Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is a 2.5D side scrolling platformer set in 1841 following the adventures of Assassin Arbaaz Mir. The Templars have stolen a diamond from the Royal Family believing that it is a Piece of Eden. There is also a fairy tale type sub plot where Arbaaz is romantically involved with the Princess Pyara.
I make special note of this growing trend to show the Assassins in relationships while they are more active in the Brotherhood, rather than settling down after their days of diving off rooftops are behind them as in the earlier titles. With the diamond recently stolen Arbaaz sets off in his early missions lurking in the shadows, as he does not yet have his full complement of gear yet to take on the Templar guards head on.
Once Arbaaz has his gear you are free to tackle the levels in any way that you like. Scores are given at the end of each level based on stealth, non lethal takedowns, and assassinations. Some levels are scored on time taken to complete, rather than the other three criteria. Certain areas in the levels will have a special timed event. These are unforgiving, making one misstep a constant return to the last checkpoint.
I found that many of these areas required memorization and too much trial and error. That being said, the checkpoints are generous which makes the impending frustration from restarting easier to swallow. There are also Challenge areas outside of the main story. These Animus-based levels are largely time attack, collecting Animus shards, finding and executing an assassination contract, and the style driven assassinations.
The style of this chapter in the Chronicles series shows a bold contrast of vibrant flora in pinks and purples against the largely neutral colored buildings. The music added to the tone of the game without becoming a distraction from the overall mood. The environments are full of small touches like the brightly colored birds and the scrolling wisps under Arbaaz’s feet when he moves.
The Precursor sites are cavernous, and made for some memorable moments navigating the living stone there. Opposite to the lush breathing world of the main story, the Animus Challenge levels are primary colored and polygonal, seeming rather sterile in comparison. Platforming can get a little dicey at times causing Arbaaz to go to and fro at the worst possible moments, especially during the frantic timed events.
Also, not stopping to loot every enemy quickly finds you running out of gadgets, as supply crates are scarce. The storyline is fairly typical Assassin’s Creed fare pitting the Assassins against the Templars in a tug-of-war for a Piece of Eden. The difference is the romantic subplot driving what Arbaaz wants, while he fulfills what the Brotherhood expects from him.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India does well at fleshing out the AC Universe showing the struggle between the Assassins and the Templars reaching all cultures throughout time. Although beset with the control issues and frequent restarts, the setting is beautiful with plenty of atmosphere to take in.
The Animus Challenges are a great throwback to earlier titles. While the main story of the clash between the two powers may be getting a bit dry, the love story driving the hero is a nice change. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is a fine addition to the series expanding on the reach of the Brotherhood.
Assassin's Creed: India Review on Xbox One
Review Code provided by Ubisoft