Review – Assassins Creed: Revelations

*** Potential Spoiler Alert! This review may contain some minor spoilers to game play, new skills and plot lines for Assassins Creed: Revelations ***

The story starts off retelling the main points of the previous games and mentions the mysterious Apple of Eden that was left behind by “the others”. Desmond is still in a coma and stuck in the animus. He wakes up in the animus on a beach surrounded by strange stone pillars. It’s explained to him by a previous animus user, who is also on “Animus Island”, that his mind is broken and that they’re in the guts of the animus. We learn that Desmond was placed there by someone, thus saving his life because his mind was fracturing blurring the distinction between his memories and reality.

From there we’re reintroduced to a much older Ezio who seems to be recounting his travels to his and the story opens up just as we saw him in the first major trailer for AC:Revelations, in the midst of a battle, surrounded he sees a vision of Altair and allows himself to be captured. His captors are preparing to execute Ezio high above the mountains with a noose wrapped around his neck – it’s here that Ezio performs his escape. Even in his much older state, Ezio still moves with cat-like reflexes as he shadows Altair’s shadow movements during the following tutorial.

Revelations takes Ezio to Constantinople which features 4 districts and Masayaf, the original game’s Assassin stronghold, as he attempts to retraces Altair’s footsteps in the search of a powerful artifact that was sealed away by Altair.  In between each major DNA memory segment, the game takes us back to Desmond in his comatose state on “Animus Island”. At times, dialogue is overheard from the real world explaining what is happening in the real world and through conversations with the other inhabitant.

Animus Island is also home to a series of gateways to Desmond’s mind. Each doorway is accessed only after acquiring a predetermined set of Data fragments found throughout the game. Once acquired, Desmond is thrust into a bizarre first person sequence which has him recounting moments long forgotten as he jumps over minor obstacles and builds paths to bridge the gaps in his memory.

Graphically the game hasn’t changed much aside from a few minor tweaks, some sharper models and smoother animations. The controls are exactly the same with only a few new minor additions, which, isn’t a bad thing because I always felt that the controls were fine the way they were. Much of the audio is recycled from previous titles so expect to hear a lot of the same dialogue from the townsfolk you’ve heard over the last few years.

Some changes to look to include a few new tricks which include crafting bombs, aerial kills with the use of a parachute and the new “Hook Blade”. Using ingredients like Lambs blood, Indian gun powder, sulphur and casings Ezio has a pretty wide array of bombs to build. For example, Cherry bombs create a loud noise and draw guards to the location of the sound while blood bombs give the enemy a sense that he’s been injured thus taking away his will to fight and running away. Crafting bombs require 3 parts – a shell, gunpowder and an effect. The crafting is performed at specific crafting locations peppered throughout the world.

Another notable change in Ezio’s arsenal is called the “Hook Blade”. The Hook Blade essentially makes it easier for Ezio to hit longer jumps or get to those slightly out of reach points by tapping the B button to hook onto the edge allowing him to pull himself up. The Hook blade can also be used to make the slip on your enemies allowing Ezio to hook their clothing and jump over them or create new combat combos.

Series favourites such as recruiting Assassins and purchasing shops are back. Recruiting new assassins to aid in the cause to overthrow the Templar’s control in other cities is both fun and rewarding.  Once these recruits have gained enough experience, Ezio can assign them as a ‘district leader’. These district leaders will also provide new quests to Ezio when he visits their areas. But beware! There are also rival assassins to be on the lookout for, on more than a few occasions, I’ve been attacked by other assassins and had to chase them down, which leads to the next logical question – Who hired them?

The multiplayer experience has also received some attention adding: new locations, characters and modes like Capture the Flag and a story oriented set of quests that reveal more background to the world of Assassins Creed.

Assassins Creed: Revelations is a lot of the same you’ve come to expect from the series. It has to be with the frequency of releases the series is getting, there’s just no time to flesh out anything new and groundbreaking to the franchise. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the big driving factor for me with the Assassins Creed series is the compelling story. The voice cast, townsfolk not withstanding, is still every bit as good as we’ve come accustomed to from the series. I will admit that I’ve grown tired of Ezio and would have preferred to do more with Desmond and/or Altair – I just don’t feel that Altair has been given enough respect.

Feed Your Console gives Assassins Creed: Revelations an 8.5 out of 10

Pros:

  • The Story – The narrative is compelling and interesting
  • Gameplay – More of the same in a critically acclaimed series can’t be all that bad
  • Desmond’s Memory Sequences – Adds some interesting background to Desmond and gives a slower paced break to the game
  • Altair – We haven’t seen/heard much of him since the original title. It’s good to go back to the beginning

Cons:

  • Audio – I’ve grown weary of hearing the exact same audio from the towns folk for 3 years
  • Online Death Matches  – I like the story mode multiplayer, but , I’m just not buying into the multiplayer experience.

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