Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy - Back to Basics Gaming with a Painterly, Gorgeous Flair
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:42am 01/04/15 | Comments
Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy is a three-assassin, three-country, three-time period spanning adventure set in the existing Assassin's Creed canon and features characters from expanded narratives...
Today Ubisoft announced (or properly revealed, at least) Assassin's Creed Chronicles Trilogy -- three side-scrolling adventures featuring three different Assassins from different parts of the world, and all from different time periods. The set is designed to continue to flesh-out the struggle the Assassin's Guild has faced for centuries against the oppressive Templars, but more than that looks to be designed to bring a pure gaming edge to a series that has teetered on frustration for a lot of gamers and fans over the past few years.
The painterly presentation of China is one facet where the art of these escapist worlds the series is known for comes to life, and in a way never broached before. And each chapter will embrace a presentation befitting the country and time-period in which the narrative is set. Equally true to form is the notion that while each chapter tells a standalone story, all three games are linked on a more grand scale.
We'll begin this 2.5D journey in China at the beginning of the fall of the Ming Dynasty in 1526 where we take on master assassin and star of the animated short, Assassin's Creed Embers, Shao Jun. The team at Climax explain why they decided to kick off the Chronicles trilogy with Jun:
Shao Jun stood and fought alongside arguably Assassin’s Creed most famous character, Ezio Auditore, so how could we not choose her to leadoff our first Chronicle? Her direct link with Embers, a story that lets fans see Ezio Auditore’s last days, instantly tied us into the mythology of the Assassin’s Creed Universe and gave us a platform to launch a heroic tale. What happened to the young Chinese woman that Ezio met? What happened to the Box that he gave her? Players will find out the answer to both of these questions and more when they play Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China.
Her adventure will land on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in digital download form from April 22nd and is free to anyone who purchased the Assassin's Creed: Unity Season Pass.
The following two stories visit other, already existing characters from Assassin's Creed novels -- Arbaaz Mir from India and Nikolai Orelov from Russia -- each with their own historically significant challenges to face, such as Mir when the Sikh Empire and the East India Company were embroiled in tense conflict in 1841. His chronicle will feature an art-style lifted right from India's colourful and descriptive visual history over the ages, along with a similar 2.5D gameplay and progression presentation that will be familiar and yet different enough to maintain a disparate experience for players. Or as Climax puts it:
The three heroes you will meet in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles are very different from one another, each with a distinct personality, look and background story. We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring players’ experiences in each episode is unique, and that each Assassin plays differently, reflecting their unique personalities and skills.
For example, Arbaaz (Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India) is able to sneak up on guards and steal from them without them noticing whilst Orelov (Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia) has a long ranged rifle that can take out guards without being seen.
The studio behind the games is known for working with licenses in unique and innovative ways, which is another exciting new prospect for the series. You could argue that Ubisoft has maybe held the series too closely to their own chests over the past eight-or-so years, so it's refreshing to see them letting go a little bit, and allowing other creators to work within the constructs of a heavily-established lore, but with ideas of their own. Climax is certainly a studio not shying away from their pedigree and opportunity:
Talent! Climax had a very clear vision for the series and great ideas of how we could bring these iconic Assassins to life in 2.5D. Climax has created games for all platforms and all genres but the one consistent factor across all of them is our desire to strive for innovation. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: its unique game engine analyzed a player's every action and response and then tailored the narrative to provide a uniquely personal experience for them. Or Smart As' with its award nominated social connectivity that enabled players across the world to engage with each other in many different ways.
In case you haven't checked it out already, be sure to watch the reveal trailer embedded below which will give you far more insight into how this new Assassin's Creed journey will play, but we're happier seeing the series explore new territories with new creators, and hopefully this trilogy can be proof-of-purchase to the Ubisoft brass that letting their bird out of the nest might be one of the best moves for the Guild yet.