Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Let me start off by saying that I am a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I love everything about the games, from the storyline to the gameplay mechanics to the characters I just feel that they are extraordinary games with vast appeal and potential. This has not always been the case however, as I felt the first game was very repetitive but I can forgive that mistep since it was their first foray into the franchise and they really listened and turned things around with the 2nd game. I would go as far as to say that Assassin’s Creed 2 is the best game in the series with Brotherhood coming in as a surprisingly close 2nd place. My expectations for Brotherhood were very low as Ubisoft said very little about the single player game, making it seem like Brotherhood would just be a pseudo expansion to AC2 with multiplayer attached. Boy was I wrong! I was blown away by the single player content as well as the awesome multiplayer. My hopes were officially raised for Revelations, which makes the dissapointment a little bit harder to smallow. Where Brotherhood brought an extensive single player story, the ability to recruit and send out assassins on missions and a a robust multiplayer experience, Revelations does very little to build on this. Maybe I’m being overly critical because Brotherhood was such a great game it would be near immpossible to take that to another level, but Revelations actually lacks in a lot of ways. It brings a new RTS mechanic to the game that is cumbersome to play and annoying to say the least in its implementation within the game itself. The RTS mini game is used to defend various “lairs” or assassin hqs throughout the map. Everytime a lair is in dispute its icon on the map changes. The lairs become disputed so often that at some point in the game I decided to simply ignore it because the rts mini game just wasnt fun to play! The mechanics in Assassin’s Creed games has always been the real draw. The seamless parkour traversing of the landscape is further improved with the hook blade that allows you to reach higher and further while also allowing you to use zip lines to get around faster. At no point did I conciously take a route that had more ziplines, you kind of use then as they show up in front of you, but you do look like a total badass using them. This game takes place in Constantanople several years after Brotherhood. Ezio is a little older and it shows, but he is still a world class assassin. In the storline here, which unfortunatley is very short Ezio comes to Constantanople to collect 5 discs that unlock Altair’s memories and hence the location of the apple of Eden, the relic that has been at the center of the franchise since the begining. Constantanople itself is huge and like all the other games breathtakingly beaufitul. They really nail the aesthetics of the people and places like the Bazaar and the gaurds. You really do feel like you are in a different and distince place other than Italy. So same great game mechanics, a big beautiful new city, a somewhat clunky RTS addon that may win some people and may not. So whats missing? Well the biggest problem is the single player game- or lack thereof. The story itself is very short with very few characters introduced and very little plot twist and turns. In fact the plot twists are so small they border on mundane. Infact the story itself is so small and mundane that I can barely remmeber any of it. I don’t want to go into spoiler territory here for people that want to play through the game regardless of what I write, but not only is the story small, but overall the game barely movies the franchises’ overall narrative forward at all! The multiplayer is expanded with more online modes, characters and locations. I’m not a big fan of the multiplayer, but thats mostly because I suck so I cant really ding it for that! but what I did play I did have fun with and the concepts within it are very unique and engaging. You are able to customize your characters look and weapons as well as start your own guild and design a coat of arms for your guild. I didn’t delve too much into the multiplayer but it does pack enough of a punch to offset some of the dissapointment in the single player if multiplayer is what you are into. Overall its a great send off to the Ezio arc and does very little for Desmond in current time. Die hard fans need to play this if anything for the interesting fact that Altair’s memories fill in a lot of gaps in the history of the franchise that I feel went unanswered. True fans of the franchise should wait til they can get the game at a descent price while casual players I would advise to simply stay away. If you have never played the assassin’s creed games past the first because the first one left such a bad taste in your mouth I would advise you to give AC2 and Brotherhood a shot as there is a world of difference there.