Assassin’s Creed Revelations Review
I’m old Ezio.
I remember thinking, last November, that it’s very strange that Ubisoft made Assassin’s Creed into a yearly franchise. Usually reserved for sports games, and a certain military shooter, the yearly franchise isn’t something you expect to see applied to a story heavy action game. Ubisoft Montreal, somehow, continues to deliver a solid game each year. Assassin’s Creed Revelations manages, once again, to change things up enough to be interesting but still offers all of the things you love about the series.
Being as story heavy as it is, it’s hard to talk in any detail about the story of Assassin’s Creed Revelations without giving anything away. I can, however, tell you how the story is told. This year’s entry plays out much different than the first two games in Ezio’s tale. After the mayhem at the end of Brotherhood, Desmond’s mind is fragmented and he is trapped in the core of the Animus system. No longer will Desmond awake from the Animus in a lab, makeshift or otherwise, to wander around for a bit talking to the team. The story is focused heavily on Ezio’s journey to Constantinople, as well as a few flashbacks starring the orignal badass himself, Altair.
You’ll be in control of one of your ancestors for the majority of the game, only returning to the core program of the Animus to play optional missions that delve into Desmond’s back story. These missions are the first departure from the norm that we’ll encounter. Desmond will go into the inner workings of the Animus software, which looks like a cross between Portal and Tron. While here, the game switches to a first person puzzle platformer. You heard me. It sounds gimmicky and a little goofy, but it really fits with the mysterious nature of the Animus technology. During these missions, Desmond will explain pieces of his back story. I loved this little touch because if you don’t care, you can completely ignore these missions, but if, like me, you always wanted to know more about Desmond, you have the chance to learn a lot here.
Basic gameplay is much the same as it was in the past, you’ll still be assassinating Templars from the rooftops and climbing walls like a deranged monkey, but there are a few cool new updates. First, bombs. It seems your Turkish brothers have fallen in love with explosives as you’ll be able to build and deploy a number of different types of bombs, both lethal and non-lethal. Bombs and other ranged weapons have been mapped directly to the Y button so there is no need to break up the action to switch. Second is the Hook Blade. The Hook Bladed replaces/augments the hidden blade with a hook on one side that allows you to climb higher and snag rooftops from farther away than ever before. The hook can also be used for enemy take downs and escapes.
During Assassin’s Creed Revelations you’ll notice that the tone really follows Ezio’s growing role as mentor and leader as he moves away from the more involved wetwork. Don’t worry, Ezio’s still got it and doesn’t mind zip-lining his hidden blade into the back of a guard’s neck from time to time, he just has more leadership options at his disposal. This time, when you take an area back from the Templars you will set up a Den and staff it with Assassin’s, the Templars may try to take it back and at this point you will enter Den Defense mode. This is a tower defense mode that has you placing archers, gunners and barricades to fend off a Templar attack. Den Defense isn’t fully fleshed out but it doesn’t get in your face and is fun to play once in a while. Assassin’s guild missions are also enhanced this time and when you send your Assassin’s to other cities they can eventually free that city and gain you some income.
Revelations still has some of the goofy control anomalies the others did but is otherwise a great game. Things have changed enough to keep you from getting bored with the gameplay and the story is, once again fantastic.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood brought multiplayer to the series with one of the most fun and innovative competitive multiplayer modes I’ve ever played. Revelations brings this back with some great new updates. If you’re not familiar, this multiplayer mode will find you in deathmatch type scenarios with seven other players. Rather than just attacking each other you will be assigned one of the other players as a target to assassinate. You must pick them out of the crowd of citizen-bots and kill them stealthily. The more stealthy your kill the more points you get. Take your target down and you’ll be assigned another, but the whole time you will be somebody else’s mark so watch your back.
This time around, you’ll have some perks and abilities available to you from level one. This really helps avoid having to play recklessly until you unlock some cool gear, which was one of the main issues with Ubisoft’s first try. Along with a host of new weapon and visual customization options there are a few new game modes. My favorite being Steal the Artifact. This combines the core gameplay with something like Oddball from Halo. The point being to hide from the other Templars while holding the Artifact. The closer you are to other players, the more points you get while carrying the artifact. Ubisoft have done a fantastic job creating and honing one of my favorite multiplayer games. It may not appeal to those who prefer the run and gun action of Halo or Call of Duty, but it is undeniably great.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations has a good mix of achievements between multiplayer and single player. Most will be unlocked for simply moving through the game though, whether in story or multiplayer. If you were looking for a challenge, the only one that will really offer that is Armchair General which is unlocked for using your assassins to control every city in the Mediterranean at the same time.
Though four games in four years may be too many to keep everyone interested, Revelations is the best Assassin’s Creed game yet. Fun and engaging gameplay is coupled with a gripping story and a well crafted multiplayer mode compliments it all. Ubisoft has seen Ezio off in style.