A Bit of Italian Mixed With Turkey
In this episode of Assassin’s Creed we find out what happened to Desmond after the major cliffhanger of the previous game. We also find out what happens to Ezio and what has happened to Altair after the very first game.
The developers juggle all the story elements quite well. Desmond’s mind is fragmented and he is in a comatose state. To regain his consciousness he has to explore the lives of Ezio and Altair. In the game Ezio arrives in Constantinople and largely spends the majority of his time here. He’s sent there to find special Masyaf keys left by Altair which contain his memories. In this new city he meets new friends and possible love interests too. Meanwhile we find out what happened to Altair over the years though the memories stored in the Masyaf keys, eventually leading us to a tomb which we are introduced early in the game. What could be stored in there? You’ll have to play to find out. The story is alright. I thought the Altair segments were the most interesting. The Ezio story could have benefited from an “ultimate” villain, like the pope from the past games. The Desmond segments are few and far between, it mainly seems like a vessel to bridge the previous game to the next.
The graphics, like always, have been upgraded. You’ll see a noticeable difference between the appearance of Revelations Desmond and the Desmond of past games. Of course this all new setting is full of visual goodness. New building architecture, the water looks improved, and I think the game introduces a day and night cycle. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game but even better looking than before. The new setting of the game is nice but not as interesting as Rome was.
The gameplay is similar to the previous games. There are some additions and refinements. The biggest new feature in the game is bomb crafting. You can now throw bombs to kill or distract guards. Also new are ziplines that you can use to get from rooftop to rooftop. Ezio now has a hookblade that opens up some new combat options, allows for a fast climb and longer reach when jumping to rooftops or ledges.
The brotherhood aspect has been refined as well. In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood you could recruit assassins. In this game you can recruit assassins too but now you can level them up. The Borgia towers have been replaced by assassin’s dens, which serve as bases once you take control of them. When you level up the assassin’s you can make them the den leader preventing the dens from being taken back by the Byzantines. This also brings in a new Den Defense game. It’s just like a tower defense game. I heard some negative buzz about den defense going into the game so I expected the worst. It’s not too bad but it’s not great either. However, you don’t need to play this mode often. In fact I found when I actually wanted to play den defense it was very hard for it to spring up. In order to play den defense you need to get your notoriety up, then you have to wait for the Templars to attack the den. But the attack is not immediate, you’ll have to wait a while. I guess what I’m saying the hate directed at den defense is unwarranted since it’ is a rare event.
The Multiplayer mode returns too. New characters, new locations and additionally the gameplay has been polished. It’s a nice distraction and a mode I still see people playing (as of June 2013).
All of these additions are largely superficial and don’t change the game much. Essentially what Assassin’s Creed Revelations amounts to is Ezio just running from rooftop to rooftop, killing guards, uncovering Templar conspiracies, just like always. It’s hard to say that Assassin’s Creed Revelations is a bad game since it is just like the rest of the games in the series but improved. This is the biggest strength and weakness of the game. More of the same is always good, but if the series continues on this way it could stagnate. I like steak just as much as the next guy but I don’t think I could eat it every day of the week.