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4 out of 5
I love the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I was lucky enough to start with Assassin’s Creed 2 – since most people I talk to say that the first installment is less than spectacular. Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of my favorite games on the Xbox 360 – will Revelations live up to expectations?
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations starts off where Brotherhood ended, and Desmond is trapped inside the Animus – a virtual island where he can access Ezio’s world at any time. I loved this feature in this game – some of my drawbacks to the previous games are the levels in which take place in modern time. I like that it is completely up to the player to stay in Ezio’s world or return back to this virtual island. Of course to advance in the story – you have to return a few times, but it wasn’t nearly as long as the previous games.
Ezio is much older – it’s nice to see a more rugged and older Ezio. Not too many established franchises would change their lead character so drastically like this – and I love that. You also get a chance to play as a much – much older Altair (the lead character in the first Assassin’s Creed), in fact there’s even one level where Altair is so old that he can only walk to the next checkpoint.
The gameplay is very similar to Brotherhood – and your assassins are back to help you with one click of a button. I loved the addition of recruiting and training assassins – yes, it does make gameplay slightly easier, but it’s always nice to know that they are always there in case you get into a situation that Ezio cannot get out of.
Very much like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – you have to capture districts that are being controlled by the Templars. You still have to enter the forbidden area and kill the Templar leader… but one thing has changed since the last game – the captured district is never safe – it can easily be taken over again by the opposing side. In order to re-capture those districts you would have to defend it – this turned Assassin’s Creed into a strategy based game – a mode that was very out of place in this game. While defending your post, you are on top of a building looking down at incoming opposing troops. You are given points that you can spend on barricades, assassins, riflemen, etc. This is sort of like horde mode - waves of enemies come and go and you have to defend the area. I can see where they were going with this new feature, but I feel that it fell short of what they wanted. One good thing is that it is not necessary to defend the area if you choose not to. The only difference is the fact that the banks, tailors, etc. will not be able to get renovated if you haven’t done so already… but your previously renovated stores will still be there.
One new addition that I absolutely loved was the hookblade. The hookblade, which is given to you very early on in the game, allows you to jump higher and farther than ever before – it even allows you to use zip-lines between buildings. This allows for faster traveling in the game.
There are different bomb variations that you can buy (or build) in this game. And although I pretty much stuck to the same types, the variety was fun and creative. I used the sticky bomb which would stick to the enemy, but there’s also a blood bomb that would explode upon impact and create confusion in the person that it hits – making him think that he’s bleeding. You can also create smoke bombs, coin bombs, noise bombs and regular bombs.
There was no sign of Leonardo da Vinci in this game. This is probably the biggest drawback in the campaign (well, except maybe the strategy based gameplay). But this means no new technology for you to play with.
In the storyline you see how Ezio’s world and Altair’s world collide near the end – I absolutely loved how they incorporated both worlds and allowed you to play as both assassins. In fact, the whole storyline is very strong – and you actually get some answers about the mysterious people that have been showing up at the end of each game.
This time around Ezio is visiting Constantinople. The city was great, but it just seemed like one giant city instead of multiple areas you can visit. This made the city slightly repetitive and less creative. There was one level in which Ezio visits an underground city - which was a nice change of scenery.
If you decide to leave Ezio’s world and explore the island that Desmond is stranded on – you will find a few bonus levels in which you play as Desmond. These levels are unlocked after collecting five cubes in Ezio’s world. These levels seemed more like levels that you would see in Portal – puzzle maps in which you had to get from point A to point B by using two different block types. The levels do give Desmond more of a backstory, but these are not necessary to play at all. They were creative, but a little boring.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood introduced us to the multiplayer mode in this franchise – and it makes a triumphant return in Revelations. The multiplayer is great – it doesn’t feel added on whatsoever. My favorite mode is the “deathmatch” mode in which you play as an assassin trying to kill your next target all while avoiding the assassin trying to kill you. There’s also an additional mode that is kind of similar to capture the flag – one assassin has a treasure that you need to capture – and after capturing the treasure you have to keep it as long as possible. You do this by either running around or hiding from your opponents.
The Bottom Line: Assassin’s Creed is one of the best video game franchises out there – I’m glad they were able to continue the Ezio storyline one last time – and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here! This is a great game with an extremely fun storyline and addictive multiplayer.