Assassin’s Creed® Revelations
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

While not quite the “revelation” that I was hoping for, this game does tie up the stories of Altair and Ezio. Not much has changed gameplay wise and the story is not the best in the series but the game is still very entertaining. It is definitely not for newcomers to the series as the story is a direction continuation of Brotherhood but it does fill the gap until Assassin’s Creed 3.

Gameplay: Pretty much the same as Brotherhood.

Graphics: Not bad but the colours are a bit dull.

Sound: Good voice acting and atmospheric music

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Assassin’s Creed® Revelations

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Publisher: Ubisoft | Release Date: 2011 | Genre: Third Person Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

While Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was not a big leap forward for the series it did offer some rather enjoyable refinements. Revelations is a direct sequel that promises to tie up all the loose ends and pave the way for the next numbered entry in the series. Unfortunately, mixed in with the revelations are some questionable gameplay additions that do little to spice up the action.

After the shocking conclusion to Brotherhood, I was eager to see how things would pan out. Unfortunately, the game opens with Desmond in a coma while his fractured mind is still stuck somewhere in the animus. Someone at Ubisoft has clearly watched Inception as the “safe” room where Desmond finds himself is a rather dreary island. While he can still hear the chatter of his colleagues in the real world, Desmond’s only companion on the island is the ghostly conscious of subject sixteen. It would appear that the only way for Desmond to wake up is to see everything that Ezio and Altair has to show in order for him to untangle his memories from theirs. If none of this is making any sense for you, you probably should be playing previous entries in the series first.

The game is actually set in three different time periods. The 21st century Desmond is reliving the 16th century memories of master assassin Ezio, who in turn is viewing the memories of 13th century assassin Altair via ancient artifacts he finds. Ezio’s main quest is to find these five artifacts which serve as keys to Altair’s secret vault in Msyaf. This vault purportedly contains a valuable artifact that can put a stop to the Templar/Assassin feud, so naturally he is not the only one interested in unlocking its secrets. Ezio’s quest leads him to Constantinople where he meets up with the local assassins and becomes in embroiled in their struggles while searching for the keys.

The open world gameplay is as fun as ever and you’ll be assassinating targets, buying shops and recruiting new assassins in no time. To be honest the whole political back-story in Constantinople was pretty boring and forgettable. Ezios main quest is the keys so everything else merely serves as a diversion.

The new characters, apart from Sofia the bookseller whom Ezio takes a liking to are unremarkable and unmemorable. The main focus is firmly on Ezio and Altair with even Desmond taking a backseat which is not necessarily a bad thing.

The gameplay is as entertaining as sever, albeit a little over familiar and easy at this point. Ubisoft has seen fit to shoehorn in some new additions but none stand out as being particularly good. First up is the hackblade which extends Ezios reach slightly and enables him to make use of the zip lines that criss-cross Constantinople. It also makes a loud clanging noise as you traverse walls which seem a bit out of place considering you are a stealthy assassin. Next up are the bombs which he game forces into your face at every opportunity. To be honest the game is already so easy that lobbing what amounts to grenades at enemies that you can already skewer, poison or shoot with little effort seems a bit over the top. Nevertheless, the game bombards you with bomb crafting material at every turn and it eventually reached a point where I was not interested in opening any treasure chests as my bomb ingredients were maxed out. Then we have the tower defense segments where you have to defend your dens from Templar attacks. The game nails you to a rooftop vantage point from where you can plonk down barricades and other assassin’s in order to mow down the advancing Templers. The whole affair feels a bit out of place and clunky. Fortunately it can be avoided altogether by bribing heralds and taking out officials when your notoriety becomes too high.

The most perplexing new addition is the “Desmond” sequences which look and plays like a poor man’s Portal. To access these you have to collect enough “Data Fragments” inside the animus and then step through some pillars on Animus Island. Your reward is hearing Desmond whine about his past while you perform some simple platform building and puzzle solving exercises. You can only conjure up blocks and ramps with which to traverse the bottomless rooms filled with beams and other hazards but these sections are a breeze to complete. While it is an interesting attempt at something new it just feels forced and out of place.

Despite all this, the game is still a joy to play and it’s easy to lose yourself in it for hours. Ezio is much older and more world weary but this hasn’t slowed him down much. You are still able to take down hordes of Templar aggressor’s singlehandedly by simply parrying all their attacks. With such a formidable arsenal at his disposal it often feels like there is little need to be stealthy which is a pity. The sneaky stuff like hitting a foe with a poison dart and watching him flail about, injuring his friends in the process is almost as much fun as burying your hook blade in someone’s face. Apart from some clipping issues here and there, the animations that accompany your death dealing is as smooth as they are cringe-worthy to watch.

For once the wait for the PC version wasn’t too long, and while it is still a port, it is at least a decent one. The visuals look good and run noticeably smoother than the console versions. This optimization really adds to the enjoyment of the game. Like the protagonists that it renders, the anvil engine is also starting to show its age. There is no doubt that Revelations is the best looking Assassins’ Creed game to date but a shift to a new engine for the next game is probably a good idea. The gameworld looks pretty impressive and swan diving off a high building has lost none of its charm but by the end I was pretty tired of seeing the color brown. There is even an entire underground Templar city you visit at one point where brown appears to be the only color on screen.

The audio is good, with a stirring soundtrack and some convincing voice-overs. While I finished the game using a keyboard and mouse, it was clearly created with a gamepad in mind. Seeing as this is the final title in the Ezio trilogy, I expected a bit more bang from it. There were a few revelations and witnessing the key moments in Altairs life was nice but the whole experience felt more diluted than past games. It goes without saying that you should probably play the previous titles first (or do a lot of reading) before the story will make any sense. Hopefully, with Assassin’s Creed III Ubisoft can go back to focusing on crafting a great story and compelling gameplay instead of knocking out yearly updates.

*Review originally published 2011.

System Requirements

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows® XP SP3 / Windows Vista® SP2 /Windows® 7 SP1
  • Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo E4400 @ 2.0 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4000+ @ 2.1GHz
  • Memory: 1.5 GB Windows® XP / 2 GB Windows Vista, 7
  • Graphics: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 4.0 or higher (see supported list)*
  • DirectX®: DirectX® June2010 or newer
  • Hard Drive: 12 GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0–compliant sound card
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, optional controller
  • Internet: Temporary broadband connection required for one-time product registration at first launch, permanent broadband connection required for multi-player.
    *This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT
    Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:

AMD Radeon™ HD2600XT or better/3000/4000/5000/6000 desktop series

NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600GTS or better/9/GT200/GT400/GT500 desktop series

Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT officially supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game. For the most up-to-date minimum requirement listings, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website at http://support.ubi.com.

  • OS: Windows® XP SP3 / Windows Vista® SP2 /Windows® 7 SP1
  • Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo E6700 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 6000+ @ 3.0 GHz or better
  • Memory: 2 GB Windows® XP / Windows Vista® / Windows® 7
  • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX® 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 5.0 or higher (see supported list)*
  • DirectX®: DirectX® June2010 or newer
  • Hard Drive: 12 GB
  • Sound: Surround Sound 5.1 capable sound card
  • Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, joystick optional (Xbox 360® Controller for Windows recommended)
  • Internet: Temporary broadband connection required for one-time product registration at first launch, permanent broadband connection required for multi-player.
    *This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT
    Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:

AMD Radeon™ HD2600XT or better/3000/4000/5000/6000 desktop series

NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600GTS or better/9/GT200/GT400/GT500 desktop series

Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT officially supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game. For the most up-to-date minimum requirement listings, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website at http://support.ubi.com.

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