Also available on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and Windows
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia ends the AC Chronicles trilogy, and it also marks the closest to present day that the Assassin's Creed has come (talking just the main game, not the stupid frame story crap) taking place during the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1918 in which Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks overthrew Russia's last emperor, Czar Nicholas II, exterminated the royal family, and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Russia is by far my favorite of the three Chronicles games with regards to narrative. You play as Nikolai Orelov, a Russian Assassin on his final mission to retrieve Ezio's Precursor box before he leaves the Brotherhood and takes his family away from the war-torn and collapsing Russian Empire. What sets Russia apart from China and India, however, is that there are two protagonists; in addition to Nikolai, you spend about half the game playing as Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II. While the real life Anastasia was killed by communist revolutionaries during the extermination of the Romanov family (despite persistent rumors to the contrary), this game has her rescued from her imprisonment Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg by Nikolai and, through plot device wizardry, awaken to latent Assassin talents. From there, the two of them try to escape from Russia to live a more peaceful life in the United States. The two protagonist perspective gives the game's story a great spin, and questionable voice acting aside, both characters are fantastic.
As was the case with India, the game plays mostly the same but with a couple of key differences. First and foremost, the throwing knife/circle blade has been replaced with an INFINITELY more badass rifle seeing as how rifles were pretty standard by 1918. In addition to that, the rope dart has been replaced with an electric winch. Not only does this serve the same purpose as the rope dart in getting you to climbable ceilings, but it also gives you the ability to overload electric control boxes and electrocute enemies standing in water. Because of that, Russia definitely deviates the most from the other two as far as puzzles go simply because of how different the Assassin gadgets are. The platforming and combat, however, works exactly the same. Except that you can just say "Screw it" and shoot people in the head. Speaking of shooting people in the head, there are a few actual sniping sections in the game that break up the gameplay a bit and add some fun variety to the experience.
Unfortunately while Russia takes what made the previous games great and doubles down on it, it also takes what made the previous game disappointing and doubles down on that, as well. I didn't experience any bugs as major as clipping through the world like I did in India, but the more minor bugs - characters popping in and out of the world, clipping through objects, platforms' and objects' textures not rendering at all but still having collision physics - were pretty frequent. Truthfully, the performance issues are what keeps me from giving Russia a perfect score; I loved every single aspect of it otherwise, even the few BRUTALLY difficult sections that provide no margin for error and took me literally a few dozen tries to get past.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia is definitely the buggiest of the trilogy, but it's also the game in the trilogy with the most fun gameplay, the most interesting characters, and the most compelling story. Add to that the fantastic setting - the Russian Civil War - and the stylish af art style that adopts a largely monochrome scheme with the exception of parts you can interact with (reminds me a lot of MadWorld on Wii), and this is my favorite of the three by a large margin. Its positives FAR outweigh its negatives, and while it's not perfect, it's definitely worth playing. Even if you don't play China or India, it's worth playing, but China's story is directly and frequently referenced in Russia. India, however, being the disappointing one of the three, is never mentioned much to my delight. AC Chronicles Russia isn't perfect, and it gets HARD in certain parts, but I absolutely loved it.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.