Game: “Assassin’s Creed Revelations”
Assassin’s Creed: a tale of genetic time travel, ancient conspiracy theories and slow motion violence. It’s arguably one of the most confusing series ever created due to its over-complicated storyline. Assassin’s Creed Revelations stays true to form but does throw up a few surprises along the way. Being the fourth in the series in as little a time as three years, players could have expected there to be the same old tricks that made the first three such successes and new features to be stored away for the proposed Assassin’s Creed Three. But they would be wrong.
To those who have stayed faithful to the series, many areas will be instantly recognisable. Revelations carries much of the same visuals, sounds and game-play, but is fresh and has an air of originality. Ezio and Altair are still free-running around a city, returning to their roles as Assassins and enjoying improved game-play such as the ‘Counter Steal’, which means picking up booty after battles is a thing of the past. Both Assassins are fluidly shanking up the Templars and making the crime rate in Renaissance Constantinople almost as high as London’s today. The familiarity of the game is a strong likeable factor but also a fatal flaw. The ridiculously long slow-motion introduction is just a re-hash of previous games and there is a strong possibility it could seem dull to those who have stuck by the series. This doesn’t last long though.
New features, such as Ezio’s Ottoman Hook, enabling faster climbing abilities sit comfortably alongside fan favourites like doing favours for historical folk. Revelations presents players with strategic mini-games such as bomb-crafting, first-person levels and extra combat abilities; these all cater for different player styles – bolt in and blast ‘em up or stealthily setting up traps. By the end of this game, players are going to be left wondering where their life has gone; it is genuinely the most jam-packed of the series. Revelations is the most wide-reaching and immersive due to its shorter side quests and campaigns; this keeps repetition at a minimum. Ubisoft have cleverly distracted from the main plot by hiding these quests down the cosmopolitan side streets of beautiful Constantinople, making players discover more of the map at the same time, creating a dual purpose.
In discovering more of the city, there are plenty of people to meet. Mercenaries, thieves and Romani people are just to name a few. Each group has their own missions and challenges that could keep any gamer busy for a few hours. However, the sheer number of missions can seem overpowering but make the game worth its money. The prize of most comical mission goes to Ezio’s dispatch of a group of Italian minstrels, just before robbing them then singing down the street in their clothing. However, it is a shame that many of these missions are just like Grand Theft Auto’s minor and mediocre day-to-day challenges but a bit more historical. Players end up fetching and killing repetitively – much alike in Brotherhood. Ok, maybe there are some repetitive features…
However, Brotherhood has influenced Revelations in an exciting way. The main story demonstrates the exotic missions exhibited in Brotherhood and takes them to another level. Its linear secret locations and Da-Vinci themed scenery have been woven delicately into the new title flawlessly. The main story is one adventure after another – the game in effect becomes a playground where players learn to become effective killing machines whilst collecting keys to tie together the over-thought-out plot. Altair’s flashback missions, in particular, give the player a chance to daringly escape from burning ships and horse-and-carriage battles. His short-lived role in Revelations is arguably the most interesting, spanning a lifetime of wrist-knifing.
Although the lesser protagonist, Desmond, is still in a coma; he is awaiting his chance to be a modern-day assassin. Desmond is trapped within the Animus’ memory banks, stranded on a subconsciously computer-generated island. Sinister memories are discovered from Subject 16, an interesting spin-off for the modern day portion of the game but players should be prepared for this section to disappoint; it hasn’t been well prepared for and can lead to further plot confusion. It provides the dullest game intervention so far.
Players collect code fragments as Ezio, for Desmond to unlock new areas on the inescapable island. These take the form of first-person narrated puzzles that involve digital recreations of Desmond’s memories. To do this, as complicated as it sounds, you just have to move about a few rectangular blocks and ramps but these are not a patch on the hieroglyphic puzzles of Assassin’s Creed One and Brotherhood.
Ageing Ezio’s final steps are assured forever in Revelations; it is a shame but an inevitable one. There is only so much you can do with one character. The place of Ezio’s final chapter, Constantinople, is as varied a setting as players could hope for and articulately created. Its rickety wooden buildings create perfect cover for stealth portions of Ezio’s adventure. The metropolis’ zip-line rooftops and parachutes make traversing the city a pleasure and finding keys in underground canyons and secret cisterns makes a pleasant change to the current series. Quick tip: Jump off Galata Tower, the tallest in the game, it’s worth it.
For the multiplayer you need to be as ‘cunning as a fox that has just been appointed as Professor of Cunning at Oxford University’. The bigger and better online modes consist of cat-and-mouse games that create an air of tense competition among players. It also provides an alternative to most of the multiplayer options in varying games on the market. The multiplayer just adds to the value of the game and how extensive it is.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations is a must for any fan and a possible excursion for those who have yet to discover the series. The game is basically a tale of finding keys to tie together the three main player’s over-worked plot but that shouldn’t put players off. It is a fast-paced, cinematic feast for the eyes and a challenging title for most competent players.