Nov 16, 2011

Assassin's Creed Revelations Review

What does Ezio's final chapter hold for us?
Revelations marks the final chapter of Ezio's journey in the Assassin's Creed franchise. After deafeting the Borgia in Rome, Ezio sets out to Masyaf (the home of his and Desmond's  ancestor Altair) to find out the origins of the war between the Templars and the Assassins. Upon reaching Masyaf, Ezio discovers a hidden vault locked by five keys hidden in Constantinople. Thus you will embark to the crossroads of the worlds to seek out the five keys to Altair's library.

ACR in game play is no different than the other Assassins Creed games. You'll spend most of the time running around a large open city fulfilling quests rebuilding blacksmiths tailor shops and other buildings to increase your income so you can afford to buy better weapons  and more shops. You'll need to destroy templars towers to regain control of the city as you fight for control of the city and look for the five keys to Altair's vault.
Combat is fairly the same in ACR you'll spend the majority of the timing your strikes and counter and performing combo kills. Movement in assassin's Creed has received a few upgrades curtsey of the hook-blade. The hook-blade allows you swing down zip lines grapple up buildings with ease make longer jumps by cling to edges for you, hop right past enemies by spiriting in to them and execute long jumps using swinging lamps. Also Ezio is now far past his prime, and the game shows this. The ground seems harder climbing more difficult for Ezio, and while this is does not effect at how fast he climbs as Ezio pulls his way up to a ledge you can hear the words "I'm getting to old for this" running through his mind.

ACR boast some of the best story of AC franchise yet. All the characters have unique personality and traits. The voice acting is exacuted nicely and as I watched my loved ones suffer and die around me I actually felt sorry and somewhat angered to see the characters I was connecting do die. The sound track is solid as you trek across the city and when the game tries hard in a particularly "big" scene it really delivers that final blow.
So what's really changed with ACR? Well the biggest change is in recruiting Assassins for the brotherhood. You'll recruit Assassin's a little differently this time around. While you will still save some from a Templar attack, sometimes you'll have to do them a favor or one time chase them after they pickpocket a few pedestrians. Once you have a recruit you can send them out into the cities of the Mediterranean to complete assignments which will actually have an effect on the city you send them to. Each city starts off in Templar control, but through your recruits you can take control of a city which will then give you income and experience for your recruits. As well upon reaching the rank of assassin you won't just go through some little ceremony. A full fledged assassin can be place in charge of one of your dens (the things that give you control of an area) and then a small side mission will become available for you to join your recruit in pursuit of a Templar killer. By doing these quests you can rank up your recruit further until they reach the rank of master assassin. A master assassin is fully capable of holding a den and makes impervious to attack.

Which brings us to our next change: Den Defense. In Brotherhood you burned down a Borgia tower and took control. In Revelations you'll light a signal fire and sieve control temporarily. Just because you take control of an area doesn't mean it's secure. Templars can attack your dens which will initiate the Tower Defense type mini game of Den Defense. The problem with DD is that its just a chore. In a good tower defense game you'll find level ups experience and things like that which make playing fun. Den defense has no reward system and pretty much fall flat. Had the creators given you a reward a system and done some polishing Den Defense could have been a nice little change of pace from all the stabbings, and could have been a fun online mode, but sadly this is ACR biggest flop.

This is once again the final chapter of a trilogy as we watch Altair's and Ezio's tales end. Assassins Creed is a dark stirring historical drama, filled with great struggle wonderful and dark characters and an amazing storyline. If you've plaid any other Assassin's creed game you should know that this will end on a cliff hanger. However ACR does answer some interesting questions about the 1st civilization and subject 16. As well you can learn about Desmond's origins by completing some optional side missions in some first-person puzzle solving scenarios. At the end of day ACR stands as a high mark for the Assassin's Creed franchise. If the Ubisoft team can polish a few things here and there and continue to give a beautiful character driven story, the next, and what is supposed to be final, Assassins Creed next year could be nothing short of a masterpiece.


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