Review by Al0ne72
"An epic conclusion to an epic journey!"
Even for a stock-gap filler that Ubisoft squeezed in between AC: Brotherhood and ACIII, this game prevailed in many more ways than it flawed. Before I go into detail, I'll go ahead and say that if you are only getting this game for particular reasons, you might want to look into the "Ezio Trilogy" as you'd be familiar with its prequels and it would save you some money. For full price, this game is still worth getting, if you are looking to play Assassin's Creed: Revelations as a video game, and not as a sequel to Brotherhood. This is a fantastic game, a complete upgrade to its prequel, with the exception of a couple things, let's take a look...
The story of this game is amongst the greatest I've ever come across in video gaming history, but only if you are a fan of the series. Even as a stock-gap filler, it does an absolutely epic job at concluding Ezio Auditore's story (your main character). Ezio's journey takes place around the year 1511 in Constantinople, in search of wisdom left behind by his ancestor Altair, from the 1st Assassin's Creed game. This game's story makes common reference to Altair's life, and even allows you to play as him back and experience of events of his life for the purpose of Ezio retracing his steps to find what he's looking for. If you are a fan of Lore, this game is worth every second of your time spent on it.
Once again, Ubisoft releases an Assassin's Creed game with remarkable graphics. The detail in every model is phenomenal, the animation is incredibly smooth, but where Ubisoft flourishes most is the rendering. The light reflections, the shadows, the 'touch-ups' that give you such a realistic experience, the shining metal of every piece of armor will leave you blown away.
One of the main features added to the Assassin's Creed series, was the introduction to the Brotherhood, where you could recruit particular citizens in order to fight alongside you. You would call upon these fellow assassins for assistance in combat, an assassination, or an Arrow Storm where every enemy in sight would be instantly eliminated. The Assassin Brotherhood has been greatly enhanced in Revelations. A common complaint from AC: Brotherhood, was that your assassins were all generic, no story behind them, no unique characteristics, no purpose behind them except for battle aids. All of this was fixed in Revelations, over a half-dozen of your characters have a story behind them, and once any of your recruits reach a certain level, they can be assigned to the Assassin Dens, where you can unlock missions that involve you working alongside them to eliminate some type of threat in the city. Each of your assassin recruits has a weapon specialization, sometimes required for their regional missions. There are more cosmetic options, with the addition of masks, however the colors aren't as vibrant. The capabilities of these assassins have been improved, they are more skilled than they were in AC: Brotherhood, and smarter, and perform a lot more variety of tasks. Overall, this game has the best Assassin system of all the AC games.
Completely opinion, but two of the new additions to the Assassin's Creed series are Bombs, and Den Defense. You can now craft and use bombs in this game, small hand-grenades that can do a wide variety of different things. Ingredients are found literally everywhere, chests, looting, rewards, crafting tables, shops, so you'll never have to go out of your way to get anything, but at the same time, you're limited on quantity. In Revelations, bombs are made of three separate parts, the shell, the powder, and the fragmentation. There are four different shells, impact, fuse, tripwire, and sticky, they determine the method of exploding the grenade. Then there's the powder, three different kinds determine the size of the explosion (ranging from hitting one guard, to a group of guards) and then there's the funnest part... the fragmentation. There's too many types to list, but you'll have fun with the varieties of grenades you can use. Some people say they are useless, but I found myself needing to use them quite often. You are given three different pouches, Lethal, Diversion, and Tactical, each allowing you to carry 3 grenades in each, so you can carry 9 grenades in total. The next new addition, is Den Defense, which is optional, fun, and beneficial. In AC: Brotherhood, once you liberated Templar influence by igniting their tower, you claimed the building as your Assassin's Den... Well in Revelations, you can go inside this Den and assign a high level Assassin recruit to this Den, which is how you unlock Assassin missions. If you are Notorious, the Templars will attempt to take back this Den should you continue to harass their forces. When they do attack your Den, you can choose to go and defend it, which will resemble a "Tower Defense" as seen in other games. You command different types of Assassins to take positions on different parts of rooftops overlooking an alley, where Templar troops will run through to get to your Assassin's Den. There are a good number of different types of units you can use, against a good variety of enemies, with a "Boss" at the end, being one of a few different heavy mobile constructs that will make a last attempt to destroy your fortifications. Should you succeed, you'll be rewarded with Guild XP (for your assassins) money, bomb ingredients, and unlock new units for Den Defense.
One of the major downsides to Assassin's Creed: Revelations, is the city of Constantinople, not being nearly as big or as diverse as Roma was in Brotherhood. The buildings are repetitive, the geography is rather flat, and anything that holds any interest or purpose, lies within these repetitive areas. The only areas of the city that are substantially beautiful or scenic, are areas that have no purpose to free-roaming gameplay. Added features to the city are wires that you can zip-line down with your new hook-blade, there's Book Stores instead of Art Merchants, far more height variations on the rooftops (making the ground better for travel) there's no horses, less Fast-Travel stations, and you can go inside your Assassin Dens now. However, the civilians of the city bring some color to this colorless city, and have more dialogs than previously.
I discussed the story being one of my favorite aspects of this game, however, there are two stories within the Assassin's Creed series. You're reliving the ancestors of Desmond Miles through a device called an Animus. In Revelations, there are a lot of pieces of lore that are left out. Not entirely essential, but after the game I had a lot of questions that never got answered. Everything makes sense, very little is contradicted, but you are visiting a character in the series that was formerly an important key in many mysteries, and none of those are mentioned in this game.
The controls were better and worse. My character no longer suicided off of ledges, but did end up killing lots of civilians on accident. They switch up some buttons on you, and it can get very confusing if you recently played another Assassin's Creed game. I love the simplicity, but do not like the automatic interpretations of commands. I thought it was a bit annoying how I could climb a very tall tower within 10 seconds, but couldn't hike my way over a simple building in twice that time. With the introduction of the hook-blade, vertical travel was hastened, but it's automatically trigger and never triggers at proper times, and when you try to manually trigger your hook-blade for the purpose of climbing, it teleports you into a hanging position where you are much lower than you were. Another thing I was hoping they would fix, is combining the Fast Walk button with the Pickpocket button, when trying to lightly catch up to anything, you risk accidentally stealing and aggravating civilians, that eventually call the guards or push you around. Your character also continues to stumble or fall down at the slightest contact with civilians while slowly jogging, and this being one of the many penalizing obstructions that are make-it-break-it in any mission requiring you to pursue a target or rush anything. The one good thing about the controls, was that they were far more smoother than other games. I can tell they touched up a lot on reactivity, slightly moving the analog stick forward did nothing in previous games... It was either walk, or don't walk, but in this game, it scales very well to the axis of the analog, many different speeds for both movement and camera. I just wish the interpretation of these controls didn't leave me constantly yelling "don't run up that wall!".
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/06/13
Game Release: Assassin's Creed: Revelations (First Print Limited Edition) (US, 11/15/11)
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