A flat platformer.
Back when Assassin’s Creed launched on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2007, it launched gamers into the Animus as Altair on an adventure through history. The games have had their ups and downs since but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them (except for AC 3). When I heard that Ubisoft would be releasing Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, a 2D platformer take on the series, I could not be more excited. Nostalgic memories of Prince of Persia from days gone by flooded my mind. Unfortunately, AC Chronicles isn’t quite as good as the Prince of Persia games of the past.
The AC Chronicles Trilogy follows three assassins, each in three different time periods: Shao Jun in 1526 China, Arbaaz Mir in 1841 India, and Nikolai Orelov in 1918 Russia. Each assassin is tasked with investigating a Templar operation and eliminating any threats that get in the way. The story beats are presented via motion-comic style cut-scenes with voice acting that is … off. I often found myself turning up the volume as characters seemed to always whisper, eventually forcing me to enable subtitles. Though, to be honest, you don’t miss much without dialogue as there is not much to any of the three stories.
Though the stories are lackluster, I thought that surely the gameplay would shine through. The gameplay is similar to most 2D side-scrolling platformers and Ubisoft attempted to capture the fun of Assassin’s Creed. While the stealth is a nice touch, the combat and level layout simply do not hit the mark. The fun of traditional Assassin’s Creed games is being able to defend yourself should a mission turn sour. Here, the game practically punishes you for making a mistake, with enemies being able to eliminate you within one or two attacks. On top of this, the controls for combat lack any sort of polish as they feel clunky and unresponsive. I’d often find myself pressing buttons multiple times to roll over enemies, or attack, only to be met with an enemies blade knocking my character out.
The level design is devoid of fun, as well. With everything looking so similar, it’s often difficult to find the correct path to go. Since the game is 2D, there’s no option to look at every part of the map to discern the best route to take. I spent 15 minutes on one mission trying to find the route that would allow me to continue the mission until, in frustration, I began jumping around and found myself clinging to the ceiling, revealing a path that had been covered up by wooden beams. Had this game been more like a traditional Assassin’s Creed game, it may have been a worthwhile experience.
It’s a shame to see a game that looks visually appealing and bearing the Assassin’s Creed name be such a flop. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy may not be as bad as Assassin’s Creed 3 but that is simply because it was not hyped up as much. A 2D Assassin’s Creed game could have been great but this comes off as a half-baked idea. This game is a clear indication that Ubisoft needs time-off to pull resources together, something I’m glad they’ve finally decided to do, because AC Chronicles is simply not fun.
I give Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy a 1 out of 5.