Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review
I have an on-going love/hate relationship with the Assassin’s Creed series, so each time a new game comes out, I wonder if it will inflict me with murderous boredom or surprise me by deserving a permanent position on my games shelf.
In the case of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, it’s a little of both.
That’s mostly because Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is basically the same game as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. In fact, they’re so similar that the large majority of features on hand in AC:R can be found in my review from this time last year for AC:B.
On the plus side, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was easily the best game of the three to come out up until last year. It added a lot to the core game’s concept — open world Prince of Persia with murders — while improving on a lot of the niggling issues that have always been present in Assassin’s Creed games: namely, that they move slowly and are annoying to play.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations feels exactly like what it is: An incremental update to a series that has been getting refreshed every year for the last three iterations. As such, it has shined up a few of the lacking elements of the previous entries, but it doesn’t tread any new ground at all. Instead, it functions as a wrap-up to the (fundamentally weak) stories of a few of the main characters, while preparing to launch us into some kind of new territory that may actually take place in the present.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations – Xbox 360 (Reviewed), Playstation 3, PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Revelations is the final story in the arc concerning Ezio Auditore, the Renaissance playboy broski-turned-Godfather of the Assassin’s Guild. He’s gotten old after three games (having started with Assassin’s Creed 2), and is looking to figure out the meaning behind all the things he’s experienced up to this point in the greater AC storyline. As always, Ezio’s Renaissance exploits are experienced by Desmond, a modern day assassin, with the use of a machine called the Animus that taps into his ancestral memories (although the science doesn’t really follow there, but whatever).
After the events of Brotherhood, [moderate spoiler alert] Desmond has been strapped into the Animus basically to keep him alive. He’s fallen into a coma based on the events that ended the last game, and you’ll spend the entirety of the game locked inside that machine, with only vague interactions with the outside world. Inside, Desmond meets up with Subject 16, the creepy guy that came before him and supposedly killed himself before the events of Assassin’s Creed 1, but was really transferred into the Animus all Lawnmower Man-style. You know those weird puzzles in AC 2 and AC:B and the bloody writing on the wall at the end of AC1 — that’s all the handiwork of Subject 16. In Revelations, you actually meet him. It sounds more interesting and more informative than it actually ends up being.
If you’re not more familiar with the plot workings of Assassin’s Creed, you probably wouldn’t want to start with this game, because the primary function of Revelations is to deliver an end to part of the story. That end is the finale of the arcs of both Ezio and Altair, the protagonist from the first game and an assassin ancestor of both Ezio and Desmond from the Crusades. Ezio’s goal is to get into Altair’s library in Musyaf, the former seat of the Assassin’s Guild. It’ll also (hopefully) help him figure out what the deal was with the meeting he had with Minerva at the end of Assassin’s Creed 2.