Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft has found a great deal of success with the Assassin’s Creed series and now Assassins Creed: Revelations, the fourth game in the series, wraps up the storylines from Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and sets up the next game. Clean off the hidden blades, it’s time to review Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
It’s like Inception: The Game
Picking up from the events of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Revelations follows Desmond Miles, who is in a coma, although the Assassins have placed Miles’ mind in a safe room inside the Animus to keep it intact. Desmond meets the consciousness of Subject 16, who occupied the Animus before him and who explains that Desmond’s mind is fragmented. The only way for him to separate the pieces of himself from those of his ancestors is to continue to play out their stories until there is nothing left to show him. So Desmond must relive the events of Ezio Auditore’s life. Ezio travels to Masyaf to attempt to unlock the secrets Altair had previously discovered, and to find the true purpose of the Assassins. Upon arriving, he finds the stronghold has been taken by the Templars, who mark him for death. Ezio escapes, only to discover the entrance to Altair’s library. He learns that five keys are required to unlock the door, that the Templars have the first, and that the rest lie in Constantinople. He then travels to Constantinople to find the keys to the library.
We had to do a little bit of research to find out exactly what had gone in previous games, but Revelations does a good enough job of giving a brief recap of prior events. Personally, as someone who hadn’t played any of the games in the Assassin’s Creed series, we found the characters engaging, with an aura of mystery behind them. The story unveils nicely as it does its best to wrap up the storylines of AC2 and Brotherhood.
Stab, stab, stab
As well as his trusty hidden blades, Ezio also picks up a few new weapons along the way, such as bombs. Bombs must be made with ingredients scattered around Constantinople, found either on fallen enemies or at shops. Another new inclusion is a hook blade that allows Ezio to reach a little higher than normal when he’s jumping to rooftops, hanging off eaves of roofs, or climbing up the sides of buildings. Combat has a few rough edges but is fluid enough that a player won’t get frustrated with the controls. For the most part, the combat won’t slow you down, but compared to other games it’s not the most fluid combat we’ve ever experienced.
Other controls in the game have a slight learning curve – we never understood why we couldn’t just jump with one button. We can understand having a separate function for running, considering it’s a game where stealth can be a factor. However, it took a little time to get used to that. With that said, the controls are still responsive, but there were a few occasions where Ezio jumped in the opposite direction to where we wanted him to go.
Along with the combat, one of the other things that makes the game great is the animations. More specifically, the final blow animations. Every weapon has a different way to kill off enemies, and some have a few, so there’s a chance to mix up blades, swords, maces, and other weapons you pick up along the way, to kill off enemies when you’re fighting them.
Am I in Istanbul or Constantinople?
The story is fine and the controls, although a little tricky, are good. One thing that keeps us coming back to Assassin’s Creed: Revelations are the environments. Constantinople is depicted beautifully. From the dirt streets crawling with citizens to the rooftops, Constantinople is alive for the first time in centuries. The environments are a marvel and the developers did an amazing job depicting a city that doesn’t exist anymore.This might make us a fan of the series.
The voice acting in the game also holds its own, mixing Ezio’s English with old Italian, his crew of other assassins speaking a mixture of both English and Turkish. We, for one, would never assume that the English language would bind them together in communication. We love the other sounds of the game, everything from the clanging metal-on-metal collisions to the blood-curdling sound of someone getting stabbed.
Lamb with a side of revenge.
As a newcomer to this series, we can appreciate and respect what it offers gamers. With its online mode it adds a bit of strategy where other games are for the most part run-and-gun. There are a few other things added to Revelations‘ story mode, including a tower defense-type game, but it doesn’t really fit with the overall feel of the game. Newcomers will need to get used to the control system, but when they get it down, they’ll be sneaking, stalking, and jumping off buildings to the point of making Ezio proud.
We do wonder how much better the next game would be if Ubisoft took some time off and made a major investment in developing it. This new game could invite more newcomers to the series while keeping the core audience happy. We say this because when you have a new Assassin’s Creed game every year, it kind of takes away from how special the overall series can be. Assassin’s Creed: Revalations is still a fun game. We can’t take too much away from the goals it set out for itself, and it perfectly executes wrapping up a story and setting up the next game in the series.
Final Verdict: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations scores 8 hidden blade stabbings out of 10
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This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Assassins Creed: Revelations by Ubisoft.