The notorious, hooded, hidden-blade equipped Assassin is back and this time with an even bigger arsenal at his disposal. Yes, it’s the Assassin’s Creed franchise with its latest sandbox styled instalment, “Assassins Creed: Revelations”
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is known for its story with the immaculate blend of history and fiction; not to forget the cliff-hanger endings which leave the players first confused, and then intrigued. From the first Assassin’s Creed to this one, UBISOFT has always managed to maintain the highest standards of quality in their games. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is no exception. Continuing with the Assassin’s Creed tradition, Revelations mixes the events of history with the story about the war between Templars and Assassins.
Players reprise the role of Desmond who is trapped in the Animus and must reach a “sync nexus” to become free. Revelations continues the story of Ezio Auditore right from where Brotherhood ended but in Revelations the chapter of Ezio’s story comes to an end. After he successfully defends against the Templars, he sets out in search of the teachings of the Master Assassin, Altair. His journey brings him to Constantinople (known as Istanbul nowadays) during the Mughal era as he begins to uncover the knowledge left behind by Master Altair.
Unlike the previous instalments, almost all of your journey will be in the same city. You will seldom travel outside Constantinople so there will not be a contrast of environments as in the previous Assassin’s Creed entries.
In the early stages of the game, the story looks kind of boring as it unwraps rather too slowly and you will wonder ‘is this is the same game I have been waiting for over a year?’ But despite the sluggish start, once you gain your first key, that’s when the game picks up pace and lives up to its expectation. The game will immerse you into the storyline and you wouldn’t even want to pause the game for a moment. During his journey, Ezio also learns about what happened to Altair after the events of the maiden Assassin’s Creed. For those who remember, our favourite assassin Altair’s story was cut short by Templars after obtaining the location of Apple Of Eden. We all wanted to know what happened to the Creed after Al-Mualim? Revelations here answers all our questions regarding both, Ezio and Altair.
The story of Revelations is a very gripping one. I was more interested to know what happened to Altair rather than Ezio because there is a certain charm about Altair which makes him a better Assassin. The storyline might not attract new people as they won’t know what’s going on, but I’m sure if anyone has played Assassin’s Creed before, he won’t be able to resist Revelations.
The gameplay is quite similar to Brotherhood with some modifications here and there. The two major additions are the hookblade and bomb crafting. Hookblade is a new weapon which Ezio equips and as the name suggests, it is one part hook and one part blade. It allows Ezio to perform some new moves (like hook and run) and it also helps in parkour. Ezio can climb faster with this and he can also “zipline” between buildings to travel through areas quickly.
Another great addition is the bomb crafting in which Ezio can make bombs with the results he desires. The radius, nature and effect are determined by the ingredients we use to craft the bomb. We can make bombs to kill guards, distract guards, hide our escape and more. You can loot the ingredients from dead guards or hidden chests, or buy them from black market. You can customize the bombs depending on what kind of task you need to perform. Bomb crafting is a neat addition to the game and it can help (or sometimes cause problems) in your missions so it is essential to experiment with the outcome of the bomb you have made before heading onto your missions.
Another addition in Revelations is the Den Defence in which you have to protect your Assassins Safe House against the Templars who want to regain control. It’s sort of a strategic mini-game in which you assign your assassins at different locations to fight the Templars. They are fun at first, but become tiresome rather too quickly. The good thing is that, you can train your apprentice Assassins and assign them these Safe Houses to protect them; Once you have assigned an assassin to a Safe House you won’t have to worry about defending it against the Templars anymore; but the bad thing is that by the time your apprentice Assassins reach the level required to successfully defend against Templars, you will almost be at the end of the story, ironic isn’t it?
You can recruit Assassins into your creed by helping them with some tasks. After they join your brotherhood, you will be able to send them on missions to other cities or you can call them for your own help. They are particularly useful in stealth missions where you can call them to assassinate the patrolling guards so that you can pass by undetected. Every time you call your assassins or send them on successful missions, they gain XP and they become more capable of performing tasks.
