Each week we continue to bring you the best Xbox One game deals under $15 with our Weekly Spotlight program. So many games fall under the radar nowadays as more and more are being published. We wanted to make sure that games get as much credit as they deserve, and bring you one game each week that you may have missed. This week, the game is Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India – $9.99
AC Chronicles: India is the second part of a trilogy centered between China and Russia. Just as most Assassin’s Creed titles, it has a deep lore and interesting tie in to the series. It centers around the assassin Arbaaz Mir and the graphic novel Assassin’s Creed Brahman. He’s a Kashmiri assassin in India during the early colonial times as well as the father of Henry Green from the most recent Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
It becomes immediately evident just how gorgeous Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is as soon as you boot up the game. The art patterns vary from classic Indian style to a mix of modern eclectic and even a bit of henna. The colors include a combination of what appears to be hand drawn as well as a bit of watercolor. None of these on their own would make for a fitting Assassin’s Creed setup, but work in tandem just perfectly to provide a fitting backdrop for the game’s location.
Gameplay wise, AC Chronicles: India is a 2D side scrolling game with a 3D environment containing nine different memory sequences. Each one is fairly substantial and will take about an hour to complete depending on your style. The focus is pure stealth, and the player is discouraged from combat as both scores and earned upgrades are diminished the more combat you engage in. Utilizing a ‘Shadow’ system, players are given a gold, silver or bronze grade upon completing the level. A gold is earned by being completely stealthy with the score diminishing the more you are noticed. While you can just run through enemies like a slice and dice, you won’t make it too far. The higher your Shadow rating, the better your upgrades earned when you complete a level. These are simple upgrades like being able to move faster while crouch or pick locks faster, but they are of vital importance.
In the later levels, you’ll find times when there are nearly a dozen enemies on screen simultaneously. These upgrades help you move undetected, which is necessary as combat is impossible to perform without being noticed due to the shear amount of enemies. Parts like these need those precious upgrades, while others offer a variety of freedom to the player. It’s possible at some points to kill the enemy, sneak past or simply perform a non-lethal take down. While these don’t lower your Shadow ratings per se, their bodies will need to be hidden to avoid detection. Behind closed doors, in haystacks and dark passageways are all possible options.
There are a lot of stealth options to aid players though, don’t worry. Smoke bombs, noise bombs, whistles and chakrams can all be deployed. If you run low on items, you can try and sneak up on an enemy to loot them. Chakrams cover long distances to knock out enemies while smoke bombs let you run right past them. Being so stealth focused, there is a bit of a lifeline to help players out. Should you be detected, you can simply crouch behind an obstacle or go up/down a level. Enemies don’t use ladders or hop walls. Once you are out of their field of view, a simple 10 second countdown pops up. Guards return to their normal patrol upon expiration, so this provides a nice little “reset button” should you be caught temporarily.
In addition to stealth levels, there are ones focused on puzzles as well as timed levels. It’s a wide variety of options and is what the Assassin’s Creed franchise was built on. The entire game should take you about eight to ten hours depending on your level of stealth skill. For those who are assassins at heart, there is even an option for completing the entire game without killing a single enemy. Yes, an AC game that rewards you for NOT killing. I know, right? It is a game based on ASSASSINS after all. While it may be odd to see a game in the franchise that lowers your score for killing, it’s a refreshing take and allows you to hone your skills while thinking outside the box.
Everything the game includes is done very well, and the art system will have you pausing to reflect on its beauty alone. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is worth checking out as a diversion to the main AC games. It’s focus on stealth actually causes you to pause and take in the rest of the game’s features, art and beautiful environment.