Review by Northowl
A worthy sequel, but only just
After playing through the last edition of the AC line, I can't help sitting behind with a mixed feeling of great entertainment and dissatisfaction. This is still by far a good game. The AC line has always delivered a vastly impressive gaming experience, with the most beautiful world modelation combined with great and complex gameplay. This last installment certainly do not lack any of this, but still it looks to me that Ubisoft got somewhat rushed on this one.
You play as a somewhat aging, but still very agile assassin Ezio Auditore who comes to the ancient city of Constantinople in search for answers to mysteries he never really found the answers to in the prequel games. Here he will find that the Templars are still at large, and he soon gets in contact with the lokal assassin guild, which, with his great charisma and leadership he helps build up from a little more than a local resistance group to a great army of assassins.
Among the new features in the game you find the hook blade, an extraction of Ezio's normal blades which greatly improve his climbing abilities and enable the use of zip lines, among other tings. By far one of the greatest improvement. Another feature is the bombs. I have heard many different feelings about the them. Personally I don't feel they deserve so much focus as the game gives them. You can buy ingredients for the bombs all over the place (marked everywhere on the map), even if you have no particular use for them. But they can be pretty fun to explore, and quite effective in many situation.
The gameplay is by far the greatest strength in this game. Like its predecessors it contains a complex world, a wast city to explore, populated by people walking around doing their daily chores. And while I suspect the cloth fashion is a bit more colorful than the real thing, it looks very realistic, varied, and beautiful to watch. My problems, however, is when I compare it to the predecessors, AC II and Brotherhood. In those games the worlds was created with a lot more variations between the old and tarnished to the grand and pompous. Venice was filled with rich and and decadent as well as beggars and fools, while in this game, Constantinople was pretty much the same type of rusty and brown buildings. Don't get me wrong, it is still beautifully made. It is a vast and beautiful city to explore, but it somehow lack the spark of Venice and Rome. Also, in this game you allmost have only one wast city to explore.
Another disappointment is the different instances. In all the games, except the first one, you had to do several sidemission inside wast and beautiful buildings, grottoes and mazes. These instances was laborously beautifully sculptured, with much focus on the grand details. Here in Revelations however, the numbers of those instances is somewhat reduced, and really not that impressive. It was a little disappointment how easy it was to get to the grand assassin suit, compared to the several instance runs you had to do in Brotherhood.
As always you get stunned by the wast and gorgeous details in how they modelled the entire city, its people, with all their motions and realistic responses. It is hard to get closer to real life than this. It is unfortunately not as well made as its two predecessors, but more than well enough to impress even the most fastidious gamer.
I cannot say I'm not a little disappointed in the small degradation this game has suffered. While still a great game, it does not have the same variation as its prequels. It would'we have been nice if there had been some more new elements in this game, as its gameplay works pretty much like its two last prequels. Also, I feel a bit cheated when it comes to explanation in what happened to Desmond at the end of Brotherhood, and why he was forced to do as he did. Little was given as explanation in that department. On the plus side, I liked the storyline this game offered, its progressive revelation of what became of Ezio's fabled ancestor, Altair, and a nice conclusion of Ezio's life as an assassin. And I certainly look forward to the next installment of this franchise.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Assassin's Creed: Revelations (EU, 11/15/11)
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