Assassin’s Creed Revelations is the latest installment by Ubisoft into the Assassin’s Creed franchise. This game continues the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, as well as reintroducing Altair Ibn-La’Ahad while adding to his story, and giving some background to the story of Desmond Miles. As the fourth game in the series you have to wonder if it will keep the attention of the fans. With a fantastic story and a revamped multiplayer, it is certainly going to try.
While I was waiting to pick up my copy of this game on Monday night, I was watching everyone else in the store play Halo: CE Anniversary Edition, and as I watched, I couldn’t help but feel that I might have been getting the wrong game. As I got home in popped the disk into my console, all of my fears were resolved. From the opening cut scene, you are instantly sucked into this game. Not only are the graphics incredible, but you instantly got to meet a character that has been around, faceless, since the original Assassin’s Creed. Keep in mind that this game has created a new addiction as well as giving you a face to one of the most mysterious characters in the story line before you’ve even started a mission.
The story takes place mainly in Constantinople, Istanbul, or Konstantiniyye (whichever you prefer) and largely follows Ezio Auditore, who has been the main assassin in the last three games. You do also get to play as Altair in a few missions in Masayaf. Many of the game mechanics that were new in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood have returned, such as Templar Zones, rebuilding the city, and recruiting Assassins. However, this game has also added new features to game play, most notably, a new tower defense mode. In Brotherhood when you took over a Templar Zone it was yours forever, but should you fail at a tower defense, you have to claim the tower all over again, adding to the challenge of the game. Some of the weapons controls have also changed, allowing you to use more than one at once without having to change as often to adjust for different enemies. Not to mention you get a few missions that give you a history of Desmond, which were really quite interesting and answered so many questions that had been around since the beginning with Desmond.
Multiplayer has also returned from Brotherhood, and let me just say that I was not impressed with Brotherhood’s multiplayer at all. In theory it was fantastic, in practice, it slumped and was unimpressive. With Revelation’s multiplayer, everything has changed. While still the same basic multiplayer, it has been remade so well that I no longer yell at it every time I try to stun someone and get killed, or try to kill someone and get stunned. Everything has been improved. You now have to work towards the highest kill reward, the stun zone is now the same as the kill zone, and the new game modes are almost more fun than the originals.
So that’s it then. Fantastic game, absolutely nothing wrong with Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Game of the Year. Wrong. Well, maybe not completely wrong. If I had a vote for Game of the Year, I would honestly have to flip a coin between this and Battlefield 3. Nevertheless, the new controls, while great in combat, are being introduced four games in. Four. Getting used to new controls after this long felt a little uncomfortable, and while it only took a short amount of time to get my memory acquainted with the new controls, I still found my muscle memory going for the old controls. Not to mention the fact that sometimes Ezio has a mind of his own and goes in a completely different direction than you need him to in some of the most crucial moments. Of course, this is a problem I’ve had with the series since the beginning, maybe I’m expecting too much of him to keep going up a 1000 ft. tower rather than dive into a river. In addition, the Desmond missions feel disconnected from the game. Assassin’s Creed has been known for stealth and tactics, this feels more like a puzzle game.
Also there’s the Uplay Passport. This is a stupid little code that allows you to play the multiplayer, which isn’t so bad if you buy the game new; the code comes with it. However, if you plan on buying the game used, you’re going to need to buy the code separately. Finally, the character that we’ve waited four games to meet face to face disappears just as quickly.
Overall, this game truly is fantastic, and while this game does have its faults, they are small enough to overlook. The new controls were put in place to make things easier for the player, the Desmond missions are meant to sort out your brain (you are Desmond Miles after all, right?) and while you may have a separate multiplayer code, it will only become an issue with used copies, and if you buy it used, it will still probably be cheaper overall than a new copy. So now that Revelations has gotten your attention, you need to ask yourself, can you wait for Assassin’s Creed 2012?