Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
I know I’m a little late to the party. Both Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur soaked up a lot of hours and now I’m trying to work my way through my Gamefly queue. So, these past few days I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I didn’t play Brotherhood, but I loved AC 1 and 2. And this is really like a 2.5 (with #3 headed our way).
So here’s the deal.
In the original Assassin’s Creed, we follow Altair as he traversed across ancient Jerusalem. In the second, we followed his ancestor Ezio as he jumped his way across Italy and other European destinations. Well, we’re still following Ezio in Revelations, though he is going back and seeing through the eyes of Altair. Meanwhile, we’re actually looking through the eyes of a guy named Desmond, living in the modern day, who’s looking through the eyes of Ezio… looking through the eyes of Altair. It gets a little complicated.
So, we’re Ezio. This time around we’re in Constantinople. As we do missions, we can upgrade the city and renovate buildings, to give us access to new services and increased inventories.
The game is brilliant. I’ve always loved this series but this one has really made bold new advances which really make you feel like the badass that you should be. They removed horses, since the story takes place in just one city, but they’ve added all sorts of things.
As the games have been made, your ability to choose how to handle a situation has gotten increasingly more abundant. Added to the mix this time around is the bomb. You craft your own, so you gather supplies and find a crafting station. You can make bombs to attract attention, bombs to hurt/poison, or even bombs to cover them in skunk smell so that they repulse each other. The complexities are welcoming, as you can build bombs with different radiuses and even instant/delayed/tripwire bombs so you can choose the timing. It added a whole new element of strategy.
Traveling around the city has always been the highlight of Assassin’s Creed. This time, we’re given a hook that means we can grab ledges higher and we can also use it to slide down ziplines (and even assassinate people from these ziplines). We’ve also been given a parachute. It’s annoying when you miss the jump and you know you’re hurtling to your death. Well, that happened a lot less in this outing now that you can just pop the parachute and be on your way.
The emotional throughline was also much more palpable in this outing. I cared more about Ezio, who’s like 40 or so in the game, but I also cared more about Altair. You relive memories up until his dying day and it’s strange to play as an 80-year-old man but it works. This is really Altair’s story, told to Ezio. I appreciated that.
There were some amazing action scenes that felt much more like Uncharted than Assassin’s Creed. It broke up the rhythm, in a good way. In one scene, you’re running across boats that are on fire, trying to catch your boat that’s going to take you away. Another set piece involved chasing after a villain as he rafted down some rapids. It was intense and mixed player interaction with pre-scripted cinematics perfectly.
What didn’t work?
The storyline tried a little hard to be full of betrayal and political intrigue, that I got confused as to who I’m trying to kill. In the original Assassin’s Creed, you knew from the beginning that “These x guys did something bad, I must kill them.” It was simple but really felt awesome as you took down each boss. In this game, the endgame wasn’t really told to us and so it was hard to gauge forward motion.
And while free-running across Constantinople was amazing, there are still times when you accidentally drop to your death or the view spins at the wrong moment and you drop. Mostly the flaws involved falling. And climbing up was sometimes a pain, but I’ve never seen it done better.
The game got a lot of complaints about two mini-games that were optional. One is a “tower defense,” where you set up assassins to stop an attack. It’s basically just like typical tower defense games you can find online. I personally enjoyed it. The more you play, you unlock new units so I found it to be fun, though luckily it happens very rare. The other mini-game is a side quest where you play as Desmond as he explores the computer he’s trapped inside. I did not like this game.
Overall… I thoroughly enjoyed Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. It was an amazing adventure where you really feel like you can kill anyone, anyway you can imagine. Below, check out the trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3, set in 1775 in the North American colonies.