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    Assassin’s Creed: Chronicles travels the world in 2.5D style

    We’re not caught off guard by much these days, but the news of two extra Assassin’s Creed games somehow managed to sneak up on us like a hooded member of a certain Brotherhood. Who said Ubisoft couldn’t do surprises anymore?

    Originally announced last year as part of Unity’s season pass, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China for PS4 stars the 16th century protégé of Ezio Auditore himself, Shao Jun. Flattening the AC universe into 2.5D gameplay, the side-scroller has a hand-brushed style that makes it look like interactive concept art.

    More importantly, it’s now only the first in a trilogy of stealthy, stabby Chronicles tales that travels from 16th century China to 20th century Russia. Following characters from the Creed graphic novels, Chronicles India and Russia tell the stories of Arbaaz Mir during the collapse of the Sikh Empire, and Nikolai Orelov in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. 
    Assassin shao jun is the protégé of acii’s ezio.
    Sneak Peek 
    “Almost three years ago, we had the idea in Montreal. We saw Metroidvanias, and other 2/2.5D platformers, and saw that as a wonderful genre to expand the Assassin’s Creed universe,” explains AC franchise brand manager Carsten Myhill. Developed by UK dev team Climax Studios alongside Ubi Montreal, the trilogy aims to squeeze all the best aspects of a Creed game into 2.5D gameplay. After a hands-on session with both China and India, it’s refreshing to report that the team has succeeded.

    Armed with a rope dart, firecrackers, daggers and a foot blade for embedding crunchily into enemy skulls, Shao Jun is a violent individual. She’s also on a quest for vengeance (this is an AC game after all), but exploring the beautifully stylised locations requires brains and not just blades.

    Rewarding stealth over brutality, it’s preferable to sneak around just out of enemy sight before assassinating from long grass or a high ledge. Despite its largely side-scrolling nature there are plenty of ways to play, and the controls are instantly familiar. A rope dart enables you to sneak across the ceiling, throwing daggers to cut down bridges, or you can just attack with a sweep of your sword, taking down enemies in a splash of ultra-stylised watercolour gore.

    The level we played from India was more focused on environmental puzzles with Mir leaping between collapsing spikes in an underground cave. A cleaner art style is on show here with eye-wateringly pretty visuals inspired by the patterns of the era.

    Footage of Chronicles Russia looks no less impressive, with a more photographic approach as Orelov hurtles across moving trains armed with a rifle. This is a fresh new approach for the series and our Eagle vision is locked on an autumn window for the final two episodes.

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