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Review | Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

by on January 2, 2012
 

Ezio Auditore da Firenze: We’ve been watching him grow and become the man he is in Assassin’s Creed:  Revelations since the second game in the series.  Now, in Revelations he is no longer the young and foolish boy he once was back in the day. Now, he is old, he is wise, and he knows how to make the order strong. He understands that nothing is true, and that everything is permitted.

This game brings back many of the  features showcased in Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood. You have the usual doctors, blacksmiths, bankers, and tailors. And while it does bring back the aspect of “influence” over areas in the main city, it does so in a different way.

There are multiple Assassin’s Dens throughout the city, all of them but one are under Templar influence when you come to the city of Constantinople. The Templar/Assassin influence bit brought a lot to the table. To gain back an assassin den you would have to find and kill the Templar in charge of the den and then light a signal fire. This was particularly challenging at some points because some of the Templar Captains would flee when they spotted you. Although sometimes it was basically a “Call assassins, they kill Templar Captain, then light signal fire” type of deal. If you garnered enough attention from the Templars, they would attempt to take back your den.

In comes the tower defense-esque mini-game. You take charge and place Assassins and defenses to protect the den being assaulted. I generally hate mini-games, but this one didn’t feel so much like a mini-game. It felt like a part of the actual game and not some separate, tacked on thing. These different aspects and features really put some kick into Revelations. You feel that control as you invest in more shops. You feel the accomplishment and ownership as you take down the Templar Captain and reclaim your lost Assassin Den or fight against your enemies.

Exploring Constantinople was a treasure, but it’s just one city. In Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2 you had multiple cities that you were able to traverse throughout. I would have liked to see more exploration of other areas in the game instead of being so limited. Don’t get me wrong though, like I said exploring Constantinople was an excellent experience in and of itself.

The area given to you is vast and it almost gives you the feeling of exploring different cities at least. The change really does show in some sections of the city. You have the dock in one area with wooden houses nearby, the ornate designs of the buildings inside of the palace, and what seems to be a shanty town with houses that don’t even have paint on them (just bare wood is showing, gasp!)

The graphics in the game have improved quite significantly since Assassin’s Creed I where the faces seemed to be just a picture with a moving mouth instead of a three-dimensional character. However, if you take a look at other games like Skyrim or Uncharted 3 you see stunning graphics that Revelations just can’t compare to. You know that Desmond and 16 are humans but the graphics make them look like they were developed in the 90s. Although, while exploring Ezio’s memories inside the animus the graphics did seem to improve.

Gameplay  seems not to have been improved or advanced too much from other Assassin’s Creed titles. I found myself flying to my death mutliple times because the camera angle was off and I meant to go sideways instead of jumping backwards. Although despite that minor technicality, everything else worked like a charm. I’m not very good at countering or doing any other fancy moves, but when I do counter, Ezio nails the bad guys with his hidden blades, gun, or sword in flashy spectacle.

Storyline-wise the guys at Ubisoft did quite well. The game was fairly linear but overall they’ve crafted the game in a way that it almost seemed like an RPG. I was so busy investing in shops or fighting off Templars that by the time I was half way through the game I had assassin influence over the entire city, a foothold in Alexandria, and quite a fortune coming in to the bank!

The story was well told and I wasn’t sitting around saying “huh?” because something strange happened or something wasn’t explained. Although despite that praise I do have one small complaint:  The back cover of the game’s box mentions something about discovering the true meaning of the Creed through Ezio and Altair.

It lead me to believe that there would be more game play with Altair, but there was very little. We haven’t seen Altair in action since the first Assassin’s Creed game. Altair never really got a chance to shine as much as Ezio did. They never really give him that chance in this game either. The creators just touch on his past a few times.

Albeit it was fun playing around with Altair’s Piece of Eden, if only for a short while.

Overall playing this game was a delightful experience. Lots of killing, bombs, and a good storyline are just some of my favorite things about Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. It’s not everyday that someone can make a third person action-adventure game seem almost like an RPG. Ubisoft has done this exceedingly well and I can not wait for the next installment of Assassin’s Creed!

 

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