Assassin’s Creed has been one of my favorite series of all time, and Brotherhood was a fantastic installment in the series. Assassin’s Creed Revelations tells the final chapter in the story of Ezio, an Italian assassin who is on a journey to find six keys so he can find a secret that Altair (the guy from the first game) has hidden in an rustic castle.
But really, you are Desmond, who is in a coma from the last game, thus his best “friends” decide that the way to keep him alive is to throw him into a machine called the Animus so he can relive Ezio’s life so that can save his. However, that doesn’t go as well as they expected and Desmond loses his grip on reality! That’s totally what we wanted! And now he is banished to living in a reconstructed subconscious called Animus Island.
This setup promises that you literally fight to survive, thus Revelations is obviously going to be a super exciting iteration of the Assassin’s Creed series, right?
NOPE. In fact, this is a pretty poor version of Assassin’s Creed. The single player is incredibly short compared to Brotherhood, and does not feature a lot of the fun mechanics that breathed life into the series. In fact, it feels like Ubisoft decided that their previous designs were way too good, so they scrapped them in order to make something terrible.
And they did that by
improving fucking up how the characters look and feel. Ezio, who I understand is older, moves like he is a drunken man with two broken legs and afflicted with several seizures. Yet during loading sequences, Ezio moves like a bullet, which is totally how he maneuvers in the actual game. You’d think a game that requires a lot of sneaking, escaping, chasing and climbing would feature a character who would be able to do that, right? Guess not.
However, it’s not all that bad. Ezio’s poor movement can be forgiven a bit, thanks to the introduction of the glorious hookblade, which is singlehandedly the most useful item in your arsenal. You can use the hookblade to grab people, trip people, jump faster, grab ledges easier and use it to zoom down the few ziplines around the main world. Unfortunately, I found that ziplines tended to go in the direction I didn’t need to go in, thus rendering their usefulness pretty abysmal.
Speaking of not being able to use stuff to your advantage, I would like to point out that bombs are the most worthless item in the universe. You will only ever use them when the game tells you to, because why the fuck would you use them at any other point in time. They take way too long to explode, do barely any damage, and alert everyone in the nearby area to you. You might as well just use your Assassins to handle any diversions, because the Assassins bar reloads faster than it takes for a bomb to explode. And even though you can make bombs of various types, you’ll only ever use the impact bombshell, because all the other ones are so rare.
The faces of every character look absolutely terrible. I still understand that everyone is supposed to be older, but the facial animation looks horrific. And who was in charge of this amazingly handsome face? Mrrawr, rawr.
Sadly, you don’t get to see this glorious face all that often because you are going to be way too busy playing the super fantastic, totally awesome tower defense minigames! OH BOY! In these sequences, you are faced with real time strategy using a currency system with a fixed earning rate, thus you are constantly trying to catch up with the Templars who have flamethrowers while you still have crossbows and rocks. Oh joy!
These minigames are extremely annoying, because the game pulls stupid ploys so that the player can never get a 100% synch for them (which requires you to not lose any units). And just in case you were managing to defeat the Templars, ACR will throw war machines and overpowered bomber units who can destroy any barricade in one shot. Wait, you wanted to win? Nope.
Now remember Animus Island? That’s where you go to talk to Subject Sixteen (and his incredibly sexy face) and allow Desmond to focus on his past. It’s really annoying because Desmond is a whiny bastard and his levels have a Portal-esque platforming feel but without the Portals. The worlds are cool looking, but that’s just to hide how frustrating they because Desmond cannot jump for crap and falls off platforms really easily because his shoes are made out of butter.
Even so, the missions still have the Assassin’s Creed feel, but a lot less of the “run around in ancient ruins”, “race some thief/assassin”, and “chase this escaping Templar in an old crypt” missions. Many of those mission types don’t even exist anymore, which is both good and bad. I liked the ancient ruins puzzles where you climbed around a lot. Those were pretty fun, Revelations has about three of them in total, and they pale in comparison to the ones featured in Brotherhood.
Luckily, Revelations redeems itself with its multiplayer. The netcode has been dramatically improved. Games are incredibly easy to find and they handle like a dream. My only complaints are that there are not enough maps, and the fact that you have to buy weapon upgrades (not with real money, mind you) is lame.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Revelations is a testament to the fact that just because you can have six development studios working on a game at once in order to push it out in a year, doesn’t mean the game is going to be very good.
Verdict: PASS (but buy it if it is on sale)