This article may contain spoilers. Look out for the warnings. –editors note
It’s been just over a month since I played Assassins Creed: Revelations and I know that this review is long over due but I wanted to wait for the excitement that I felt for it to die down first so that I could make a fair and objective review of the game, so lets get started. So unlike Assassins Creed: 2 and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, this game doesn’t start at the same point where the previous games have ended or at least not for Ezio anyway. You hear dialogue from Subject 16 explaining what happened to Desmond and how he has gotten to this point being stuck on “Animus Island”. When you get to control Desmond you walk and talk with Subject 16 while he explains to you what Animus Island is.
Assassins Creed: Revelations, is about Ezio in search of the truth. The truth about the Assassins, the Ones Who came before and what it meant for him to have fought so long. Along with this quest he has to find several keys around Constantinople which will allow him access to the great library and to relive Altair’s earlier and later memories but the Byzantine Templars are searching for the keys as well so that they may claim yet another powerful artifact. It also introduces a beautiful love story between Ezio and a woman named Sofia.
They have added new weapons such as the hook blade which allows Ezio to extend his jump, and swing further from lanterns, as well as using it as a weapon against the Ottoman Empire. Zip lines were added to the city for quick travel and it was pretty fun but the only flaw with it though is that there weren’t that many zip lines in the city.
You can still recruit assassins in this game but they’ve enhanced the experience for the player by allowing you to go on missions with your recruits. So what happens is, you recruit an assassin and as per normal you will send them on their missions to level up. Once that recruit reaches level ten, you will then accompany him or her on a mission which adds a lot more depth to the situation. You will get to experience the divining point that helped shape your recruits into the assassins they are yet to become. It creates more of a connection between Mentor and Student and I enjoyed that. I love character development in games. Once they have successfully completed their mission you can then continue to level them up and then assign them to “Assassins Dens” all over Constantinople preventing Templar attack.
Then there is the Den Defense. I am trying to find words that could best describe that. Mmmmmmmmm, utterly shit. That was the biggest waste of time I have ever encountered. Why they decided to add that strange piece of gaming to an already working formula I will never know. I’m not even going to describe it, it was just really bad.
And of course the love story between Ezio and Sofia. That was exceptionally beautiful and I couldn’t help but go,”Awwww.” They expressed the connection between the two so well that when you get to the last level there is a sense of urgency that this mission is damn important.
There is also a level where Ezio and Yusuf dress up as Minstrels and go undercover to identify Templar agents, kill them and protect the prince of Constantinople. One of the songs that Ezio sings is about Cesare Borgia. It was a pretty unique level and it was funny to see Ezio dressed in such things.
*POSSIBLE SPOILER REGARDING AC: REVELATIONS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
The one level of Ezio’s that stood out far more for me was the last sequence subsequently titled “Revelations” in which Ezio has all the keys to the library and sees the remains of Grand Master Altair sitting in a chair with a memory artifact in hand. Ezio got to experience the last moments of Altair’s life before communing with Desmond. It was a touching cinematic and in that moment you feel a connection between all three characters and knowing there will be no more adventures of Altair or Ezio, it was hard to say goodbye to characters I’ve come to love.
Ok, I’m going to be honest and objective about this game. It was a really, really awesome game but it wasn’t as good as the previous ones. They did an excellent job at making the main missions fun and action packed as well as adding much more of a cinematic presence during game play but unfortunately they did have quite a few question marks from my side.
*NUMBER NINE HAS POTENTIAL SPOILERS THAT MIGHT PISS YOU OFF IF YOU HAVEN’T PLAYED BROTHERHOOD YET. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
- Ezio looked rather different. I understand that he’s aged but holy crap, he got beaten with an ugly stick.
- The Den Defense mini game kind of takes you away from the story of Assassins Creed. It’s a distraction and what makes it worse is that it’s a shitty distraction.
- Bomb crafting isn’t in my opinion a bad idea but for me I thought it wasn’t necessary because in the previous games there were no bombs to use. You had to rely on your own cunning.
- The 753mb update that I had to download to get the game working sucked ass.
- Desmond’s missions were interesting but I remember watching an interview with the lead script writer of Revelations, Darby McDevitt and he said,” We don’t want to give away any of Desmond’s missions. It’s a surprise for the fans”. Or he said something like that. Whatever he said it got me excited. So while you’re playing through as Ezio, all around Constantinople you will find these Animus Fragments that you have to collect in order to unlock only 5 missions for Desmond. Desmond’s missions are in no way connected to the story so it’s completely optional if you want to play them. His missions are a 1st person perspective as he delves within his past. It’s actually very boring. It does give you more insight into Desmond’s history by Desmond narrating the memory that he is having. You don’t actually get to see the memory but you hear about it. When I finished all the missions I was very disappointed, but I validate it by saying to myself “Well, this is about Ezio not Desmond.”
