The third and final (thus far) entry of the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series is out, and after my “delightful” experiences with ACC: India, I went into the game rather cautiously. Would Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia be like India? Would they go back to ACC: China? Would it be something in between? Something completely different?
Well, it had some great potential with new gameplay features, an interesting twist on the Princess Anastasia legend, and playing as two different characters each with their own subset of abilities. And then it’s all blown with gameplay that requires you to be absolutely perfect in your execution at all times. Here’s a bit of the review I wrote for Action Trip:
At the outset, ACC: Russia appears to have vastly improved from the mistakes made in ACC: India. The missions go back to letting players play how they want to play, whether it’s ghosting, assassinating, or engaging enemies in open combat. At least, this is how it all starts off initially. About two-three Memories in, and it’s readily apparent that you’re supposed to play how the developers want you to, and not how you want to.
The ACC games have always put a strong emphasis upon ghosting, or being a shadow, as players are awarded performance points at various stages of the Memory Sequence. At the end of the Memory, the points are tallied up, and if the player racks up so many, upgrades will unlock. These upgrades include more ammunition, more smoke bombs, quieter lock picking, more health, etc. The upgrades available vary from Memory to Memory, so if you missed out on gaining a longer health bar, you’ll have to either replay the Memory, which starts over your save progress, or wait until several Memories down the line for another chance. Perhaps the devs thought that ACC: China was too forgiving with the required points to unlock an upgrade, because the point bar is extremely high in ACC: Russia. In other words, they really want you to be a perfect shadow or assassin and obtain that Gold ranking on each stage for top points. Earning just one Bronze ranking will ruin all chances of obtaining a single upgrade.
Oh yeah, that’s just as fun as it sounds, especially when you get to timed speed-stealth missions, where you have less than 50 seconds to get past 8 enemies without being seen or alerting them at all (which means dead body discovery). Oh and they have gas masks, so smoke bombs won’t work on them.
It sounds great, right?
I’m not one who ever strives for perfection in games, because I play games to relax. I don’t want to stress out about doing this the best or the fastest; there’s a reason why I’m not a speedrunner. Perhaps this game would be ideal for speedrunning, and that’s great, but that’s not a game for the masses. Or for me, for that matter.