Assassin's Creed: Revelations Review
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Consoles: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Players: Single Player/ Online (4-8)
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.
The game starts with one of the most entertaining pieces in the series, with Ezio in Masyaf searching for Altair’s secret library. After some battle scenes and stealthy advances, Ezio finds the library and sets off for Constantinople in search of five keys that have been hidden there by the legendary assassin. From there the normal open-world gameplay takes place. Italy was the correct setting for the series, even though Constantinople was very colorful, it just didn’t compare to Rome or Florence. After finding the keys I got to live one of Altair’s memories, which was enjoyable. But most of the game consisted of playing an aged Ezio, and even some of the Altair parts were him being an old man that could barely walk. I don’t know too many gamers who enjoy having a protagonist that likely subscribes to the AARP.
A decent addition was the bomb making. They really lent Ezio the upper-hand when he was faced with too many enemies. There was really no limit to what you could make either with so many ingredients to go into each bomb. If I needed a distraction I could toss a cherry bomb towards the guards and chase their attention elsewhere. The best addition to the series is the hookblade. It was a crucial part to every aspect of the game. I could climb faster, zipline from building to building, and even use it in battle. I was even able to latch onto an enemy and vault over him if I was in a hurry, and didn’t feel like fighting. Going back to the past games in the series was really tough to get used to after getting to experience the hookblade. It’s disappointing to assume that in AC: III there likely will be no hookblade because most of the game will be in open land. But we can hope, right? We can hope.
Other than that, Revelations didn’t compare to Brotherhood in terms of depth. While I was having a hard time trying to start main story memories in the third installment with countless side missions to do, Revelations could be considered flat. Helping Ezio’s new love interest, Sofia Sartor, involved finding the keys to Altair’s library. Those were the most important side missions. Outside of a few thieve quests or buying book stores there wasn’t much else to do away from the main story. Even the addition of “Den Defense” sequences, which had Ezio battling Templars for position of Constantinople didn’t do much to impress or satisfy. After killing the Templar leader of the area and burning the tower, the territroy would belong to the Assassin’s. However, the Templars would often retake the land and force me to defend the area by commanding assassins, putting in blockades, and launching cannons on enemies. Doing it once or twice would have been just fine, but doing it over and over just got to be annoying and time consuming. It was a good thought that, if executed better, could have been a strong aspect of the game.
The Assassin’s series has always been great with story telling, epic gameplay, and after Brotherhood, a good balance of single player and multiplayer. For the first time Ubisoft has emphasized more with the online play than the campaign, and the game suffered. Playing Brotherhood online was free for everyone, but Ubisoft decided to get into the online pass league and charge those who purchase the game used. Sure, I was able to customize my character and have a unique online experience, but what makes Assassin’s Creed great is the incomparable campaign, not the online portion. Capture the Flag mode was solid, but other than that the rest just seemed dry and lacking a bit. If I’m supposed to be looking for value in a $10 pass, I’m not finding it in Revelations.
Overall it was another good experience with Ubisoft’s signature franchise, just not great. I feel like the hookblade was a very impressive addition and a step in the right direction for the development team, but too much attention in the multiplayer aspect made the game dim down. I wasn’t impressed with the fact that after I beat the main story I wasn’t able to go back and finish some of the limited side quests, or even venture out of Constantinople. It could seem like this title is overkill, but it was nice to get a good bye from Ezio and Altair. I’m just hoping Ubisoft’s hard work pays off in AC: III.