Assassins Creed: Revelations Review
As part of my Game Journalism class, taught by Scott Jones, I’m required to write a review on a game every week and post it to a blog. Since I already had this blog, I’ll be posting them here.
The Assassins Creed series is one of the few franchises that has managed to maintain a yearly release schedule without completely soiling itself. Revelations, the most recent installment, is no exception. Everything distinguished from the original games is here; deadly combat, smooth navigation and a compelling story.
Revelations picks up right where Assassins Creed: Brotherhood left off. Remote protagonist, Desmond, is trapped in the Animus; a machine that allows the user to relive the lives of his or her ancestors. To get out, he must relive more of his ancestors’ memories.
Just like in the previous two games, you’ll spend the majority of time playing as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, one of Desmond’s distant, Italian relatives. Now 30 years older than he was during Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio is more concerned with finding answers than exacting revenge for his father’s assassination. His search has brought him to Constantinople, where he has allied with the local Assassins for help.
Revelations’ story was beautifully written. It was fresh and easy to follow for newcomers to the series, but still fleshes out the story we already know.
There were a few awkward graphical changes. Desmond’s face looked completely different than in previous games. He was almost unrecognizable. The other characters had some changes from previous games as well. Their eyes had a strange brightness to them. It looked natural when they’re in daylight, but when in darkness, their eyes appeared to be glowing. This was particularly evident whenever Ezio’s hood is up… which was most of the time. This tended to take me out of the experience a bit.
Gameplay occasionally switches between sections involving the side characters Altair and Desmond. These sections help set a nice pace for the game. The Altair segments created a connection between the previous games of the series as well as answer a few questions they might have raised. Desmond’s sections sadly didn’t hold up as well. They were a forgettable attempt at giving him more back-story, but just didn’t add much at all. He’s never been an interesting character throughout the series. Not once has he had a real goal or character arc. It’s hard to feel anything for him since he’s only been a tool for the various groups that control the Animus.
Not all of the new features work. The bombs, one of several new additions to Ezio’s arsenal, never proved useful, and the alchemy menu used to create them gave very little clue on how or when to use them effectively. All they did was add clutter to game’s UI.
A small tower defense game was also added. When Ezio’s notoriety reaches full capacity he stands on a rooftop and is given a point on a street to defend. He begins giving commands to his little fleet of assassins who then begin picking off attacking Templars. This felt extremely unnecessary and out of place. Notoriety decreases after a few moments anyway, so even the worst player will rarely find themselves playing the minigame more than once or twice during the course of the game.
The new Hook Blade, however, was a nice addition. This blade is just like hidden wrist blades in previous games, except it’s a retractable hook that extends his reach by a few precious inches. It allows you to reach higher and climb faster. It also lets you jump between wider gaps by grabbing onto the next ledge. This made movement feel smooth and effortless, especially during intense chases.
Despite the occasional flaw, Assassins Creed: Revelations is still a great game overall. If you liked the previous Assassins Creed games, Revelations is worth checking out.