I was lamenting reviewing Assassins Creed: Revelations even though I had volunteered to do it, in my eagerness to write up a review I hadn’t considered something rather obvious. At this point, you either know if you like the Assassins Creed series or not don’t you? Revelations is the final installment in the story of Ezio Auditore de Firenze, assassin extraordinare, descendant of Altair and ancestor of Desmond Miles. He has been one of the protagonists of Assassins Creed for the last three installments, Assassins Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations, as well as explains what Altair did with his life after the events of Assassins Creed.
You can’t play Revelations without having played the first two parts of the Ezio Trilogy, this game is technically Assassins Creed 2.67, and continues years after the end of Brotherhood. Ezio has gone from free wheeling socialite, to Master Assassin, and is now Mentor to many of the assassins across the world and has the attitude to support it. He no longer seeks vengeance but serves only to solve the mystery of Altair and the pieces of Eden that he came across in the first games. His research has led him to the city of Constantinople which, while not the size of Rome, is pretty large and fun to get across thanks to the addition of the Hookblade over one of his hidden blades.
The hookblade is one of the two key new additions to the game. It lets you zoom along ziplines placed along rooftops to cover large amounts of land quickly as well as drop down from above to kill unsuspecting guards and targets as well as trip couriers and bring down scaffolds as you run by crushing the guards behind you. It also allows you to get by walls of guards but in a very obvious manner called the Hook and Run or Hook and Throw, the Hook and Run is a maneuver where you grab onto their clothes with your hook blade to roll over their back and make your through while the Hook and Throw goes about the same but ends with you tossing a guard through the air. The other addition is the Bombs, now i’ve heard mixed reviews about the bombs not only online and from other reviewers but even from my friends and family. It ranges from people swearing by the bomb and its multi purpose uses to others saying it was a useless addition that they never had to use and really never saw a reason to use them over anything else. I stand at about the middle point on that, I like the bombs they’re fun and capable of getting you out of a tight spot or set up a truly impressive take down but there are missions that I couldn’t see getting past without a well placed cherry bomb or smoke bomb though i’m sure better assassins than I could tell me how to do it without them. Speaking of bombs, that brings me to one of the things that will take some getting used to. Anyone who played Assassins creed will tell you all about the marionette control system, Y/Triangle controls the head for eagle vision and such, X/Square controls the dominant hand and main weapon, B/Circle controls the off hand and the A/X button control the legs with the RT or R2 or R1 (I don’t own a PS3 sorry) controlling the showy high profile part. That has been altered, the Y/triangle now controls bombs, knives, darts and basically ranged weapons. The B/Circle is almost exclusively hookblade things, press it to pull down scaffolds, trip people, reach the hook for a ledge, and interact with the world. X/Square and A/X still work about the same while Eagle vision has been relegated to clicking the Left Stick. It’s not game breaking in any way but I lost count of the number of times early on that I pressed the head button to talk or Eagle Vision but ended throwing a deadly bomb into a crowd of civilians or knifing a civilian, it takes some getting used to.
The story is not my favorite one of the series, that particular honor goes to Brotherhood but more because of Cesare Borgia than anything else, and lacks many of the charismatic characters that made the first two parts of the Ezio trilogy so good, with his uncle Mario (I still love “It’s a-me, Mario!”) Da Vinci, Mussolini, and Cesare no longer present it falls to a few new characters to carry the game like Sophia, Ezio’s love interest found late in life, and Prince Suleiman the future sultan. While both characters aren’t bad they don’t have the interest grabbing personality that some characters had in the last two. Speaking of things from the last two the renovation minigame is back but with a few changes, first of which is that they seem more expensive to rebuild as you get more and more then they did in rome, second is whenever you purchase any building your templar awareness by 25% of the meter and to prevent you from standing around accumulating money they added a new problem called the Stalker who are people that will spring out of nowhere and try to stab you, it’ll switch to a quick time event like situation where the camera changes and time slows if you press the X/Square button then you’ll kill him if not he’ll stab you and flee and if he escapes, boom, full awareness.
Awareness has a new effect than last time, this time if you fill it up and piss of the templars with a full one they will lead an assault on one of your assassin dens which will lead to a tower defense type game where you place assassins with crossbows, muskets, bombs, and things like on rooftops and cover a street filled with barricades that can have turrets, flamethrowers, and even cannons. It’s a fun sidegame that can border on the impossible when the siege weapons make the scene but you have a cannon of your own to help you out, and an achievement for winning without the cannon, that makes the game really interesting and all of these things tie together to make interesting campaign in Ezio’s world that can range from a bit short (if you just run through) to mind numbingly long (If you want to do EVERYTHING).
There are two other stories weaved into this, the first is the story of the currently comatose Desmond Miles who retreated into his mind after the shock of the ending of Brotherhood and is aided by Subject Sixteen into fixing his mind so that he can continue his work. You get to see a place called the Animus Island and there are monoliths that, with a certain amount of Animus Fragments, reveal more about the past of Desmond. The other story is Altairs that starts before his fall from grace and resurrection in the first Assassins Creed and then tells what he did for a long time after the events of the game and is one of my favorite parts of Revelations although Altair will always be my favorite assassin but there’s not much I can say about his story without spoiling some things.
The multiplayer is back as well and has it’s own separate story and while I have been playing it quite a bit when I can, I’ve been having internet problems and haven’t gotten very far in it but it shows the preparation of the Templar side of the war in modern day by sending agents into the bodies of other templars from the past and teaching them to hunt assassins by acting as assassins. It’s a game that varies wildly depending on the type, map, and players. I have fun in deathmatch and artifact assault but on certain small maps (including a small fountain square) it’s really a pain to play, on larger maps though you’ll find that player that drove me from the multiplayer in Brotherhood the ones I call the roofers. They love to run and jump and disregard all ideas of stealth while playing the game and really just annoy me more than anything, like snipers in MW3, but games without those particular players are wonderful experiments in stealth and paranoia. I do recommend the multiplayer if you passed on it in Brotherhood before everyone becomes roofers it’s really rather fun with the new abilities and kill animations
All in all I recommend buying Revelations if you like Assassins Creed, although it ends very clearly leading to a sequel, it lacks a definitive ending over all to the whole things but wraps up Ezio and Altairs tales rather nicely so it’s great to finally have some closure leading up to the next and possibly final installment at least in this series.
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