"Revelations doesn’t end Ezio’s trilogy with a bang, but it is still nonetheless a great entry in the famed series."
+ The addition of bombs creates minor diversity to combat
+ The city of Costantinopolis is bustling with activity and culture
+ Top notch visuals and improved facial animation
- Tower Defence game is poorly implemented; luckily not often mandatory
- Story and setting fail to be as memorable as previous instalments
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, the fourth in Ubisoft’s yearly best-selling franchise is the final instalment in Ezio’s trilogy, who is at his final struggle against the Templars. ‘Revelations’ depart from the familiar cities of the beautiful Italy and takes us to the much diverse Arabic city of Costantinopolis in its closing chapter. While not as memorable as previous instalments in mostly all aspects, Revelations is still a great Assassin’s Creed title and a great ending to Ezio Auditore di Firenze’s saga.
In Revelations, Ezio travels to the old Assassin’s fortress in Masyaf a few years after ending the life of Brotherhood’s main antagonist, Cesare Borgia, to discover the secret hidden away by Altair. But Templars lie in wait for him, and his mission becomes to find the keys to Altair’s library before the Templars, journeying to Costantinopolis, a part of the Ottoman Empire. That is Ezio’s mission, but the conflict between Prince Ahmet and his brother Selim for the throne, and the tension between the Templars (the Byzantines) and the Ottoman in the city. Befriending a student Suleiman (Selim’s son) who is a prince, helps him in his fight against the Templars who could be behind the conflict, and meeting other Assassins in the diverse Ottoman city. Ezio’s story isn’t the most captivating and is devoid of high profile kills more than Brotherhood was, but the city of Costantinopolis is mesmerizing and interesting, and a different view from Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood’s Italian cities. Costantinopolis is bustling with activity and Arabic culture. And there are some strong moments in the game, for example flashbacks to Altair’s post-game moments here and there but the game has some dull and difficult-to-get into moments occasionally, but it all ends up to a satisfying conclusion to Ezio’s years of struggle against the Templars.
Desmond story is a lot of more different from Ezio’s successes. After involuntarily forced to kill his partner, Desmond ends up on the Animus Island, have fallen in a coma. He meets the conscious of Subject 16 who would vaguely explain the things that had happened to him, but mainly that his mind had broken, and needs to relive his ancestor’s memories in order to separate himself from Ezio and Altair. Poor Desmond takes a major backseat in Revelations, without the game ever forcing you to go through Desmond’s optional missions and only involves Desmond in its occasional departure from Ezio’s story. Unfortunately, unlike Ezio’s ending, Desmond’s part of the story ends with yet another cliff hanger that would probably lead to Assassin’s Creed III, after waiting over 20 minutes of agonizing ending credits.
While Brotherhood’s gameplay felt like an add-on, or simply Assassin’s Creed 2.1, Revelations received some updates. By no means is an overhaul of its roots, the biggest addition of Revelations is the use of bombs. Yes, bombs, the kind that explode and kill and those specifically used to attract attention. The use of bombs create a technical element that Brotherhood had created with its Assassin’s Recruit, typically that you can use it rather than dirtying your hands, so to speak. Bombs can instantly kill unsuspecting enemies, finishing and killing targets in creative new ways, or distract guards from your target. Another addition is the hook-blade which lets Ezio zip line and ascends buildings faster. The combat works fundamentally the same, with the improved and easier opportunities to kill in succession. Tailors offer a big variety of outfits for Ezio this time around.
There are Templar dens you need to liberate as you venture in the new city, and killing its captain is the key, before lighting the tower, so the area is freed from Templar presence, which is pretty much like what we’ve done in Brotherhood. Plus, the heightened security and alertness. After that, you can open the usual shops like Weapon and Bank shops, including the new book shop this time around. But being too notorious will cause the Templars to attack your den. When that happens, a different gameplay sequence will take place. The game switches from single action Ezio to an RTS format, where you will control a small group of units and prevent Templars soldiers from reaching the building. As unexciting as it sounds, it is, and it is poorly executed, suffering from a poor camera and monotonous action. Moreover, the sequence is generally the same: gain morale to put your soldiers on the roof, use canon if needed to kill soldiers, set up barricade and brace yourself for the siege equipment. And while it is easy, destroying the final siege equipment is diabolically difficult compared to regular soldiers. Luckily, you can save the trouble of having to endure this tower-defence but lowering your notorious status by bribing heralds and killing Templar authorities.
Once again you can freely roam the city. But there isn’t much activity to things to do. There are no assassination targets, but Brotherhood’s bland Assassin’s Recruit has improved a bit. There are some specific short missions to complete in order to recruit certain citizens, and not all of them require simply saving them from guards. 100 Animus Data Fragments can be found in the city, which is unlike the flags from previous instalments are a requirement if you want to experience Desmond’s story since it unlocks new memories for Desmond. Desmond’s gameplay is a huge shift from the usual Assassin’s Creed. Taking place in a first-person perspective, Desmond will explore a different side of the Animus as he collects his memory. Most of the people will probably find this change of pace as dull and unnecessary, which for me, it was. Also we could have used some more exploration in desolate locations, which take advantage of Ezio’s climbing skills and agility since there aren’t enough.
Revelations seems to have lower production values compared to its Italian predecessors, so the environments and setting aren’t as vivid. Despite that, there is always a sense of activity and normal people behave in realistic manners in their daily activity which creates a real sense of immersion in that era. But still, it doesn’t look good compared to Brotherhood. What really improved is the facial animation, particularly the older Ezio and the various new characters. Voice acting remains strong; mixing Ezio’s Italian with English and Arabic with English when it comes to others. Menu loading has become tedious, taking that second or so every time when buying, and after the hundredth time, it becomes irritating.
Revelations ends Ezio’s trilogy with a positive note, even with a somewhat unimpressive adventure. The needed shift from the Italian setting doesn’t surpass its predecessors and the additions still feel few, despite the interesting ideas of bombs and the hook-blade. The story could have used an extra spark and more important assassinations but Ezio’s story has been satisfying. Despite its troubles and weaknesses, Revelations is a worth Assassin’s Creed game, filled with history and culture in a new Arabic setting for its final game.
Graphics = 7.8
Sound = 8.1
Presentation = 8.3
Gameplay = 8.0
Story = 7.9
Recommendation Level = Medium
The weakest point of the series but still a worthy entry for long-time fans.
Level of Difficulty = Easy
Some frustrating chase sections but this time around no challenging final boss. Though some optional objectives are tough, nothing ranges to unbearably difficult so pretty fair.
Play Time = 27 Hours
Finished the story but after completing collecting all flags, 10 pages and the Animus Fragments, there were only the Assassin Recruit missions to do (by do, i mean send Assassins and wait) till you remove the threats from other cities in the Mediterranean. There wasn't much else, except for mild amusement of using bombs.
OVERALL = 80 / 100
Revelations doesn’t end Ezio’s trilogy with a bang, but it is still nonetheless a great entry in the famed series.