This is Ezio's last struggle. Read our Assassin's Creed Revelations Review
Assassin's Creed Revelations marks the fourth installment in the main series and it also mark the final struggle of the beloved Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. A grand finale to Ezio's trilogy, a grand finale that as always leaves you wanting more and waiting for the next Assassin's Creed game.
Revelations picks up where Brotherhood left. Desmond's mind is in pieces and the only way to save him is the Black Room, Animus operating system. Once he is awake in this "reality", Desmond met the consciousness of Subject 16, who occupied the Animus before him. Sixteen explained that Desmond's mind was fragmented, and that the only way for him to separate the pieces of himself from those of his ancestors was to continue to play out their stories until there was nothing left for them to show Desmond, known as a Synch Nexus. Once he reached that point, the Animus would be able to separate the three individual's memories.
Desmond entered the Black Room's memory corridor, which once again placed him in the perspective of Ezio Auditore. Ezio has traveled a long journey from Rome, since Brotherhood, and finds himself in Constantinople searching for the Masyaf Keys, which will help him unlock the secrets that Altair left for him in the Grand Library found in the Masyaf Castle. Aiding him in this quest is Sofia, a young Italian traveler and book collector. Ezio is a know ladies' man so I think that everyone knows how this end :D. But as we all know nothing it's easy for Ezio. Constantinople is in a difficult time. Everyone wants to take control of the biggest empire, so Ezio must choose sides. And the story from here picks up and reaches and surpasses the heights that Assassin's Creed stories have set in the past.
Life, love, death, deception are some of the themes that make up the awesome story of Revelations. Ezio is tired, he spent all his life fighting and searching for answers for so many questions. Some of the monologues during the cut-scenes are some of the best ever written for a video game, hell those lines may be the best ever written, especially those in the ending sequence! Overall the script is fantastic. The relationships that Ezio forms with the other characters are extremely well developed. His friendship with Yusuf, the master assassin in Costantinople, grows with each mission and cut-scene. And then there is the relationship with Sofia. It gradually grows from cut-scene to cut-scene in an amazing flow. You really feel that these two people are falling in love with each other. As I said the script is awesome, the supporting cast of characters is amazing, everything regarding the main story is amazing!
Ezio’s investigations give him the unusual ability to look back through history and witness milestones in Altaïr’s lifetime using the Keys. So in Revelations we don't only see the final hours of Ezio's story, but also those of Altair's. In five sequences we see the ups and downs in Altair's life as an assassin and then a mentor. There are some touching and powerful moments in these memories so I will not spoil that for you.
But not all the action happens in the past. Some of it happens in the present featuring Desmond. After you collect data fragments as Ezio, new missions for Desmond unlock in the Animus. These missions are in first person perspective were Desmond have to traverse movement, timing, and precision and also some illusion based puzzles. During these missions Desmond reveal his life story and how he became involved with the assassin order. Personally I think these missions or memories are really cool and don't retract from the main game.
The level design of the main missions, here reaches new heights. No two missions look and feel the same. Action-packed chases mix with stealthy tails through busy city streets. In one you rush on top of the highest tower to save your love and in the next you protect the prince from getting assassinated, while entertaining like a Bard. But the best missions by far are the ones about collecting the Masyaf Keys. Climbing at insane heights, chasing boats, stealthy infiltrating templar occupied hideouts etc. The new camera takes which are used during the missions create the feel of an epic scale, very much like in Naughty Dog's Uncharted. Yes these sequences are that awesome!
Helping in enriching the story are the amazing visuals and the new and enhanced facial and body animations of the characters. A new technology was used to create the amazing facial expressions and it really pays out in the game, believe me. Constantinople is full of life. Beggars, heralds, carpet vendors, romanies, thieves and all the other characters act how they should.
That's not the case of the side missions.The main side missions feature recruiting your assassins and when they reach master assassin level, new missions unlock. Some of them are cool, but the most part are boring and uninspired. As in the past AC games, there are three factions: The Thiefs, The Mercenaries and taking the place of The Courtesans, The Romanies. In Brotherhood I remember that these factions had a lot of missions to do, but that's not the case here in Revelations. There are literally only two missions. Other side missions come from Piri Reis, the bomb master, that are training missions where you cannot fail! Then there is Den Defense. After you have taken a templar den, if you have full notoriety the templars will try to retake it. That's when Den Defense starts, a tower defense minigame which at first is cool, but then becomes a pain in the ass. It becomes a nuisance cause much of the time later in the game you will have full notoriety for being a bada$$.
Other new additions to the gameplay are the Hook Blade and bomb crafting. As we all saw the video reveal at last year E3,one of Ezio's hidden blades is destroyed by an enemy. Yusuf, the master assassin, gives Ezio the Hook Blade and trains him on how to use it. With it Ezio can grab and throw enemies while sprinting, can jump more across building as his reach is extended and more importantly he can slide down the zip-lines that are scattered throughout the city. Smoke bombs played a big role in past games, so what would you think if I say that in Revelations you can craft up to 120 types of bombs? Sounds cool, right? Well it should, you can craft lethal, tactical and diversion bombs. Playing with the different effects is really cool. But what the game lacks is the level design and scenarios where you should use bombs. Only in Piri Reis and some other missions you are forced to use bombs, but you can easily beat the game without using even one. Ezio's moves and attacks have received an upgrade too. Also the remapping of the controls have greatly increased the flow of the combat and movement.
Crafting explosives is a new hobby, one we borrowed from the Chinese and have taken to with great passion - Yusuf Tazim
The economy system from Brotherhood returns even here, where you renovate shops and famous Constantinople landmarks as Hagia Sofia, Galata Tower etc. Back from the last games is also the Mediterranean Defense minigame, in which you send your recruits to complete contracts. Also the faction and some other challenges are back, that bring some more gameplay to the table.
I had a blast playing online since I didn't get a chance to play that of Brotherhood's. I don't know much about the specific changes, but what I know is that multiplayer is augmented again this time around, with various new modes, a wealth of customization options, a better interface and even a story mode that will allow players to learn more about the modern day Templars as they progress (or "train") in the Abstergo facility.
Then there is the other side of the coin and by that I mean the "bad" things about the game. The side missions feel rushed and uninspired. The total length of the game is about 20 hours and when I say total length, I mean 100% synchronization all treasures, challenges everything except the books collecting... yeah that's really short. Book collecting and the renovation of the landmarks is a pain in the a$$ cause you have to wait countless hours to build up the fortune to buy all of them. The frame rate stays stable with some minor problems here and there. Some acceptable glitches and bugs AC games are know for returns. But the biggest disappointment I had was that two of the achievements and some challenges were glitched and I had to delete the update to get them?!?!
Overall Assassin's Creed Revelations is a great game. The main storyline is amazing, extremely well written and the characters are well developed. The main missions have great level design and some cool gimmick to play around. Helping to put everything together are the graphics and the animations that are better than those of Brotherhood, which BTW were awesome. Sure the problems I listed above exists, but they don't ruin in any way the experience. Assassin's Creed III is just around the corner and I can't wait to play and review it.