Ubisoft is finally giving Assassin’s Creed fans what they’ve been asking for by exploring more racially and culturally diverse assassins in the new spinoff trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles. Each entry in the series will focus on an all-new assassin with the game’s design reflecting the unique culture associated with each assassin.
The first in the series, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, starring new assassin, Shao Jun, takes place in 1526’s China towards the end of the Ming Dynasty and features a visual style that reflects Chinese 16th century traditional brush strokes fused with more contemporary, impressionistic style for a look that’s truly unique to the franchise.
Unlike the main Assassin’s Creed series which uses an open-world 3D game engine, the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles entries are essentially sidescrolling platformers with occasional camera panning and shifting between foreground and background to create, what is called, a 2.5D gaming experience. This isn’t a basic Mario-style platformer though. Players will have to scout, sneak and hide to avoid detection between fights incorporating close-combat martial arts and blades.
Two more entries in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles have already been announced. The second in the series, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India will be set during the Sikh Empire in 1841 and will focus on a previously established assassin, Arbaaz Mir, who appeared in the Assassin’s Creed: Brahman comic book. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India’s design will be influenced by 19th century British journalistic imagery mixed with Sikh religious designs.
Glenn Brace, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles’ Art Director, details the inspiration behind India’s art style in a blog post on the official Ubisoft website, “We took influence from lithographs. Color was a key component; we boosted that, and we mixed some Sikh-influenced patterns into the world. So again, it’s a fusion of a traditional medium of the period with a very modern, contemporary take.”
The third entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia, on the other hand will be set in the 20th century and will boast a more striking style incorporating photography, graphics, poster art and constructivism. Russia will also feature an assassin known to Assassin’s Creed comic book fans; Nikolai Orelov from the Assassin’s Creed: The Fall and The Chain.
While each game in the trilogy will feature standalone storylines, Lead Game Designer at Ubisoft Partners, Xavier Penin has promised that there will be some degree of connection between the three. “As [the games] have to be independent, it’s not huge. It’s not central, but it’s there, especially for the fans. And if you finish Russia, and you’ve played the other two, there’s a special ending that’s really interesting for the fans and ties the Chronicles together.” It’s unclear if this means a unique ending will be unlocked for those who have purchased all three games or if playing all three will simply give the player a greater understanding of the regular ending. Naturally more information will be revealed on Russia’s ending closer to its launch.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China launches today on Xbox One with India and Russia both due for release later in the year. Are you planning on playing Assassin’s Creed Chronicles? Which one interests you the most? Let us know in the comments below.