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Review: Assassins Creed: Revelations
Adrift in the Animus is how you begin the latest chapter of the Assassins Creed franchise. You awaken on the Animus Island with only your fragmented memories to keep you alive. After running into Subject 16, you realize you’re trapped inside the Animus on a full-time memory session trying to separate your memory from that of Altair and Ezio. The Animus purportedly keeping you inside while it attempts the “repair your mind”; in other words, its a reverse back to the future with no crazy Doc Brown or souped up DeLorean to get you back. Its just you and your memory.
This is where the true story begins. 1511 Constantinople to be exact (Modern day Turkey to the rest of you). You return as Ezio Auditore de Firenze on a quest to recover Altair’s long lost Masyaf Keys. These keys will lead Ezio on a dizzying journey through Constantinople in search of an item that could finally the war between the Assassins and the Templars (as they are now known as Ottomans and Byzantines in the 14 century).
While the main concept remains the same, your character has some new “toys” at his disposal, including the Hook Blade. This new toy can help you get to those hard to reach places as well as double as a leg sweep when chasing your prey. They also come in handy traversing the many rooftops in Constantinople. Simply search for a rooftop with a zipline and you’ll be flying through the air. These can also double for Air Assassinations. Parachutes are available again to help you take the slow and scenic route down from the upper reaches if you’re over the famous “leap of faith” which of course makes its return.
Player control is still not 100%. The expectation of gamers when they see the trailers is for their character to have that super smooth Parkour running style, but it just misses it. Perhaps its a limitation of current gen hardware (we won’t go there though)? God knows how many times I took a header off a tower trying to climb to the next part.
The added option for grenades is where gameplay takes a different twist. Coupled with the option to carry 3 different types of grenades gives the player a choice as to what route he/she may want to take. Go loud with a fully loaded “sticky” grenade loaded with shrapnel or a phosphorous filled times grenade to cloud your entry and escape? Like Dres from Black Sheep said, “the choice is yours”.
Ubisoft also decided to add what is known as Den Defense. This component is kind of like a 3D Tower Defense with Assassins. The goal as in all Tower Defense games is to defend your Den against Templar attacks. This is done by placing barricades, archers and snipers to defend the Assassins den.
Last but not least, you’ll also need to scour the city in search of Animus Data Fragments. These fragments will allow you open up the second part of the game.
Unlike the Ezio storyline, Desmonds attempt to exit the Animus is a first person puzzle. Imagine playing a FPS with no weapons, just the ability to jump. I likened it to a 3D First Person Tetris game. It’s kind of hard to explain and easier to understand when you see it. Basically its Desmond using wedge or rectangle type pieces to traverse the Animus while searching for a way out.
Assassins Creed Revelations also features 11 multiplayer gametypes to whet your online appetites. Modes are divided into 4 styles.
Simple Deathmatch: A simple get in and get your hands & feet dirty.
Free For All includes: Wanted, Deathmatch, Assassinate, Steal the Artifact (CTF) & Corruption.
Team Objectives offers: Manhunt, Artifact Assault, Chest Capture & Escort.
Private enables all maps and modes within a private server setting.
The inclusion of Perks and Abilities make leveling up a necessity as you gain skill points to be used for bigger & better perks & abilities as well as to customize your Templar in the Abstergo Store (Yes, thats what its called).
- Very well written
- Beautiful scenery. Especially the bazaars and cityscape of Constantinople. The colors and clothing of all the characters (playable and NPC’s) are very authentic and realistic
- Well written Single Player campaign with dozens of side quests will keep players enthralled for hours
- This game will definitely keep you entertained
- The remarks from NPC’s. Very short list of repeated phrases
- Multiplayer was decent but not out of this world
- Player control issues
The Final Word
I’ll admit, I slept on the Assassins Creed series. In fact, I rushed through 75% of the first one when I received my review copy from Ubisoft. I wanted to play the Assassin’s Creed II before putting my hands on Revelations, but then the review wouldn’t have come out until Thanksgiving. That being said, I truly enjoyed AC:R and still have tons to do. I’ve put in a good 10-12 hours of gameplay between the main story and side quests. In fact, I’ve spent more time on this than I have on COD:MW3 (and that should count for something).
While AC:R may seem like Ubisoft’s final hurrah in the AC franchise, its rich storyline and phenomenal graphics can and do outshine the player control issues. Personally, I’m a fan now and while some may say Ubisoft took the cheap way out, I disagree. The took a solid game and improved it. Isn’t that what we expect from a game?
Also the interactions between Ezio and Sophia are top notch. Masterfully executed and very well written.
Copy of the game (Xbox 360 version) provided for the purpose of review.