A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is the first game in a new trilogy of downloadable action games based off Ubisoft's popular Assassin's Creed franchise. The hero, a female Assassin, uses her environment to stealthily kill enemies, usually in bloody ways. She then hides the bodies and uses the crowds to avoid detection from guards. There's a large amount of violence, but the watercolor visuals limit the impact of the violence. There are some vague sexual references in dialogue and in the presentation of some non-player characters.
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What's it about?
ASSASSIN'S CREED CHRONICLES: CHINA tells the story of Shao Jun, one of the last surviving assassins from the Chinese Brotherhood, the rest having been wiped out by a Templar-led gang known as the Eight Tigers. Returning to her homeland, she sets in motion a plan to kill the members of the Eight Tigers, rebuild the Brotherhood in China, and discover the secrets left from a lost civilization.
Is it any good?
Considering that the Assassin's Creed franchise is best known for letting players roam free in a big, open world, it's strange to try to recreate that action as a side-scrolling platformer. That being said, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China actually does a pretty good job of bringing the same feel of the original games to the more confined 2.5-D environment. The watercolor visuals, smooth animations, and haunting soundtrack give the game a unique style that's almost more fun to watch than it is to play.
Controls, for the most part, are done well enough, though more advanced assassination techniques are more difficult to pull off with any regularity. There also were a few times when certain specific actions, such as hiding a body, felt more clunky than stealthy. That's particular rough in a game where stealth is more important than ever. Fighting your way out of a confrontation if spotted is a lot more difficult when you have fewer places to run and reinforcements come charging in. Despite this, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is still a fun game and a strong start to a new Assassin's Creed branch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in gaming. How much is too much when it comes to killing in games? Does the concept of "revenge" justify the actions of the hero?
Families can talk about the historical setting of the game. What was life actually like in China during the Ming Dynasty? Who were the actual historical characters referenced in the game, such as the Eight Tigers, and what role did they play in shaping the region?
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