Published By: Ubisoft, Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal, Genre: Action/Adventure, Release Date: Nov 15/29 2011, Rating: M, Systems: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360.
Presentation: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations makes an attempt at what every good fourth game in a series should do. It added new gameplay elements, combat elements and spiced up its action with more set pieces. Don’t worry the open world platforming of Assassin’s Creed is still intact and still the best gameplay this game has to offer. When examing the entire presentation of Assassin’s Creed: Revelation a couple of things stood out from previous games. The flow and structure of main missions regarding locating the Masyaf keys was actually fun. Its not your typical dungeon crawling exploration like in past games. There are more action set pieces and diversity when locating the keys. Whether they are puzzle based or tracking down a group of Templars on a boat the action was ramped up.
The settings are different, no more Italy hello 15th century Constantinople. Constantinople made a very nice change of pace from previous Assassin’s Creed games. Its as if i was transported back in time running around the legendary The Grand Bazaar market while tracking down would be Templars. Not all is good with Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I seen quite a few NPC glitches in-game coming from groups of patrolling Templar soldiers mostly. Most of the time they either walk into walls uncontrollably or stutter/vibrate so fast you wonder if they are going to blow up. Combat and platforming has been diversified with the addition of the hookblade weapon Ezio carries.
Story: Considering this is the fourth Assassin’s Creed game i was pleasantly surprised at how good the story was. The character development of Altair and Ezio as they bid farwell to the series was handled well. You almost even feel a little sad to see them go. As far as the main plot of Revelations goes its mostly a story of Ezio finding secret keys left behind by Altair. The keys are called Masyaf keys and with the help of Ezio’s new love interest Sophia, he is able to track down all six. The Masyaf keys opens a secret library that holds the Apple of Eden.
Ezio near the end of the game realizes he was a conduit to relay a message to Miles Desmond. Desmond soon gets a vision of a future-like utopian world being destroyed by forces unknown. Desmond Wakes up to his father and the other assassins after being in a coma the entire game. He says, “I know what we need to do”. He shows his arm and the Apple of Eden has activated something in his DNA. It makes a better cliffhanger story-wise compared to Brotherhood. Most of the characters in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations were fleshed out due to great voice acting and writing. You even see a different side of Ezio as he dresses up as a performer singing at a party to distract crowd goers. Whether it was Sophia, Altair or Yusef they were all believable characters.
This is Assassin’s Creed: Revelations right? So where is the whole “Revelations” tied into this game? Everytime Ezio finds and decripts a Masyaf key you are transported back in time to a gameplay sequence telling Altair’s story. Altair’s story takes place over his entire life which was really cool to see. You relive Altair when he was in his 20′s, 62, 82 and then 92 years old. Altair spent his entire life protecting the assassin’s creed and held the Apple of Eden from the world for many years. Altair’s journey is another reason why i enjoyed Assassin’s Creed: Revelation’s story so much. It added a deep layer to Ezio’s journey of enlightment.
Visuals: The engine showed its age alote during my playthrough. However the settings of Constantinople and Cappadocia brought new flavor to the art department. The texture work was ok for stone structures and rocks. The lighting was decent as well. There where a few wow moments pertaining to action set pieces. The in-game cutscenes featuring some of the character’s faces was clearly subpar from a visual standpoint. I must admit i never got tired of exploring the vast city of Constaninople, it was gorgeous and open city featuring many great views. So all in all i would say great art but average textures.
Sound: The orchestra did a great job. Then again all Assassin Creed games feature great music and this one was no different. Voice acting and writing was superb throughout as well. I enjoyed how the music would ramp up and slow down in-game accordingly.
Gameplay: You can platform, use Eagle Sense, train and recruit assassins. You can buy real estate and earn money. You can send assassins on missions and rank them up. What Assassin’s Creed has been good at gameplay-wise returned in Revelations. Since this is the fourth game there were quite a few big additions to gameplay. You can join assassins on missions which was fun at times. Missions vary from finding traiters to snatch and grab missions. Finding and rescuing political prisoners etc. Most of the classic random missions are also available. Another new feature is that Ezio can be attacked from anybody out of the blue. You can also reverse your secret attacker’s attack and kill him.
Bomb making while new and seemingly wanting to appear important from all of the various ingredients and combos isn’t really a “must” gameplay factor. There are times when you will need to use bombs but they are few and far between. Bombs come in three types of pouches Lethal, Tactical and Diversion. You can pick various shells, gunpowder and special ingrediants to create practically a hundred different bombs. Some bombs kill, some explode blood on enemies causing panic and confusion and some are just smoke bombs. You can contruct bombs practially all over the game even in restricted mission areas where bomb making stations are present. You can always buy ingredients from black market venders for bomb making parts. Like i said, for a deep system for making bombs its just not that important in the grand scheme of gameplay.
The hookblade is the new main weapon of Ezio in Revelations. Not only can you traverse higher and slide across zip-lines but also use it in combat. You can throw enemies with the hookblade which is a nice combat mechanic. It takes a little getting used to but once i did i welcomed the hookblade entirely. New collectibles came in the form of Animus Data Fragments that unlocks a gameplay sequence for Desmond on Animus Island called “Desmond’s Journey”. Desmond’s Journey is a first-person Portal-type game where you have to listen to voice narration of Desmond’s past as you change and place blocks to navigate a matrix like room. I didin’t like it, it seemed pigeonholed in and just wasn’t fun in my opinion.
And last but not least we have Den Defense. Whenever you kill a Templar Captain you gain a Assassin’s Den in its place by lighting the fire tower. Most times the Templars will attack your Assassin’s Den in retaliation and Den Defense ensues. To make a long story short Den Defense is a tower defense game inside Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Although wonky i actually thought they were fun and a good change up from the normal gameplay. In Den Defense you are on rooftops overlooking streets where mindless templars will run in trying to knock down the Assassin Den’s door. Your job is to assign units and stop the attack by any means neccesary.
Pressing R2 (on DS3) you can bring up the unit wheel and pick units like Crossbow Man or Assassin Leader and put them on rooftops. Assassin Leader (units) raise morale of soldiers near them. As you gain more money you can unlock more rooftops and more ground level and place more units accordingly. Placing Barricades on the street slows down the attackers. What i did was place mostly Riflemen on rooftops and Cannons and Barricades on the street. I always had plenty of Assassin Leaders around my units on rooftops. If you manage to stop the attack your scored after on such stats as Assassins Called, Assassins Lost, Duration etc.
Replayability: The single player story campaign lasted me just over 14 hours. There are plenty of collectibles to collect for the achievement/trophy hunters. Multiplayer is back with some new gamemodes and a tie-in story featuring Templar training at Abstergo. The multiplayer does have a light story to it as told through voiced cutscenes. As you level up you will see more cutscenes detailing more of the Templar’s secrets. You can customize your character in a bunch looks and abilities.
Some perks and abilities for more adnvanced players kinda take the steam out of newer gamers sails. I personally like Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. They do have a capture the treasure type gamemode as well. More so than anything the multiplayer is niche and fun at times. Its about stealth and blending in using knives, no guns. And as far as replay value goes with the map packs and DLC being pushed out i say Assassin’s Creed: Revelations has solid replay value.
Final Verdict: Hey its the fourth game in the series so some things seemed worn out. I must say the additions of the hookblade, bomb crafting and den defense really spiced up the gameplay. I didn’t like Desmond’s Journy side missions but enjoyed the Masyaf key missions. The story was the most surprising aspect and just might be the best in the series. Farewell Enzio and Altair, it was fun while it lasted.