Before hitting the dunes of Egypt, there are two more smaller titles to go through. In between the release of Syndicate and Origins, two more Chronicles games released, one based in India and the other based in Russia. For now, it’s time to go to 1841 India. As always, you can find the rank here.
In the midst of a war between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company, Assassin Arbaaz Mir is put in a sticky situation when a Templar steals a powerful diamond and puts the relationship between him and a princess in danger. It’s up to him to make things right the one way he knows how: through the blade.
With the last Chronicles game, I complained about how the story was completely forgettable but not necessary. With this game, I would say that the story is a bit better this time around, but one I still don’t really care about. Arbaaz is a more lively character, and I am more fond of the other characters both good and evil compared to the last game, but I never found myself invested in the story at any time. I don’t really hold that against the game though, just like I didn’t with the last game.
It should come as no surprise to know that this game is pretty much just like the last. There are a few additions and changes worth talking about, but this is pretty much just AC Chronicles: China but with a different skin. With the last game, I liked it for being a change-of-pace, but I didn’t really feel that way with this game. Still, I did enjoy my time with this game, and I even found a better gameplay experience here than with the last game.
In terms of gameplay improvements, this game brings quite a bit to the table. The biggest improvement made to the game is a new combat style, which revolves around nonlethal takedowns. I personally prefer to play in the assassin play style, but this new style is a good alternative for racking up enough points to unlock new abilities. Speaking of abilities, the original ones like slide killing (my personal favorite) and others that were learned over time in the last game are already given at the start of this game, meaning I didn’t need to re-learn something I already knew. Two new pieces of equipment, chakrams and smoke bombs, offer new combat and puzzle mechanics, with chakrams operating like the throwing knife but with the ability to bounce off walls and smoke bombs stunning enemies and hiding your location. There are new helix powers in the game, which include overpowered combat maneuvers and the ability to make bodies disappear. The new powers doesn’t make its clunky combat worth interacting with, but at least the body disappearing ability is useful. Enemies can now be looted or pick-pocketed, which means more tools to use. Also, there is the ability to lock pick, double assassinate, shooting segments, a new enemy type that hides in the shadows, and more smaller improvements made to the gameplay. Unfortunately, there are few bad additions to the gameplay, which includes enemies that can only be assassinated through smoke bombs and tailing missions that require precise movements and timing (which isn’t a specialty for this spinoff series). Overall, gameplay has seen a pretty significant improvement over the last, offering a wider variety of ways to tackle each mission and new tools to do so.
One thing worth mentioning with this game is the art style, which is a change from the last game. The last game looked like art from that time period, with an emphasis on dull colors and red. While I think that art style works well for that game, I find the art style in this game to be much better. The game is made to look like art you would see from that time and place, and its vibrant colors and overall happier tone is a joy to be around. I know it’s something that can only be in this game because of its setting, but I wish more games had more vibrant colors like this one.
Once you hit the end, which by the way is a very awkward cliffhanger, new game plus opens up, which is about the same as every other new game plus. What’s new, however, are the challenge levels. There are total of six challenge levels, and they look like they are in the animus. The challenge levels go over things like combat and parkour, but they all suck. I can’t really fault them being here considering they are an addition to the game that isn’t mandatory to play, but I would avoid them at all costs.
In conclusion, AC Chronicles: India is an improved version of Chronicles: China. The gameplay and story improvements made to this game are considerable, but other than that, it is pretty much the same game as the last one. This won’t change your mind on the Chronicles series, but it is my favorite Chronicles game so far. In the end, I am putting it in front of China on the rank.