Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review

Anyway. The keys also serve as some kind of genetic memory deposit mechanism, which allows Ezio to experience some of Altair’s memories, and that gives you a glimpse into what happened to the famous assassin after the events of Assassin’s Creed 1. These missions (slightly) break up what’s going on with Ezio, because they’re generally short and focused, without giving you the full run of an entire city like you get with Ezio. They also put you at different stages of Altair’s 90-some-year life, which is cool in that this game has two aged protagonists who are also bad-asses.

Unfortunately, given that the game isn’t much changed from its predecessor (we’ll get to how in just a second) and is mostly a delivery vehicle for the next phase of Assassin’s Creed’s excessive, somewhat overwrought story, Revelations falls pretty flat. For one, the titular revelations aren’t really all that earth-shattering (or clear — a criticism you could apply to all the games up to now), and the story is painfully lacking in interesting characters or stakes. Villains come and go without clear purposes or real depth, and supporting characters around Ezio are even worse. You’ll spend some time with Yusuf, another assassin who aids Ezio, but while he’s kind of snarky he’s not around enough to really make an impression; and Sofia, a supposed love interest for Ezio who is about as exciting and expressive as a plank of wood. Ezio himself has tempered out so much from his youth that he’s pretty much all business, and only when he gets angry does he seem human enough to be intriguing.

Without strong characters, a strong villain or clear stakes, pushing through Revelations (though it’s shorter than Brotherhood, I think) is a bit of a chore. From a gameplay standpoint, Ubisoft continues to find great ways to streamline the process to strain out the irritations while keeping the fun, and with varied missions and lots of things to do, Revelations is a good time. But the central focus here is the story, and there’s just not a lot to pull you through all the way to the end. Even Constantinople, the city that serves as setting and character, is somewhat unremarkable. While beautiful, it doesn’t feel as well-realized as earlier locations, like Rome, Florence or Damascus.

But Ubisoft has definitely done well in taking all the good ideas of Assassin’s Creed’s earlier installments and making them better with this iteration. Climbing and travel is much quicker and more fluid than in previous games, thanks to the addition of the “hook blade,” a hidden blade that allows Ezio to be lethal as well as snag ledges while falling, ride ziplines and reach higher positions than he previously could. Gone are the frustrating climbs up sheer towers to get to stupid lookout points, which resulted in frustration as you shimmied around looking for a path with close-enough handholds. Now those climbs are generally quick and easy rather than cumbersome. In his old age, Ezio is better at negotiating the environment than ever before, and you can get around the city easily without the need for a horse, which have been eliminated since the last title.

Ubisoft has refined the system of recruiting and utilizing other assassins since Brotherhood. Last year, I felt that the addition of more assassins to the game was one of its strongest points, and now the recruitment of fellow brothers and sisters is much better realized with more varied missions and the ability to develop your fighters through combat (though there are still parts that could have used more development, like the system through which you dispatch assassins to go take part in missions around the world).

You’ll also feel like you’re actively fighting a war with the villainous templars, at least for a while, as you need to recapture Constantinople from them one district at a time. Somewhat like the Borgia Tower system found in Brotherhood, you’ll infiltrate a district, find its templar leader and kill him, then scale a tower and light a signal to overtake the area. Once you do that, you get a new headquarters in that area and the ability to recruit more assassins.

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

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!