Assassin’s Creed Altair’s Chronicles begins one year prior to the events in Assassins Creed, and follows the journey of Altair as he finds his home of Alep under attack by the Templars. While the story may exist within the continuity of Assassins Creed, it by no means should be taken so literally. The majority of the story elements appear in-game, with voice overs. It may not be the greatest voice acting, since it sounds far too forced, however the clarity is impeccable.
At its heart AC Altairs Chronicles is a platformer and this allows for some interesting ways to navigate a mission. Most missions will have two paths you can take, on the ground or the rooftops, others will force you to take only one of the two. Now this works considering the screen size and control mechanism, however the platforming can be frustrating. This particularly applies to jumping between ledges, just when you feel you tap the virtual button to jump at the right time, it’s not the right time. Performing complex maneuvers like jumping from wall to wall require almost perfect timing, Altair can run up walls by simply holding the virtual stick towards said wall, however you can’t quite pin the time you need to hit the jump button to leap to the other wall. Truly in line with the original Assassin’s Creed, should you land in water you will die.
The game contains some fighting elements, where most battles take place one on one, and at most you will encounter 2 or 3 enemies at a time. The system is simplistic, you have two options of attack, a light attack and heavy attack, these two can be used to create simple combo attacks against enemy fighters, a third button is to block. What distances this game from the main franchise is that not all enemies can be assassinated, this is reserved for boss battles. Levels are also littered with little stars that you can collect to gain points, these can then in turn be used to upgrade your sword or health.
Visually the game is good look at, levels have varied levels of dark and bright colours, underground levels are moody and glum, while the surface and rooftop are bright and beautiful. However the title does seem a bit aged today compared to Resident Evil or even as recently as Dead Space.
Perhaps this title isn’t meant for the hardcore gamer in mind, yet it requires the dedication of one. AC Altair’s Chronicles is presented extremely well yet requires that extra effort to actually play it. While it is an ideal style for on-the-go gaming, we recommend sitting down when playing this one.