- The other thing, is that I think they should never get a new lead script writer on a final chapter in a series. Darby Mcdevitt wasn’t one of the leads in any of the other Assassins Creed games and I think that the original script writer should have been more hands on regarding this project not that Darby did a bad job. The script was good and easy to follow and it got you emotionally invested in the characters but it did lack that Assassins Creed mystery, conspiracy, adventure story we all know and love.
- What happened to all the other characters in the Assassins Creed Universe? I know that this chapter in Ezio’s life has nothing to do with his life in Rome but couldn’t they have at least made some sort of references to the characters from AC: 2 and Brotherhood? Like Caterina Sforza, what happened to her? Machiavelli told Ezio that he was going to write a book about him. I think what would have been cool is if you were able to purchase that biography of yourself in Constantinople. You would then assume that Machiavelli wrote his book and retired somewhere. Bartholomeo and his wife. Did Bartholomeo stop fighting? Do they still live in Rome? What happened to them? Leo, I can only assume died or retired with his assistant but I think they should’ve mentioned him. I had an idea that just before Yusuf gives Ezio the hook blade, Yusuf would start staring at something on Ezio’s arms, maybe the pistol or the range poison dart and he would say something like,” That is an interesting design Ezio. Where do you get it?” and Ezio would reply with a slight smirky smile on his face,” An old friend.” I just think that would have been respectful because Ezio and Leo were like brothers.
- Every time you take over a Templar Den, your notoriety is immediately full and when that happens, the Templars are aware of you and will start trying to claim back the dens you have just captured. If you don’t reduce the notoriety to virtually nothing you are forced to enter the Den Defense mini game in order to defend your territory. The only way now is to bribe heralds or to kill officials. The wanted posters are gone so you are going to have to run between heralds to reduce your notoriety before the Templars attack and hopefully run into an official on the way to the next herald. What makes this more annoying though is that every time you purchase a building your notoriety will go up which means again, bribe a herald or kill an official.
- *SPOILER* The most important questions for me personally, Is why the hell did Lucy have to die? They’ve spent three games building up a relationship between Desmond and her and just like that, she’s written off. In the game you only briefly hear about her funeral in a conversation between Shaun and Rebecca and after that, well nobody gives a shit. She died at the end of AC: Brotherhood to “open the way” to………….what? What about the enemy foot prints that is found when using “Eagle Sense” outside the villa in Monteriggioni?
Regardless of the list I’ve just made, I still really enjoyed it. I loved playing as Altair although I did notice something interesting about him. In the fist level that you get to play as him, you have to rescue Al Mualim before his health runs out. Once you save him it cuts to a cinematic where Al Mualim questions Altair about the Templar he just killed and Altair’s answers are so full of wisdom which is surprising because in Assassins Creed 1, Altair was cocky and arrogant and only fully understood the creed towards the end of AC: 1.
The story regarding Altair’s life was so personal and insightful that you can’t help but feel an emotional connection to him. In the second last level of Altair’s story, when Altair is much, much older and wiser, you need to make your way up to the entrance of the Assassins Order and as you struggle along the way…
…Altair starts seeing “ghosts” from his past. Walking up slowly, remembering the love of his life, Maria and as you make your way up the steep hill to the gate, Assassins bow with respect and acknowledge that their mentor has returned.
That was just so amazing, and at the end of Altair’s life, I had tears in my eyes. They made Altair’s levels so hard hitting that you couldn’t help but get involved in his story and I have to be honest, it felt good to be able to experience that.
All in all, it was an incredibly good game to play and if I wasn’t such a huge fan I would probably have nothing that bad to say about it. Combining cinematic appeal, with a great storyline plus all the diversity that’s in it I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying it. I don’t think it’s the best in the series but if you are a fan then you will definitely appreciate it.
Also, try and get your hands on the Assassins Creed: Embers DVD. That is the final chapter in Ezio’s life and it really is a good watch and if you’ve loved Ezio for the last three games, you owe it to yourself and to the character to bear witness to his final trial.
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (go.theregister.com)
- Nerd Junkies Review: Assassin’s Creed Revelations (nerdjunkies.com)
- Assassin’s creed: Revelations Review (coolstufftheblog.wordpress.com)
- Assassins Creed Revelations: Life in Constantinople (vitosal.wordpress.com)
- Burden of the Creed (vitosal.wordpress.com)
- Assassin’s Creed: Warrior Concerto (gamerstherapy.wordpress.com)