Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China was developed by Climax Studios and published by Ubisoft. It was released on April 21, 2015 for $9.99 on Xbox One. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Going from a game that helped to define the open world genre to a stylized 2.5D side-scroller, the Assassin’s Creed franchise takes a sidestep with the Chronicles spin-off series. Its first game, China, fully embraces both the mechanical and stylistic shift. Set in 16th century China, the game stars Shao Jun, who returns to her homeland seeking revenge for the near elimination of her brotherhood many years ago. Her main goal is to assassinate members of the Tiger Templar group, but since she has little to no support in the region, stealth is more important now than ever.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, the 2.5D action game coming out later this month, will not be the only entry in the Chronicles series. Ubisoft recently announced two future titles that will take place in India and Russia; these games will feature new protagonists and distinctive settings. Stylistically, the games will stand on their own. The setting in China, for example, is heavily influenced by 16th century China melded with a more modern ink aesthetic, creating what Art Director Glenn Brace calls a “romantic, impressionist vibe.” He goes on to discuss the importance of rich, bright colors in India and how Russia, which takes place in the 20th century, makes use of the advent of “photography, graphics, poster art, [and] constructivism.”