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- "Bring me the answers and the road that leads to the truth. Reveal to me once and for all, how all of this will end."
- ― [src]
These are the words spoken by the venerable Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Coming a long way from being a Florentine noble to becoming perhaps the most influential member of the Assassin order, Ezio now seeks to learn about the wisdom left behind by the legendary Mentor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the fourth major installment of the award-winning Assassin's Creed franchise, focusing on the three major protagonists this time around: Altaïr, Ezio, and the modern day descendant Desmond Miles. This game will conclude the series' time in the era of the Renaissance, and the stories of two out of the three major protagonists.
Without further delay, this is the Assassin's Creed Wiki's PlayStation 3 review on Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
Right off the bat, you'll notice Revelations' brooding and darker atmosphere, due to the production team taking things in a new direction with the art and theme of the game. While some settings give off this dark ambiance, others have a livelier feel, most especially the city of Constantinople. Known as the crossroads of the world, Constantinople gives off a unique feel, showing the richness of the city's economic and cultural history.
The graphics of the game have definitely improved in Revelations. You'll notice that a lot of the game is rendered in very high detail and had rich colors that coincide with the main theme. From the buildings being scaled to the embroidery on the Assassins robes, you'll see detail far beyond what your eyes can fathom as possible. The sounds were also well put-together, giving players an authentic feel that fit with the game's atmosphere. Same goes for the voice-over work, as most were able to convey the emotion of the character they are portraying. Cinematics have also been improved tenfold in the game.
Consensus - 9/10
Overall, a massive improvement over the previous Assassin's Creed installments. Very well done in this category, and has very little to no flaw.
Shattered memories: Desmond Miles
After making contact with the Apple of Eden and being forced to stab his ally Lucy Stillman, Desmond Miles went into a comatose state. To keep him alive, William Miles had Desmond put back into the Animus, where his subconscious lingered on within the confides of the Animus' fail-safe area, the Black Room. There, he would meet what remained of Subject 16, who explained that Desmond is trapped within the Animus until he finishes the remaining memories of his ancestor, thereby removing them from his own memories.
Uncovering a legend: Ezio Auditore
After the fall of the Borgia in Rome, the Mentor Ezio Auditore da Firenze discovers a parchment from his father that detailed about a secret library within the fortress of Masyaf, hidden away by the great Altaïr. Traveling to Syria, Ezio sets out on what became his last great adventure as an Assassin.
A memory within a memory - Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad
Very little is known about the early and later life of the stoic and ruthless Assassin, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. Beyond his fall from the elite, lay other stories far more tragic than what you've seen so far. Stories of devotion, betrayal, and triumph, were recorded within relics from Those Who Came Before, that allow the user to learn what Altaïr left behind for them to learn from.
The pacing of the story is consistent, though this time, it focuses on two main mission branches to follow: One for the Assassins, the other for the Masyaf keys. This helps keep the pacing of a single branch of events consistent, which can help immerse players into the game, giving them the choice which to prioritize first. Story development in the modern day aspect was slower compared to the previous installments, focused mostly on Desmond's past. To add to that, how the other modern day characters were integrated (through voice-overs) lessen the immersion within the game.
The story's context is enough to answer most questions that people have been wondering about (i.e "what happened to Subject 16?", "is Lucy dead?"), but it still added a few more questions right after, and left some still unanswered (i.e "where is this Eve Subject 16 mentioned?" "so which Apple was it that the Templars found in Cyprus?" "what about Abstergo?").
While it gave some closure on Altaïr's status, which was left open for interpretation at the end of The Secret Crusade, much of Altaïr's life detailed in The Secret Crusade wasn't shown in Revelations, which makes some fans who haven't read the book feel out of place on specific memories. To add to that, the memories of Altaïr that were covered were quite brief compared to the other Ezio memories.
Despite its shortcomings, overall, I think it's safe to say that the game's story is enough to sate the curiosity and satisfaction of most fans.
Majority of the gameplay elements in Brotherhood return in Revelations, most of which were revamped and remade to fit the new setting. Along with the redone elements come new features that Assassin's Creed players have yet to experience.
The Hook and the Blade
Introduced in Revelations is the Turkish Assassin Hookblade, given to you by Yusuf Tazim. Standard issue for the Turkish Assassins, the hookblade has two parts for use: the hook, and the blade (no, really. I had a hard time figuring that out), which can be used for both combat and navigation.
The hookblade improves Ezio's movement in scaling buildings and climbing towers, allowing him to reach rooftops in no time. With the hook, Ezio is able to latch on to zip lines located throughout the city, doubling his speed and cutting travel time short. Other uses include the ability to jump longer distances through dangling lamps, and also an extended reach that allows the player to latch onto buildings as they fall.
Through its use, the hookblade can also help avoid fights, or help you deal with one. With the hook, you can practically vault through most guards, which can help you if you're late for a date with Sofia. In fights, it adds the ability to take down enemies non-lethally, and also allows you to steal while in combat. Also, the hookblade adds some new counter kills to Ezio's arsenal that brutalizes Ezio's opposition.Plants vs Templars - Tower Defense mode
Something very new to the Assassin's Creed gameplay involves Ezio commanding a seemingly infinite legion of Assassins in defense of the new Assassin Dens from an onslaught of Templar soldiers. In this mode, you must strategically place numerous Assassins with their own unique unit class and specialty to counter the charging Templars and stop them from destroying the Den.
