We got to try out the closed beta test of the upcoming mobile title Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade, which sends players back to ancient China. Initially announced during Ubisoft Forward 2022, Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade is a product between the partnership of Ubisoft and Level Infinite.
In Codename Jade, players will explore the path of Xia, set in third century BC during the time of one the first unified empires in China. With the unseen tension of the unprecedented era of trade and cultural exchange between the East and West, its up to us to deal with the threats lurking in the shadows.
As the adopted child of the master Wei Yu, players will set out on a quest for revenge after certain unforeseen events. As they delve deeper in their mission, players will uncover the secrets about the past and a powerful force that threatens to destroy everything they hold dear.
From the Great Wall outside the empire’s borders to the imperial capital of Xianyang, players will journey through a world rich with ancient history and hidden dangers. Defend against the Xiongnu and work to dismantle conspiracies, taking on greater responsibilities, as well as facing new challenges.
In this current build of the game, there are no cutscenes. Instead of cutscenes, the game displays various of artworks as the development team are still working on the cinematics. Meaning that players who would want to try out the game should keep in mind that this version is still work in progress.
I was taken aback by how massive Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade’s open world exploration, as I initially thought the game would only be semi open world. The map of the game is pretty sizeable and there’s no shortage of things to do once you set out and explore. There’s also a Syncronised system which unlock areas surrounding the map.
Players can take on various missions while exploring such as investigating or rescuing people from bandits to gain materials for character progress. Mission difficulties are divided into three tiers, being bronze, silver and gold. As you can surmise, the higher the difficulty tier, the bigger the reward you can reap. While exploring to complete various missions, players can cook up food to gain buffs and even make health potions.
The navigation system during exploration isn’t too difficult either. Players can fast travel to certain landmarks which had been Synchronised. The game also offers players a mount, as well as an auto walk feature that navigates you to your desired location, which is an appreciated feature to make exploration less tedious.
Combat & Parkour
Combat in Codename Jade is akin to playing a mobile action RPG. There’s buttons for normal attack, skill, ultimate, evade, and surprisingly parry. Character movement when fighting is very smooth. There’s also several finishing moves depending on the weapon used, which makes combat feel refreshing.
Unfortunately, stealth in this game feels a bit stiff. When attempting a stealth kill, the character’s movement is a bit slow which results in the enemies spotting my character. There’s no need for you to hide a corpse after getting a stealth kill as the corpse will just disappear. Depending how you view this, it might be a good thing where it saves you the hassle, or a bad thing as it’ll lose some immersion points.
Parkour in this game is as seamless as the console games. You can climb up any wall without having to worry about it not being climbable. However, much like stealth, the controls feel a bit stiff where your character feels very heavy to move when you want to jump from one object to the next.
Regardless, what the game tries to offer in combat and parkour is honestly good enough despite being a mobile game. The biggest drawback is the character movement and animation which sometimes look stiff and sluggish, hopefully they’ll polish it up when the full game releases.
Character Customisation is one the features that I thoroughly enjoyed in Codename Jade. I was initially skeptical about customisation at first; thinking that it would only offer very limited options, but there’s plenty of amazing details here.
You can customise the character’s face in such great detail, such as the width of the forehead, length of the nose, the width of the eyelids, size of the chin, sharpness of the nose, and other various little details.
Hair, beard, and mustache options are also plentiful and comes with a very detailed colour palette. However, if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of options the game offers, there’s a bunch of character presets that you can pick from.
Weapons are something that you’ll need to pay the most attention to in Codename Jade. Each weapon has a rarity from common, ucommon, rare, epic and legendary, which can be “limit break” from the Advance system by using materials to maximise its level and damage. There’s also a “Reforge” system (much like Constellations in Genshin Impact) where every time you find the same weapon, you’re able to unlock new skills for it.
From my time of playing, you’ll need to have more than on weapon, each with different types of elements as enemies have their own elemental weakness to them. As you can guess, having the right elemental weapons at the right scenario will make combat a lot more optimal.
In the case of amours, it’s not much of a complex system like with weapons. Your armour only needs to be adjusted according to rarity and element, and then choose the best one. Armour in Codename Jade can be obtained through exploration, events, or drops from enemies.
There’s also a Talent system which passively enhances your character’s abilities, such as being able to carry more Healing potions, increasing Assassination Damage, etc. This system is similar to a skill tree, where you can obtain points through collecting artifacts during exploration.
As previous mentioned, Weapons are the main focus in Codename Jade and to get the Legendary tier weapons, you’ll need to get them through Gacha. The rates are as follows:
- Legendary: 1.5%
- Epic: 6%
- Rare: 92.5%
There’s also a pity system, up to 90 pulls with the first 50% chance to get the featured Legendary weapon on the banner. If you fail, the next Legendary you pull will be a guarantee, which is very similar to Hoyoverse games. The good thing is that you’re able to carry your pull progress to the next banner, meaning that no matter where you pull on, it still counts as one pot.
Graphics & Audio
With the game still being in the beta stage, there are no graphic settings that you can tinker around. But as far as I can tell, the graphical quality is pretty fantastic and feels very optimised in terms of framerates. Playing on a ROG Phone 7, the framerate stayed at a consistent 60 FPS with no frame drops or stuttering.
I know the game is still in beta, but one of my complaints with the game is how slow the texture loading is. When moving from one area to another area, I often notice bad textures and objects just popping-up everywhere.
The voice acting is decent but there were times where a character’s voice is replaced with robots that sounds like Google Text to speech.
Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade is off to a promising start with its massive open world, good graphic quality, along with combat and parkour systems that are translated well from console to the mobile format.
However, there’s some things that need polishing up to make the game better, such as fixing up the movement animations that sometimes look stuff, slow character responses, and character voices that sometimes go missing.
Despite that, I would like to reiterate that the game is still in beta phase, so take my criticisms which a grain of salt, and hopefully they’ll address these issues.