Assassins Creed is a series which has been going on since 2007, and with the now yearly release of the series, one has to wonder if the people at Ubisoft are looking at making this is alternative for video game fans who don’t want to partake in the yearly Call of Duty fest that happens every November. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Each new instalment since Assassins Creed 2 has focused on Ezio Auditore, a young nobleman from Italy. Whilst this is going on, in the background you have the continued story of Desmond Miles as well. This may become confusing for most video games developers, but Ubisoft have handled the two sections really well, keeping the 2 sections separated, but also interlinked via certain in game objects. Unfortunately this has all gone out of the window in Revelations, where the Desmond sections are entirely optional, where you have to collect a certain number of animus fragments to actually unlock his missions, and when you do get to these missions, there a mix of Portal and Tron, absolutely nothing like the original sections from Assassins Creed up to Brotherhood. It also throws you into first person camera, which throws the player off-balance as well, and makes jumping and platforming more awkward. If they were going to go first person, one would at least hope for some Mirrors Edge style parkour free-roaming, but no, it’s all linear. This is so disappointing as the story for Desmond was left at such as cliff-hanger at the end of Brotherhood, to be given this feels slightly insulting. It all feels like it’s just an add-on thrown in at the last minute with minimal thought involved.
The Den Defence missions as well, seem to be a clunky add-on rather than a well-thought out mini-game. Now these missions, apart from the first one, are optional, you just have to keep your notoriety metre down, which I managed to do throughout the entire game, so only had to play through the defence once, which was more than enough. You position assassins on the roof of buildings and shoot down attacking Templars, which on paper seems rather fun. But in person, the camera moves badly, and you just feel like you want to whip your sword out and start jumping down to face them one on one, but you can’t actually move.
Now these are just minor complaints against a massive backdrop of awesome, with the main point in question is that you get to play as both Altair and Ezio. Both have fairly different playing styles as Ezio has all the technology available to him during the 15th century, whereas Altair is limited to what he had in the first game. Whilst these are amazingly fun to play, they unfortunately are few and far between. However the pure joy you get at playing as Altair again does make the wait worth it.
Another improvement is that you get bombs in this version, as well as a different type of hidden blade. These add extra dynamics to the game, with the hook-blade allowing you to travel on zip-wires throughout the city, which is an exceedingly fun way to get around the massive city of Constantinople.
It isn’t a vastly different game from its predecessors, but it does conclude the Ezio trilogy quite nicely, especially if you got the collector’s edition which came with Assassins Creed: Embers, which is a 20 minute short film on the conclusion of Ezio’s life.
This is a game that is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of the series, but if you are new I would recommend starting at the first, and then working your way along as the story is so intriguing you will want to know what is happening.