There are numerous classes present that Ezio can utilize in a defense, such as Crossbowmen, Riflemen, Bombardiers, even Melee and Assassination-oriented units, to counter specific enemy types. Apart from the Assassins, Ezio can also utilize barricades that help prevent guards from progressing further, and also cannons, to stop enemy units with destructive force. Further victories in this mode will result in gaining new unit and barricade types, some with the Greek Fire and cannons installed on it to help the Assassins in the defense.
The Assassins' adversary consists of many units and types, with some legions bringing with them their own siege batteries and engines. Ezio must do his best to stop the opposition with the Assassin force present at hand.Bombs Away! - An Explosive Arsenal
A wide variety of bombs has been introduced to Ezio by his Turkish brothers, made from different materials and suited for different situations. Ezio can utilize bombs to help deal with most situations, such as trying to distract a guard, or escaping from a bunch of Janissaries. Ezio was eventually taught by Yusuf on how to make his own bomb, which gives way to a new level of customization the player can utilize.
Several materials range from lamb's blood and terracotta impact shells, to datura powder and tripwire shells. Each material chosen by the player affects the performance of a bomb in numerous and vital ways, such as the time of their explosion, or the radius the explosion covers. With the right combination, these bombs can save Ezio from tight situations.
Aperture - Desmond's journey
A new feature is added to the modern day story of Revelations, involving Desmond's past life and adventure before Assassin's Creed. Played in First Person view, Desmond must navigate through puzzle-oriented levels in the darkest depths of the Animus, passing through block after digital block. Along the way, you see and hear fragments of Desmond's past life, from his time with his mother and father at the Farm, to his time as a bartender in New York City.
Helping you navigate is the unique ability to summon two preset platforms vital to your progression in the levels. It can help you get across several stage hazards and maneuver through hard courses. There are also numerous stage elements that either negate or modify the platforms, which can help you for both better and worse.Consensus - 8.5/10
This is where Revelations shines completely. Revelations has a plethora of new gameplay features and elements that give a unique experience yet to be given in any of the Assassin's Creed games, offering a new and fresh way to play the game. Majority of the gameplay that players loved in Brotherhood return in a new style, improving it in a lot of ways. In conjunction, they were able to integrate fresh new ideas that revitalize the Assassin's Creed formula, balancing both pros and cons of the series.
Perhaps the most welcome additions to the game are the hookblade and the Den Defense mode. The hookblade makes life in Constantinople for our old hero easier, while the Den Defense mode makes players think strategically and plan on how to approach a mission, else they get their Den smashed into rubble and have Templars parading the streets again. The addition of bombs also add some variety on how a player can approach a mission, giving way to a world of possibilities.
Perhaps the only disappointment is the Desmond sequences. While I was excited on the prospect of playing as Desmond and learning more of his past life, how the game executed it is somewhat lack-luster and uninteresting. I get it that they tried to do something unique for him, but first-person platforming just doesn't compare to the free-running staple of Assassin's Creed. Also, while it does make you think on how you should clear the sequence, it doesn't give much freedom on how you execute it. You just spam blocks to go across some hazards and gaps.
Overall, Revelations gives out a lot in terms of gameplay. The game is solid and did a very good job in this category.
There are a lot of things in Revelations that will keep you coming back, offering a wide array of missions, extras, and more. There are still bombs for you to master with the help of Piri Reis, Assassins for you to train and give assignments to, side-missions you can clear, shops you can renovate, memories you can synchronize with at a hundred percent, trophies/achievements for you to earn, and of course, a multiplayer mode for you to show the other Abstergo recruits what you've got.
Consensus - 8.5/10
While I myself haven't experienced multiplayer yet, majority of the other content within the single player mode will give me, and all of the others, something to do in the coming days. A vast collection of content awaits you in Constantinople, even after you've finished the game.
Final VerdictConsensus - 9/10
With a wide array of gameplay elements, a plethora of extras and side-quests, and a solid story that concludes the fabled life of Altaïr, the last great journey of Ezio Auditore, and the beginning of their descendant's destiny Desmond Miles, Assassin's Creed: Revelations is a well executed game that can satisfy most fans of the game. Despite several shortcomings here and there, the game still offers enough to make up for it, with vast and unique elements within all aspects of the game.
Any self-respecting gamer who would call themselves a fan of the Assassin's Creed series should definitely get this installment of the franchise. I assure you, whatever negative that the "professional critics" say about this game should be condemned and rectified. How I've described Revelations does no justice for how it truly is. You really must play the game yourself and see how it fairs with you, though I think it's safe to say that Revelations is indeed one of the best in the franchise.
I would also heavily suggest that you watch Embers after finishing the game, so you can watch the conclusion of Ezio's legendary life. I'm sure most of you who did not get the special editions will learn how to watch the movie, one way or another.
Most Glorious Moment
For me, it has to be the fifth Altaïr memory. While escorting Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, Altaïr utilizes the Apple of Eden to dispose of every Mongol in his path, and not the same way Ezio utilized the Apple, but in his own badass style. With an epic pose, Altaïr commanded a legion of phantom Assassins to fell those that stood in his way, with the Mongols dying due to specters falling from the sky. It showed how Altaïr has reached a new level of badassery.
Review written by War Clown, 19:41, November 18, 2011 (UTC). No civilians were harmed in the making of this blog. Just minstrels.
Rewritten by War Clown, 15:34, November 23, 2011 (UTC). Again, no civilian casualties. Just more minstrels.
Final update made by War Clown, 15:54, November 30, 2011 (UTC). The minstrels died but, more spawned afterwards.