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View Full Version : ACC China - Review (Some spoilers)



Sorrosyss
04-26-2015, 06:53 PM
I'll do an unconventional review, and just list what I liked, disliked, and hated.


The Good


Shao Jun

She has the best looking Assassin outfit to date in my opinion. The darker colours are far more suited to the stealth requirements of an Assassin, and with the red accents it's a really impressive visual. Her acrobatic skill as a dancer has added to her parkour skills, and I was suitably impressed with her movements, such as the way she flips off ledges with ease.

The Music

Whilst I felt the music was somewhat lacking in the early levels, amounting to little more than ambient guitar riffs, it gradually got better to the point of some really excellent themes later in the game. I loved the weaving of Ezio's family here and there, just to remind you of the legacy of the series. The main theme should have been on the main menu though, no idea why it is consigned to the credits, as it's pretty good. I was hoping to hear some traditional chinese instruments mixed with more modern and western ones, and I was not disappointed.

The Art Style

Chinese architecture is truly beautiful, and I felt they did a good job with the colours and stylisation. The flags in the wind were very artistic. It was nice to see some famous landmarks as well, such as the Great Wall.

The Price

The content seemed to last about 8 hours for me, so I feel the price of 7.99 was pretty reasonable. I have played full retail games that are shorter than that, so can't complain on this.



The Bad

The Combat Difficulty

I'll be honest, I found the game pretty brutal at the start. I don't think it is helped by the fact you have one health bar, and get one shot so very easily. It does seem to get easier later on with more health, and oddly you get the ability to do damage with counters right at the end of the game. Frankly, this should have been in from the very start, as countering some attacks feels like a miracle in itself.

Pacing

The first few levels dragged on for so long. With very few abilities, getting through the caves was a genuine chore. It's a shame, as some levels, such as the escape levels are far more fun to play. Whilst the stealth mechanics are enjoyable, I can't help but feel if we had been allowed to be able to fight our way a bit easier through the levels it may have been a bit more interesting to play at points.

Engine Performance

Considering that this game is very basic in visuals, and running the Unreal engine, I was sad to see some pretty noticeable frame rate loss on some levels - especially those where you change perspective - i.e. going around a building. Can't help but feel some optimisation was needed still. Around about halfway through the game hard crashed my PS4. The last game to do that was Black Flag at launch. I guess it deserves the Ubisoft label!



The Ugly


Voice Acting

Abysmal. Seriously terrible stuff here, with everyone sounding like they are reading off a sheet with very little emotional performance. I was especially disappointed with the Ezio imitator who sounded nothing like the original actor. Shao's actress was also pretty terrible constantly switching from sounding British, to slightly accented Chinese. As with Unity, I do feel the game would have benefited from keeping the accents consistent. It is really jarring to hear a broad english accent, when you are in the middle of Paris, or in this case, rural China. I just feel everyone should have stuck with accents to keep a level of authenticity.

The Story

I didn't take much away from the story. It was pretty much what many expected, just a simple revenge tale where she kills off each Templar one after another. The "cutscenes" left a lot to be desired, dreadful voice acting apart, as they really lacked any kind of context as to what was happening most of the time. At this point, I can't remember any of the villains I killed, just showing how forgettable they all were. I was disappointed to see no modern day or First Civ content, and the precursor box sub plot left me pretty confused. (Why did Ezio give her an empty box, if electricity was the only way to activate it?) There was so much potential here, poorly realised.

Integration

Looking at the trophy list (PS4), I can easily see this game taking as long as Liberation to get all of the trophies and 100% the game. As a result, I think it is pretty disppointing to have no platinum trophy for this title. As an avid user of ACInitiates, I was sorely disappointed to not see it added to there either. It does feel a bit like Ubisoft are not treating this as part of the same universe, which feels a bit odd to me.



Overall

So long as you go into this with tempered expectations, I feel you may have a decent enough time. You get what you pay for after all. It is not the gameplay style I like these days, as it very much feels like a throwback to 90s games. China is the setting I have wanted a full AC game in for some time, and this title confirms to me how amazing a setting it could be if Ubisoft choose to use it. I feel Shao Jun has so much more potential and tales to tell, and I for one hope to see her back in the future.

If you treat this as a seperate entity, much like the comics and books within the AC universe, then I think it is a worthwhile time for AC fans.

6/10

SixKeys
04-26-2015, 08:25 PM
6/10 is a justified score for this game, IMO. I agree about the length of the levels being way too long, and the voice-acting being pretty bad. I did like Shao's voice more than I expected, she's the only good actor in this, but there is definitely some inconsistency with the accent. If they wanted to go for the all-British accents approach like Unity, it feels even weirder considering Ezio's heavy Italian accent.

I really hate that the tutorials disappear if you mess up too many times. It's a tutorial, fer crissakes. You're supposed to be able to practice the moves as many times as you need. The jump assassination skill seems to be very hit-and-miss for some reason whereas the slide assassination works perfectly. So it took me many tries to try to get the jump move right, but I didn't know why it sometimes succeeded and sometimes not. Before I could figure it out, Ezio tells me "perhaps the heat of battle will sharpen your wits. The lesson ends here". Then the tutorial goes poof and I can't get back to it. WTF kind of design is that?

The combat is also needlessly difficult. I get that they wanted to encourage stealth, but frankly the stealth isn't always very fun when checkpoints are so few and far between. Why do you need to be pressing the direction keys at the same time as blocking? Why can't we just press a single block button like in all the other games? Would make the game a hundred times less frustrating on a keyboard.

Even the artwork leaves something to be desired, IMO. The cut scenes look gorgeous but the gameplay parts looks pretty generic, apart from a few stylistic touches here and there like the flags. I was hoping for a unique style that makes the whole game look like a living painting, like Okami.

It's ironic that AC has built its reputation on freedom of movement, of being able to scale anything that looks scaleable, yet Shao Jun can only move along red-painted planks. The 2.5D feels like a gimmick that's barely justified, the game would have been fine as just a regular 2D sidescroller.

Xstantin
04-27-2015, 05:48 PM
If they wanted to go for the all-British accents approach like Unity, it feels even weirder considering Ezio's heavy Italian accent.


The whole accent situation after Unity is still weird to me. It's like "yeah, we'll go neutral with some British accents, but since it's Ezio we gotta bring it back" - Orelov seems to be getting some kind of a Russian accent too going by the trailer, what makes him different from other protags :confused:




I didn't take much away from the story. It was pretty much what many expected, just a simple revenge tale where she kills off each Templar one after another. The "cutscenes" left a lot to be desired, dreadful voice acting apart, as they really lacked any kind of context as to what was happening most of the time. At this point, I can't remember any of the villains I killed, just showing how forgettable they all were. I was disappointed to see no modern day or First Civ content, and the precursor box sub plot left me pretty confused. (Why did Ezio give her an empty box, if electricity was the only way to activate it?) There was so much potential here, poorly realised.



IMO you can mix and match the levels from the menu, play the story completely out of order and you'll hardly notice any difference in the game's direction. The targets and way to get them aren't very memorable - I get that Chronicles is a smaller game, but I wish it there was more to it. Also, Shao Jun's motivations seem to be different from the original Ember ones.

I'm not a fan of numbers, but yeah it's 6/10. Just something to kill time