The first instalment of the side-scrolling, Mark of the Ninja-like Assassin’s Creed Chronicles comes out tomorrow on the PC. It comes with a cool launch trailer that gives us some background on the main character, Shao Jun, and also a taste of the game’s distinctive art style.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an Assassin’s Creed concept since Black Flag.
One of the interesting things happening with Assassin’s Creed right now is that it seems to be becoming two different series. There is the main series, on new consoles and PC, which keeps raising the stakes in terms of visual fidelity and sprawling open world, but sometimes at the expense of execution or creative innovation. Then there are the second-tier and tie-in Assassin’s Creed games, which are getting increasingly daring in terms of presentation and subject matter. It’s a tradition that started with Liberation, but finally seems to be coming into fruition right now. Even Assassin’s Creed: Rogue flipped convention on its head and turned you into a Templar and confronted the fact that, for this entire series, you’ve really only had one side of the story.
And now, the Chronicles series gives us a series of Assassin’s Creed-flavored 2D stealth games with a variety of settings, time periods, and protagonists that are all a little different from what we’ve come to expect from the main games.
The first of the trilogy, Assassins’ Creed Chronicles: China comes out tomorrow and, if it’s half as good as its launch trailer, might just be amazing.
It stars a female assassin, Shao Jun, who series die-hards might remember from the animated AC short, Embers. I think what I love the most about this trailer, besides a setting and character that takes us away from what’s become the series-standard, is the art style. It’s not heavy-handed, but I love how the colors bleed and stain the models, evoking watercolor and Chinese art without beating you over the head with it.
Besides, if this plays like Mark of the Ninja in any respect, I’m entirely on-board.
Assassins’ Creed Chronicles: China comes out tomorrow, and is $10 on Uplay.