Ubisoft’s Assassin's Creed franchise takes players to several gorgeous locations, looting the Caribbean in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag or teaming up with friends during the French Revolution in Assassin's Creed Unity. We have plenty of tips covering both of these games, including a full guide to finding all of the Treasure Maps in Black Flag and all of the Nostradamus Enigmas in Unity. That said, there's a new adventure called Assassin's Creed Chronicles China.
This game stands apart from others in the series primarily because it takes place in China and features a side-scrolling perspective, although you can run into the foreground and background in certain areas. You play as Shao Jun, a deadly assassin with a grudge as she hunts targets while completing secondary objectives in each stage, collecting scrolls or freeing prisoners in her revenge-filled quest.
Chronicles is a tough game even for Assassin’s Creed veterans, but these tips will help you kill with skill.
Stay out of sight
Guards in Chronicles have cones of vision. You'll be able to use this to your advantage during certain parts of the game, attacking from above when they don't see you (provided they don’t look up), or sneaking up behind them when these guys look the other way. The key is to make sure you stay out of their visual range while at the same time remaining quiet so you don’t draw unnecessary attention. Stealthily crouch whenever you can, since this gives you better opportunities to sneak.
It also helps to learn their walking patterns, which you'll be able to see by activating Eagle Vision (the R3 button). With this, you can see how far they'll be able to go and learn where they're headed next. This may be a useless option for those who want to run in for the kill, but true assassins who desire the best possible rank should turn this on to better plan their next moves.
There are two more things to keep in mind. First, whenever a guard is about to turn around, you'll see a little eye icon appear over their heads. If they spot you, you're in trouble. If you see this icon, run to a cover point so you can strike quietly or at least get out of their way.
The second thing is the way the cone can change color if a guard is alert. If it turns yellow he suspects something but you’re still hidden. If it is red he’ll go in pursuit, forcing you to run for cover. You can kill these guards once they're alert after you pick up your sword (which is located midway through the first level), but you'll need to make sure you're not surrounded, as you can easily get ambushed and killed.
Tools of the trade
Use weapons to slaughter bad guys and distract them. Your sword is your best asset, since you can use this to deflect incoming attacks and strike back with light and heavy blows. You'll be able to take part in training sessions to master these techniques.
Other tools are quite useful. The whistle, for instance, can distract one or more guards within range of the sound, in case you want to move them to another area or get the jump from above. Try not to do it while in their visual range because they'll spot you.
Firecrackers are good since you can throw them at guards within range to temporarily distract these enemies. However, you can only hit one guard at a time, and even when he’s disoriented, if you make a loud noise they'll react quickly enough. Use it for distraction purposes.
The rope dart is a cool item for killing guards while climbing up ladders or walls. Wait for the prompt that appears when in range and then press the attack button. You'll send the dart right into their skulls. This is good for lone guards, but if there is more than one around, they'll spot you and advance.
Finally, throwing knives are great for damaging an enemy from afar, as you can use these blades to injure someone and then move in for the kill. However, a better use for these weapons is with ropes, since there are objects hanging above that can be utilized for either distraction (dropping a large crate can bring over guards to investigate what happened), or better yet, nailing one or two of them in the head and picking off whoever’s left over.
Use all of these whenever you can, and watch out for jars and other containers that hold refills. It never hurts to have as many knives and other weapons as you can carry.
Cover to cover
Finally, cover points are an essential plus for Shao Jun, as she can move from one to another without being detected, provided she stays out of visual range. Moving between cover points lets you quickly and conveniently move closer to a guard.
The lower cover points are great for stabbing guards on patrol, but there's a downside. You'll have to scamper up to the main ground so you can move the body without being discovered. That said, usually there are walls attached with these lower cover points, so you can go around entirely without killing anyone if you prefer.
Better cover points in the game involve dark rooms and plants, which you can easily duck into by tilting Up on the analog stock. When in a room, a guard won't be able to spot you, but you'll be able to determine your location with a white silhouette. This is the best place to kill guards, as you'll quickly snap their necks and drag their bodies into cover. Just make sure no other guards see you killing.
Plants are a little trickier because the leaves move while you inch your way through this cover. This will get the attention of guards patrolling the area, but you can use this to your advantage. Ruffling these leaves will bring them closer to your kill range, and you can easily pick them off and hide their bodies in one swift motion.
Good luck, and enjoy your stay in China!