If you thought there's no other way for a new Assassin's Creed game to see the light of the day apart from clinging on to its open-world lineage, think again. For the record, Climax Studios and Ubisoft Montreal have already revealed "Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China" – the first in a planned downloadable trilogy for fans.
While there's still time left before we start finding out the game's real worth, it has be said that this may be the best spin-off to any game we have seen in recent years. Usually, developers are found pushing out buckets full of garbage in the name of spin-offs, but "Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China" seems like the real deal.
This spin-off is also special, since it portrays the more adventurous side of Ubisoft. For a series that's known mostly for its massive open-world value, it seems quite the roll of dice that "Chronicles: China" was freed from the usual gameplay shackles and made into a nifty little side-scroller.
As far as the backdrop of the story is concerned, the game sees the protagonist, Shao Jun return from Assassin's Creed Embers, where she trained with an older Ezio Auditore. Prior to this, a Templar gang called the Tigers drove out and killed most of the Assassins in China, and now Shao Jun is back for revenge.
From whatever you gather for the game over the Internet, it seems like "Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China" may actually turn out to be one of the most eventful mobile platformer spin-offs to have been released this year.
For instance, Shao Jun is quite the agile character, and she can run, crouch, climb, and jump throughout all the 12 memory sequences that have been included in the game. The game's 2.5D stealth elements mix in well with that of the conventional Assassin's Creed elements, with the end product not as bad as you may think.
The game is basically about entering a large area that's patrolled by lot of guards. However, you will have the option to scan their movements with the blue eagle vision to plot ahead of time. There are also a number of hiding spots that you could use to your advantage.
Aside that, you could even throw a noise dart to distract guards, stun them with firecrackers, and the usual snapping of necks and stabs. You will also need to hide the bodies, although there's a feeling that the game's "hiding the body" bit still needed some work from the developers.
There are in-game maps that are also fairly large and always visible, although you will need to scan out the full area to completely sync it with the one that's been offered to you. However, in general, the map in the game lacks detail and may occasionally distract you from the obvious path.
The end of the game is also somewhat incomplete and indeed is strange to the regular AC fanatic, although there's the usual 'killing one Templar per stage' requirement. But then again, this is just the first part of the side-scroller with two more in the pipeline waiting to be unveiled.