Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Stab You! Assassin's Creed: Revelations Review

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the fourth main installment of Assassin's Creed from Ubisoft Montreal. It's the last game of the series featuring Ezio Auditore as a main protagonist. It is a historical open world game that takes place in 16th century Constantinople. KGB power-user AGTurbo stops by to share his thoughts on the latest in face-and-neck stabbing.

In the present story, protagonist Desmond Miles is in a coma at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. In Revelations, his memories of ancestors Altair and Ezio have been tangled with his memories, and he needs to categorize them before he can safely get out of the Animus. Since the Animus is in safe mode, the HUD Interface is almost the exact same interface as the first Assassin's Creed. In safe mode, Desmond is on Animus Island, where he once again sees Subject 16. The most unfortunate aspect of the Subject 16 plot line thus far is not explaining more of the 30 glyphs he left behind in Assassins Creed II and Brotherhood. Another thing underutilized of Subject 16 was his experiences he lived through in the Animus. For example, if he relived through Altair and Ezio, or only partially. Subject 16 left behind many clues and questions, and it was disappointing that Desmond didn't ask questions. Especially at the end of Brotherhood, after finding all the glyphs. Subject 16 says a lot of cryptic things and when Desmond wants to know more, Subject 16 says goodbye.

The story takes place right after Brotherhood. Ezio travels to Masyaf to discover what was hidden in the library. Ezio learns that the Templars are trying to open the door, but they only have one of five keys. The majority of the game is trying to find the keys in Constantinople before the Templars, which they never do. This makes the campaign the weakest part of the game. While the game tries to make it seem as if there is a rush against time, it never feels that way. When Ezio collects the keys, you get to relive Altair's memories. The Altair parts of the game are very good, however they are short. However, the ending of the game is one of the best endings of any videogame I have ever played. It is a great emotional ending, that ties up the stories of Altair and Ezio. From a fan that has beaten all the main installments of Assassins Creed, it does a great job of closing their stories. If Ubisoft Montreal tried to make any more games of Altair and Ezio it would just be spinoffs and prequels.

Go forth, my pretties!

Constantinople is an awesome city. It is the largest city ever in an Assassins Creed game. While Rome had a large area, there was a lot of open space. Constantinople is more vibrant and has much richer color hues when compared to Rome in AC: Brotherhood, which was a bit bland. The landmarks in Revelations are based on actual buildings in Constantinople, and they are the most expensive real estate to buy in the game.
The controls have been changed up. Instead of the 1 circle in Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood that pulls out your inventory, Revelations has 2 circles of inventory. One for primary weapons and health, and the other for secondary weapons and bombs. The left circle of inventory is controlled by the left analog stick and the right circle of inventory is controlled by the right analog stick. 

Some things that have remained unchanged in the Assassin's Creed series are beggars asking for money, and trespassing on rooftops. Which is punishable by death according to the guards that randomly patrol on top of buildings. Once again, in order to un-fog the map, Ezio has to climb viewpoints and synchronize. However, you only need to climb up 22, unlike 24 in Brotherhood, and 60+ in Assassins Creed 2.

I'm afraid of heights.
The soundtrack for the Assassin's Creed series has always been solid, and Assassin's Creed Revelations is one of the finest scores for any Assassin's Creed game. Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe co-composed 80 tracks for Revelations. During my time progressing through the single player campaign, each new chapter I'd played had different background music.

For the new gameplay additions, the hookblade allows Ezio to scale up buildings 30% faster, which is a huge plus. Anything that speeds of transportation time in an open world game is a huge plus. The bombcrafting while a bit confusing at first, is another empowering feature of the game. In one mission where you must be undetected and there are 30 guards patrolling the path, a wide radius explosive bomb can easily kill 5 Janissaries. Normally, the Janissaries have to be counter-attacked three times before they die. When I discovered I can kill 5 of them at one time with explosive bombs, it made the remainder of the stealth missions tolerable. 


The questionable additions to Revelations include the tower defense game and the Desmond Miles-led first person platforming. The tower defense game was tolerable but it wasn't necessary. The Desmond first person platforming could be related to Portal only with no portal gun. In the first person platforming levels, Desmond recalls his past, but all of it is reiterated material from Assassins Creed 1. Information reveals that he lived on a farm that trained assassins, he escaped and became a bartender, and he got kidnapped by Abstergo. What makes the first person platforming levels not so bad, is if you fail, it is an instant respawn at last checkpoint. If you had to wait the usual 10 to 15 seconds for failing, the first person platforming would have been the worse addition ever to Assassins Creed.

All of this can be yours...
One of the problems in AC: Revelations is the conquering of Templar Dens. In order to conquer a Templar Den, you have to kill the captain before he runs away and hides. If the Captain escapes, you have to wait 20 minutes in order to conquer the den again. When you do conquer the Templar Den, it becomes an Assassin Den. However, if Ezio's notoriety goes up to 100%, it can get invaded by Templars, and that is when you must go into Tower Defense mode. If you don't do Tower Defense Mode, it becomes a Templar Den again, and you must kill the Templar captain before he runs away and hides,and the horrible cycle repeats again. The Tower Defense game can be completely avoided if the Assassin Den leader is at maximum rank. This cyclical hell was the most annoying part of the game for me. 

For multiplayer; it has multiplayer.

As a fan that has played the previous installments of Assassin's Creed, Revelations is a game not to be missed. For new-comers to the series, I'd suggest starting with Assassin's Creed 2. Overall though, Assassin's Creed: Revelations is an amazing game. 


Review Considerations
-Paid $34.99 at Best Buy on Black Friday
-Bought at 4PM, didn't wait 3 hours to buy game
-Played on X360
-Doesn't care at all for multiplayer in the series

AGTurbo knows everything you didn't know you didn't know.


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