Assassin’s creed: Revelations Review

Posted: November 28, 2011 by Tony Polanco in REVIEWS

Anyone who read my review for Assassin’s creed: Brotherhood might remember that I said ” It finishes the story of AC2…”.

Yeah. Not so much.

In a move that shouldn’t have surprised anyone despite Ubisoft saying that there would be no new Assassin’s games in 2011, we have another annual entry into the Assassin’s creed franchise with Assassin’s creed: Revelations. However, unlike tired franchises such as Call of duty, Madden or anything based off an anime series (I’m looking at you Dragonball Z) the Assassin’s creed games always bring with them new gameplay mechanics and story elements that make each installment a welcome one. Rest assured that Assassin’s creed: Revelations is just as strong as any game in the franchise. The law of diminishing returns hasn’t set in just yet.

Revelations picks up right where Assassin’s creed: Brotherhood left off. After the shocking events of that game, series protagonist Desmond Miles finds himself stuck inside of the Animus, the machine that makes it possible for him to relive the memories of his ancestors. If he wishes to get out and return to the real world, Desmond must relive not only more of Ezio Auditore’s life but also of the assassin who started it all, Altair ibn La-Ahad. Desmond must also navigate through his own past and come to terms with what he really is in order to restore his fractured mind.

Like the last two games, players will spend most of their time playing as Ezio. This time, the famed Italian Master Assassin travels to the middle east to find artifacts left behind by Altair. Ezio hopes to end the war with the Templars and he believes that five keys Altair has hidden will help him achieve this goal. Ezio is tired of reacting to Templar threats and now wants to bring the fight to them. Ezio’s quest ultimately leads him to Constantinople, which is the main setting of the game and inevitably ends up getting caught up in regional disputes between the Ottomans and the disposed Byzantines who just so happen to be backed by the Templars.

Despite the fact that there are three separate story lines (each with their own sub plots) to follow the overall narrative of Revelations comes together solidly and is probably the most concise of any Assassins creed game. There are next to no filler main mission objectives, thus making events feel more urgent. It also helps that the story is presented in a much more dynamic and cinematic fashion. Action scenes are more over the top and even though you don’t take direct control during cinemas, all of the actions that do happen are usually because of something that you triggered.

Although it isn’t the only locale in the game, Constantinople is the place where you’ll spend most of your time in Revelations. It’s as fully realized as any of the cities in previous games and is a wonder to behold thanks to the revamped graphics. The city was the cultural center of the world in its day and you’ll see a mix of European and Middle Eastern asthetics throughout. A lot of the buildings are made of wood and provide a nice contrast to the stone and marble ones of the last three games. Constantinople is very richly layered. You’ll see houses built on top of each other and many, many alleyways. There is also a persistent mist that permeates the city. I’m not sure if this is because of the proximity to the ocean or all of the opium being smoked but it helps to give the city more ambiance. It’s a cliched thing to say but Constantinople feels like another character in the world. It’s amazing how Ubisoft was able to create such a grand and vibrant city in just a year’s time. Cappadocia and Masyaf (from the first Assassin’s Creed) are also meticulously rendered and are greatly detailed but at the end of the day they pale in comparison to the awe-inspiring Constantinople.

The overall gameplay is mostly the same but there are some new additions that make things more interesting. Ezio can now make and use bombs against his foes. Bombs can either, kill, immobilize or distract. They are very simple to make and fun to use. It’s a bit weird for an assassin to use such attention grabbing things like bombs but, hey, they get the job done so why not? Ezio also uses what is called a “hook blade” and this makes traveling around the city a lot easier since he can use it to climb buildings faster or use it to slide down the conveniently placed zip lines throughout the city.

You can get more zip lines placed across the city after you assign assassins to dens. Before you can do this however you must first take it over. Dens that you control can be attacked by Templars if your notoriety gets too high and this leads to the most annoying aspect of Revelations, the den defense mini games. I will be the first to admit that aside from Plants vs Zombies, I do not like tower defense games. I always prefer offense to defense so having a defense game in Revelations was pretty annoying. Den defense doesn’t make too much sense since Ezio alone could easily kill off all of the hordes of Templars who are invading a den. These missions can be bypassed if you keep your notoriety down, so for the sake of your sanity, try to stay out of trouble and make sure to bribe the local heralds in order to avoid den defense. Like Assassin’s creed: Brotherhood, you can send assassins to other countries and they will gain experience. After an assassin reaches level 15 and you do two missions with them, you will be able to assign them to a den which thankfully will never have to be defended again. So level up your assassins and let them pick up the slack.

The Desmond specific missions are the most unique of any Assassin’s creed game. Desmond must navigate through a broken world where physics operate by a different set of rules. In this place, Desmond reminisces about his past as he solves geometric puzzles. What’s interesting is that the perspective is entirely in first person. This is jarring at first but you’ll eventually adapt. The puzzles aren’t very complicated and you’ll finish each segment relatively fast but it’s a very interesting way to play something that is supposed to represent a person navigating and trying to piece together their scattered mind.

Multiplayer makes a return and is largely unchanged. There are ten mission types to play and although some have different objectives they mostly boil down to assassinating targets and evading your pursuers. After you level up enough, you will unlock documents and videos that give you more information about Abstergo (modern day Templars) and its shady past. This is all pretty interesting stuff for hardcore Assassin’s creed fans but even though I count myself in this camp, I didn’t feel compelled to level grind just to see these tidbits of info. While it’s nice to have a multiplayer mode that is more focused on stealth and out smarting opponents, the MP is still mostly a vestigial component to the series and isn’t really worth your time.

Assassin’s creed: Revelations has just enough familiar elements to not alienate long time fans but also enough additions to keep things fresh. Truth be told, there weren’t very many revelations in Revelations but the story was highly entertaining and the best presented of any of the Assassin’s creed games. There are a ton of side missions to partake in and many items to collect. The replay value on this bad boy’s pretty high. Assassin’s creed: Revelations is not only another excellent entry in the franchise but a great example of how to constantly update and refine an annual series.

Liked

  • Incredibly rendered cities and tombs
  • Visceral combat
  • Fitting end for Ezio and Altair

Disliked

  • Den defense
  • Minor glitches
  • Title of “Revelations” is misleading

Assassin’s creed: Revelations was developed and published by Ubisoft Entertainment. It was released on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and is available now for $59.99. The Playstation 3 version was played for this review.

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Comments
  1. Cole says:

    No revelations…BULLSHIT.
    It reveals ezio is a decendentvof adam and eve.
    That explains why ezio was able to get into the vault, why rodrigo coulnt. The whole eagle vision thing. Why the map apeared to altair at the end of AC1. What altair saw in the apple the last time he looked in. How altair and ezio die. What the 1st civies wanted
    Lost archive also explains that Clay was working for the first civilzation and Lucy is a templar, explains the end of ACB.
    Pay attencion dumbass

    • Romudeth says:

      We knew that stuff before even going into AC:R. It’s not a real revelation if it’s already known.

      Would it be a revelation if Darth Vader told Luke that he was his father in Return of the Jedi? No, we knew that already just like we knew about Altair’s/Ezio’s bloodline, what the ancient’s goals were and that Lucy was a Templar. The specifics of how Altair and Ezio died are irrelevant and don’t count.

      Thanks for the post. Keep supporting the site.

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