ASSASSIN’S CREED Does “Revelations” offer something new? ARJUN SUKUMARAN
The story of Ubisoft Montreal’s “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” follows Ezio Auditore, the protagonist of the last two games, as he leaves his beloved Italy and travels to Constantinople in search of a way to finally end the war between the Assassins and the Templars, once and for all. The existence of such means is hinted at in clues left by Altair, hero of the original Assassin’s Creed; and Ezio must track them down and decipher them before the Templars can undo his life’s work.
As usual, perspective will frequently shift between the time-lines of Ezio and his descendant, Desmond Miles. Interestingly though, Revelations also features playable flashback sequences involving Altair; thus allowing for some significant back-story development. Ubisoft has announced that this is the end of Ezio’s story, as far as the Assassin’s Creed franchise is concerned; but what a story it is. Revelations concludes the grand tale that began with 2009’s “Assassin’s Creed II”, easily one of the most engaging stories in recent times; and it does so quite brilliantly. He might have noticeably aged since the events of Brotherhood, but Ezio’s still no slouch in a fight. Combat is the same free-flowing experience that we’ve grown to expect from this series; and the platforming remains enjoyable, even if there are fewer sequences that truly utilise it.
To stave off the inevitable feeling of familiarity, Ubisoft’s introduced a few new mechanics, while enhancing some old ones. The hookblade provides Ezio with a fun new way to traverse the rooftops of Constantinople, even if its influence on the game is minor. There’s an impressive depth, however, to the new bomb-crafting system, and you can spend quite a bit of time getting your load-outs just right. Assassin recruitment and training carries over, and you can now send them on a wider variety of missions aimed at destabilizing Templar interests across the Mediterranean.
The Templars aren’t likely to take too kindly to such meddling, and that’s where the final new addition comes in — Den Defense. Templars will periodically attack your Assassin Dens in Constantinople, and you must repel them in this new gameplay type that’s more than a little reminiscent of tower-defense games. There’s another extremely interesting new mechanic in the Desmond sequences, but I won’t spoil that for you. Multiplayer should be instantly recognisable to those who’ve played Brotherhood. The addition of new game modes, most notably a Free-For-All match type, and new maps keep it fresh.
Graphically, Revelations doesn’t do too much to distinguish itself. It’s a good-looking game, and one which definitely has its moments; but it doesn’t really push the envelope significantly. The real star of Revelations’ presentation is Constantinople itself. Beautifully-realised, the city teems with life and is fantastically immersive. As wonderful as it is, it comes off second-best in comparison to Brotherhood’s brilliant portrayal of Rome; that said, it’s a great addition to the series and a quite excellent setting in its own right.If you aren’t a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, you won’t find anything in Revelations that will convert you. Also, if you’re new to Assassin’s Creed, Revelations probably isn’t the place to start with. For fans of the series, however, this is a no-brainer. “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” is a fitting conclusion for one of gaming’s best stories and, indeed, one of its most memorable and likeable characters; which, really, is nothing less than it, and he, deserve.
Platforms: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
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