Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 11/29/2011
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Ezio Auditore da Firenze. When most gamers hear this name they think of one of the best video game characters ever made. Ezio went down in-game history the way he did for a reason. Assassin’s Creed revolutionized the action/adventure genre with assassination skills, and a whole new take on stealth gameplay, plus awesome parkour gameplay. Revelations are the conclusion to Altair and Ezio’s story, but just another chapter for Desmond Miles. Desmond is stuck in the blackness of the Animus and is in kind of a coma. His brain can’t tell his personality apart from Ezio and Altair’s, so Subject 16 (yes you finally meet him), helps you a little bit here. There isn’t much of Desmond here because this is the two assassin’s story, in fact, there are only three cut-aways to Desmond through the whole game.
Ezio’s story starts with him trying to find 5 keys that Altair hid, but the Templars are also after them. Altair has some secretly hidden library under Masyaf, so it’s a race. This is the shortest AC game to date, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse. There is a new layer added to Ezio’s personality because he’s 50 through 62 in this game. Playing as an old man is pretty awesome though. Ezio is now wiser, smarter, and a master assassin. You even play as Altair through his old age up to 92 and he still kicks ass! This should be more like Geriatrics’s Creed. Let’s go ahead and start with side missions. The same ones from Brotherhood are kept, but others from past games are cut. Templar Dens replace Borgia Towers, you can recruit assassins, buy stores, buy monuments, find viewpoints, and that’s about it. Side missions took a back seat here to some epic main story missions. Overall the game can be beaten in less than 15 hours even if you try to do the side missions that are here.
Collectibles this time around involve only Animus Fragments which are used to unlock crappy Desmond side stories which will be explained later. Two new combat abilities are brought to the table here and that is bomb-making and the hook blade. This adds a layer of depth to combat and climbing. Remember when you would jump off a building from too high and just can’t reach the one in front of you? Now you can with a quick press of the action button and you can catch yourself. It can be used in combat as well as running away from guards. Remember when guards would block your path and you had no choice but to get knocked over? Now you can hook them and roll right over their back. This also adds another item to climbing which is zip lines. Zip along and assassinate enemies at high speed which is a blast.
Bombs have three different levels, diversions, weapons, and defense. Boxes are scattered everywhere that contain parts of bombs that contain the container, gunpowder type, and item inside. You can use a lamb’s blood bomb to make enemies think they’re wounded and become stunned. A splinter bomb stuns enemies, or uses a cherry bomb to drive guards away from areas. These really come in handy when you don’t want to get into a huge fight. The problem here is that it’s wasted on the short length of the story. I didn’t even get to use all the bomb types because there just weren’t enough missions in the game that called for them.
There is also a strange strategy type section at the beginning that is never used anywhere in the game and I thought it was fun. You can use points to call down different types of assassins on roof types or use defenses on the ground. You can use your gun when the wave of guards comes. This was kind of like a tower defense thing and was really strange just to have in on one mission.
All the other items are here like parachutes, poison darts, and all that stuff from past games. However, combat is finally perfect with combo chains after you kill an enemy. Keep the chain up and you can kill each one near you with just one hit. The combat really flows this time, and the new kill moves are just gruesome. You can do everything else in past games so nothing here has really changed. You do use your Eagle Sense more because you need to use it to find these clues to the keys. This leads to awesome and varied main missions which involve epic chases, picking your way around guards, and even giant climbing puzzles. I found these to be the most entertaining, but the gameplay really ends there. It is short and sweet as well as entertaining.
The area is completely new because it is set in Constantinople and Istanbul. There is one sequence dedicated to a whole underground Templar city, but I felt all this was wasted on such a short little sequence. The area in Revelations is tiny compared to past games, but this is understandable for how short the game is. The new art style and the setting are a great welcome because Rome and Italy were getting tiring to see. The graphics are still superb even with just the slight updates to the engine. The voice acting is superb and so is the storytelling.
Desmond’s Journey is a strange telling of Desmond’s past through a first-person platforming puzzle thing. I have no idea what this is but it should go away. There are five short little areas that involve platforming and pushing buttons. Then you get to place floating blocks in front of you to make paths. Yeah, what the hell. It’s nice to know Desmond’s story, but collecting 100 fragments for this isn’t even worth it.
Multiplayer has been amped up and is just as fun. There are more modes, but instead of being really original, they are hidden under the AC theme. These are models you see in first-person shooters that are disguised here. Capturing the flag is just taking a key from the enemy base and returning it to yours. There are a deathmatch mode and a few others, but more modes are good and they are fun. There are more maps, characters, and abilities that will keep you coming back for hours.
Overall, Revelations is just as amazing as past games in the series, but just on a smaller and shorter scale. It perfects the series to a T and I don’t think anything else can be done with these two heroes. If you made it this far in the series go ahead and finish it. Long asked questions are answered, but there are also some new ones now. The game has a touching ending, and we even finally get to see what happened after the first AC. Revelations is an excellent game with just enough new stuff to keep fans happy.