Revelations is my highest anticipated game of this year, and every time a new trailer came out the anticipation just kept growing. This game was worked on by many of Ubisoft’s studios, and I’m sure their primary concern was quality and “How do you end a story that has raised a number of questions, and have it be a satisfying experience to the player?” Since the beginning the assassins creed franchise has been an ambitious epic. It started off on the wrong foot with the first game, but in these past three years it’s grown into one of the industries best titles. Even with the yearly releases Ubisoft keeps finding ways to improve upon the last.
One of the many improvements as always has been combat. Combat in this game is more fluid, your kill chains are faster and can go uninterrupted until there are no enemies left (unless its Janissary guards, those guys are asshole combo breakers). In the really cool CG trailer you notice that Ezio loses a hiddenblade, that carries over into the real game (I have no idea why it wouldn’t but I guess I’m just used to the double blade). This leaves a slot open on your arm, and you mention it to Yusuf (Assassin from Constantinople) he shows you the light by introducing the hookblade. The hookblade is probably the most useful blade to be introduced into the game.If it were in a commercial it could only be endorsed by the late Billy Mays, no one else would do it justice. Its used for climbing, combat, and combining the two (you can climb your enemy!). Traveling across Constantinople is a pain because its such a big city, and there aren’t as many tunnels, but there are ziplines, and hookblades are perfect for ziplines!
Sticking with the combat improvements, we’ve had smokescreen bombs in the last two games, this game brings bombs to a whole new level. Not only did they add different types of bombs, you can also make them yourself. Or you can buy them from your local bomb dealer if you want special ones. You can stop enemies in their tracks by dropping certain bombs, or just plain kill them if you’re the quick and painless type. You can also use bombs as distractions to have guards move away from certain post if you’re playing a covert mission. Bomb materials can be found all over the city, and on the dead bodies of those dumb enough to get in your way. One extra thing I’ll put along with the combat is the parachutes, ever fallen off a really tall building by accident? Worry no more, buy a couple of parachutes and float down safely! Available at every tailor shop.
Constantinople is a huge city, and like the previous games you can make improvements to the city by buying out shops and landmarks (this of course bring in money). Some you will have to unlock by taking over Templar dens that are scattered throughout the city (like the borgia towers in Brotherhood). Speaking about the dens, once you control a den, the Templars don’t just forget about it. They can come back to attack and attempt to retake it. This is actually a pretty fun mini game, its a mix of real time strategy and tower defense as you line the roofs around a street to take out the Templars that are attacking your den. Once you level an assassin up to master status they can protect the dens for you.
Every time you take out a den you have the ability to recruit more civilians into assassins, but the cool thing now is that they don’t all start out as noobs. Some of the civilians actually have some skill, they can come in at level 1 or 5 (5 was the highest one I got), which means they can take on bigger missions faster. The assassin missions have also gotten an upgrade. When you send assassins on missions they start taking away the Templar control from the country they are sent to. Once you control more of the country than the Templars, you can start rebuilding or doing mission to bring in extra cash.
As you can see there is a lot to do in the game to keep you occupied between missions. Which brings me to one of my main concerns of this game. The missions seem to be a little repetitive like the first game. There is variety but not as much. I remember the first 2 Ezio games always having something new (kind of, I know the whole point of this game it to kill people and that was the majority of the missions). Brotherhood even introduced the optional tasks to achieve 100% synch (which I didn’t like but whatever). Those annoying tasks make a comeback in this game, but in my opinion they were a lot more annoying. Most of the time it was “Don’t be detected”. Not only that, but if something is optional it shouldn’t have such a big impact on my mission. I remember having to redo many missions, multiple times, because I was detected, nothing optional about that. I remember yelling at my tv because it said “optional task completed: do not be detected” yea it was completed, you didn’t give me a choice.
The biggest story missions are actually quest where you have to find memory disc that were brought over by Nicolo Polo after he met Altair, these disc are the keys needed to open Altair’s library in Masyaf. Nicolo was told to hide them around the city. Of course there are also the Altair missions that bring his story to a conclusion showing why the assassins left Masyaf and how he helped restore the creed after it almost fell apart.
The animus is actually broken, and you are stuck on this weird island that was created by subject 16, which you meet in the animus! He explains that in order for you to get back to your world you need to fight the bleeding effect by fixing your memories from Ezio’s and Altair. As a little bonus, you can collect animus fragments during game play to unlock these sort of puzzle side quest that shed light on Desmond’s past.
Another (small) thing that bothered me was the change they made to the button layout. Eagle sense is now used by clicking the right stick, while “Y” is reserved for your secondary weapon. That’s just a small issue because I would throw some of my bombs by accident when trying to synchronize a viewpoint.
The story telling in this game is the best so far, along with the character animations being better too. There’s more emotion, it feels a little more human because the voice actors do a great job reading their scripts, and the characters reflecting that in their animation. I rarely pay attention to the musical score in some games, so I can’ comment too much on that other than it played well for the moods it was supposed to play. If that makes sense.
Now for the biggest question…does this game actually answer the questions you have? Well…for the most part it does. It still left some unanswered for me. It gives you more information about the previous civilization, how they disappeared. However it doesn’t quite answer why Desmond is the chosen one, it kind of touches on that subject but doesn’t completely answer the question. This game was a conclusion for both Ezio and Altair, so I guess that the next game should answer the rest of the questions when we take control of Desmond and finish his story.
I have to say I was a little disappointed in the lack of variety in the missions. It got really old really fast having to tail people down without being detected or infiltrate and assassinate someone while also not getting detected. However the game is still fun, and full of things to do, and that’s only the campaign, I’ve been hearing good things about the multi player which Vex will review. I give the campaign MF MF MF MF out of five.
+ Lots to do to keep you entertained between missions
+ A number of improvements keeps the game fluid
- Lack of variety in missions