kill them or open a new path for travelling to the next area. Using your gadgets and sill to get around is vital to surviving.
The game revolves around a checkpoint-based system where each area has a set number of guards and paths to get through. Most of these areas can be completed without killing anyone, but this just ups the difficulty and has no real rewards either. You basically need to get through each area by using all the gadgets and skill you have learned. Be warned that it is no easy task and this is where the entire experience gets brought down. This is not because the difficulty level of the game is high, but it has a questionable one-hit kill system which results in you restarting your checkpoint more often than you actually playing the game. If a guard sees you while hanging off a wall, he will shoot you and you will fall to your death. Later on in the game the enemy will lay traps like trip mines that will explode and also end you in one hit. This means that the best bet would be to just play it safe, which results in a lacklustre experience. You are an Assassin after all, but seldom feel like one.
Getting around in the game is fluid as the traversal controls have been polished and you will seldom come across any issues. Jumping from pillar to pillar, then running and hiding in a dark alley is quick and easy. Grappling up to a roof and then shimming across, happens quickly and with ease. The only issue with all this is that one wrong move and you are dead, forced to restart from the last checkpoint. This results in trial and error gameplay, that sees you trying to complete the same area over and over again until you have mastered it, only to move on and do the same again in the next one.
One of the best parts of the game is when you reach the escape levels, which sees you running from point A to B while being chased by elephants. The controls work really well while quickly moving about the area to escape your certain death. Again the issue here is that trip mines and cheap deaths bring down the experience when you die suddenly from a bomb that is cheaply disguised in the background.
If you are a hardcore Assassin’s Creed fan like I am, then you will enjoy the game regardless of its cheap deaths. It will frustrate you often as you will restart the checkpoint more than you will actually play the game, but when you get past the difficult area, you will feel a sense of accomplish. Saying that, all we can hope for now, is that Ubisoft gets both the combat mechanics and the traversing mechanics right when the last game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia releases next month.