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
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 15, 2011
MSRP: $59.99

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.

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8 Comments on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review

Heru

On November 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

And this is exactly why i’m gonna wait on the price drop before getting it.

Lucas

On November 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Great review. Told me everything I needed to know before not purchasing the new revelations. At least for this time around. I can’t wait to see what they do with the “modern” Ezio.

Luke

On November 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

A completely subjective review submitted by someone who has no idea what he/she is talking about. You didnt like the game, thats great. Nobody actually cares about whether you liked the game.. You missed both the highlights and the bummers of the series in this “review”.
Congrats.

Phil Hornshaw

On November 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

@Luke

All reviews are completely subjective. A review is an opinion. My experience with the game is what I’m writing about. That’s the whole point. Why read reviews if you’re just going to about them?

Kurt

On November 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

This review is overly critical and denounces a fantastic game. The story was believable enough and wasn’t at all lacking in strong characters. Additionally this game is in NO WAY like Brotherhood. Yes you recruit and train your assassin’s in similar ways, but that does not make the games exactly alike. Additions to your recruits training and the defense of dens is a new innovations and completely different from Brotherhood, where your recruits use was very minimal. Additionally the bomb innovation is one of the best innovations added to the series.

Yes the gameplay changes are minimal but none of the AC’s have that much different and all follow a very similar light.

As for the storyline, it was fantastic and compelling, and if you are an Assassin’s Creed fan in anyway you will love this game I highly recommend if one intends to keep with the series’s story to buy this game.

AC is played for the storyline and this game is vital to the story of the series.

Phil Hornshaw

On November 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm

@Kurt

Wait, so the game is in no way like Brotherhood and yet gameplay changes are minimal? That doesn’t make sense. In addition, Brotherhood’s assassin recruiting is almost the same as Revelations, except that Revelations’ is somewhat more involved.

Sounds to me like you’re a big Assassin’s Creed fan who really likes the series. That’s fine; enjoy it. But to say that it’s very different from the last game is just disingenuous or delusional. To say that the story is “fantastic and compelling” is also delusional. It’s just not true. The story in just about every other AC game is better, and the stories in the AC series are pretty weak overall.

Roberts

On November 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I think these series are great, because all games ar similar,with few changes.Only storyline is going on. If the games would be different it wouldnt be the same and it wouldnt be interesting. Now these games have feeling that they are one big game and in my opinion its great!

Molly

On December 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I just read this review and, honestly, I wish that I had found it earlier. I consider myself a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, yet I find myself agreeing with pretty much everything written here.

I didn’t find myself connecting or caring about the characters or story as much as I had in previous titles. I also wish that Ubisoft had expanded and encouraged exploration in areas besides Constantinople. It would have been nice to run through Masyaf again.

The little changes thrown in here and there were nice, but not enough to keep me interested. Sadly enough, when playing through this game I was, for the most part, bored and at the end left wholly unsatisfied and wanting for something more.

I really enjoyed reading this review. It’s always nice to find something well written and informative with some of the writer’s personality thrown in to keep it interesting. Good job and thank you!