The previous games of the series were criticized for being too repetitive but Revelations does not make you feel like this. Almost all the missions are unique and you will also be given some optional objectives a la Broterhood. A memory will be synced 100% if you also complete the optional objective; which includes, but not limited to, not being detected, not killing anyone with your blade etc.
The combat system has not improved significantly. Although, performing combo kills is difficult (as compared to Brotherhood) as the enemies will now attack you from all directions and they even attack while you’re doing your kill. The combo kills are still fun to perform as Ezio will use both primary and secondary weapons, for example you stab one guy in his face while shooting another guy. Overall, the combat is rather easy, especially once you have mastered the timing to perform counter kill with your hidden blade.
In the previous AC games, horses were used to travel between cities and as I have mentioned before, that you will play the game in one city so you won’t be able to ride horses. Instead of horses, you will frequently use the tunnel system to get from one place to another quickly. Even though chasing your targets on horses was fun, but this is one thing worth losing for the other additions.
The graphics, as always, are great but don’t expect a huge difference from the previous entries primarily because Revelations uses the same engine as its predecessors with just some minor adjustments.
The city of Constantinople has been designed perfectly with a lot of detail. You will be climbing on almost every type and size of building. The buildings are as good as they are in real life. For someone who has visited Istanbul he will easily be able to recognize the landmarks in the game. UBI team have done a great work in transforming the damaged historical places from today, into landmarks of the Mughal period with near perfect representation of what those places looked like back then. This is one of the few games in which one would enjoy just roaming around and looking at the great view this game offers.
The 3D character models are rendered flawlessly with real life animation. Not just the main characters of the game but even the non-playable characters (NPC) have been rendered masterfully. That being said, the animations during cut scenes sometimes lack some depth and realism as compared to when you are actually playing the game. The animations during cutscenes (especially during close up of a character) are not as good as one would expect after looking at the gameplay. Despite this, the artistic style of the game definitely provides the ‘’WOW’’ factor that is always there in Assassin’s Creed games.
The graphics of Revelations are already great but they go through the roof if you turn on the 3D mode. You absolutely forget to blink after turning on 3D for the first time. The effects and depth of 3D are nothing short of perfect. The characters look real but it’s the depth 3D provides that will truly blow you away. Climbing on viewpoints, moving in crowd, stabbing people, everything becomes much more realistic. Without doubt, this game provides one of THE BEST 3D experiences available
The audio of the game is overlapped with the gameplay. You don’t get to hear the same soundtracks but rather the music syncs with your actions. You will hear a mild, calm music while roaming freely and it will become intense during fights. The music fits with the gameplay, which just absorbs you deeper into the game. Jespyr Kid again did a great job of providing a touch of the middle-era to his soundtracks.
Moving on from soundtracks, the audio of the game also depends on what you are doing in the game. You will hear the soothing sound of wind whistling while on top of a tall building and you will hear indistinct chatter of people when you are in a market place. You will sometimes pass by people who will comment on your actions like “what is that man doing?” or “he will hurt himself”. While passing through the slums of the city, you will often be surrounded by beggars who, to be honest, are so annoying that I just stab them and run away.
When you are playing Revelations, you will not feel much difference as compared to its predecessors. Even though the graphics, gameplay and other ingredients of Revelations are great, but the one thing that will keep you going till the end is the storyline and once you have finished the game, you will not be inclined to keep playing it as there is nothing new to do. You can try to replay memories to achieve a 100% sync or fully reconstruct Constantinople but the game still doesn’t offer that lasting appeal after the end of the main storyline.
Revelations is a must for all Assassin’s Creed fans and it will, in no way disappoint you. So if you haven’t played Revelations yet then what are you waiting for? Grab a copy now and get into the ever-lasting fight between Assassins and Templars.
Edited By: Hacks @ PakGamers