Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4
Developer: Climax Studios
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Release Date: 9 February 2016
Just two weeks after the release of the last Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, Ubisoft released the last title in the trilogy that takes us to Russia for a much darker and war-torn world than India.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia sees you take on the role of Nikolai Orelov, stereotypical name if there was any, as he sets out to protect the princess Anastasia and the artefact from the Templars. The game plays out like other Assassin’s Creed Chronicles titles in the series and takes on traditional 2D platforming gameplay. Nikolai has various abilities that he can use to take on each challenge ahead, and although the game is mainly a stealth game, you are always forced to play it safe thanks to the cheap deaths which has been an issue in the Chronicles series since China. When I say cheap deaths, I mean the one shot kills and instant takedowns which the enemies are able to perform on you which cause you to keep spamming the pause button and restarting from checkpoint to avoid any death scenes.
The game forces you to play it safe and take the silent routes, which is not always the most entertaining way out of a room. Again, the gameplay revolves around you entering an area and finding a way through it by using all the skills and gadgets at your disposal. When you have an opportunity to kill an enemy, then go for it, but most of the time you are resorted to shimmying across the ceiling or hiding in vents to avoid being detected. Apart from the similarities between India and Russia’s stealth, there are odd moments when you will take up a sniping post and shoot enemies from a distance, which add a variety to the game never experienced before. The traversing and combat all comes down to trial and error, which again is the same issue we faced in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India. You will keep dying and retrying the same area until you get the perfect path or the perfect spot in a corner to avoid being seen. It becomes more a case of the game going easy on you, rather than you having the skill to get through an area.
The game splits later on when you get to take on the role of Anastasia, who has a wider range of abilities like Helix abilities which allow her to phase in and out of cover, and cover up the bodies of her enemies which she kills, to avoid suspicion. At times you will be faces with a puzzle that will require Nikolai and Anastasia to work together to solve it. These missions are pretty great, and are far better than playing alone as a single character.
The running segments return in Assassin’s Creed: Russia and are just are infuriating as the ones found in ACC: India. They are filled with buggy traversing and cheap deaths which put a downer on the intense experience that you are supposed to face in the level. You will die a few hundred times as you try to dodge gunfire, fire on the floor, and falling objects from the sky. It goes beyond being enjoyable, and becomes a chore. This is all thanks to the pace at which your character responds to you pressing of a button, compared to the hazard which is coming towards you in the game. It always feels like you should be alive as you slid under the turret, but for some reason it just slowed down when you were near it.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia fails to improve on any issues from the series, which is the one of the main reasons for sequels. It looks great and is a nice take from a different perspective, but it just failed to impress on multiple levels thanks to its cheap deaths and uninspired combat. We’re pretty happy that the Chronicles series is at an end now and we can move onto something new.
Drop us a comment and let us know what you thought of the series?