Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is the second game in a trilogy of 2.5D Assassin’s Creed games. It removes you from the typical three dimensional open world and puts you in a sort of hybrid that has you move on a more linear journey.
The story follows the protagonist Arbaaz Mir in 1841 Amritsar, India. Our hero is tasked with recovering a precious Piece of Eden known as the Koh-I-Noor diamond. Once in the hands of the Assassin’s Brotherhood, he must find the Master Templar who possesses it and do what he can to retrieve it.
The narrative is uninteresting and overall pretty generic. There are seldom moments where the story has an opportunity to build and there is certainly little development of the characters. The moments you do get are boring voiceovers as different brush painting flash across the screen.
The game looks great with its amazingly detailed environments, quality voice acting and good music to accompany it all, but there really isn’t any substance to the game.
The gameplay is essentially the same as the experience in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China. The focus is almost entirely on non-lethal stealth gameplay, which has you sneaking around enemies, collecting documents, and pick-pocketing.
The game wants you to accomplish the objectives and finish the levels in a very specific way. It incentivizes you to be a sleuth, moving quietly and unnoticed as you progress throughout the level. That seems fine at first but it also punishes you for alerting enemies and engaging in combat. You are scored at the end of the level and if you failed in a silent approach then you will not be awarded with upgrades that you will need later on.
If the game wants to focus on stealth that’s fine, but unfortunately the main element, being parkour, has most of its success when you are forced to move at fast speeds. There are moments where you will need to run, climb, and vault as fast as you can in timed pressure situations and they work wonderfully. The combat can also bring this out and do so more consistently, but since you are reprimanded for doing that you avoid it.
You can tell that it tries to take notes from games like “Mark of the Ninja”, and it works quite well with such an influence but there were a few weird mechanics that took you right out of that feeling. One of those was the inability for two enemies facing each other in conversation to ever notice you. They will not see you even if you are directly behind one of them – you’d have to actually start attacking one of them to get them to wake up.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is a hit or miss experience with more misses than hits. It will understandably be different with a new stylistic approach but it takes away what defines an Assassin’s Creed game and instead forces you to complete the game how it wants you to, while punishing you for doing what you want.
It may have a beautiful, detailed, vibrant world with some quality voice acting and great music, but it also lacks any kind of a compelling story. The little tidbits between levels felt more like loading screens than exposition to propel the game.