STAFF REVIEW of Assassins Creed Revelations (Xbox 360)

Thursday, November 24, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Assassins Creed Revelations Box art Benvenuto il mio compagno Assassino fratelli e sorelle del nostro capitolo finale. Siamo stati insieme per molti anni, ma ora è giunto il momento di scrivere l'ultimo capitolo della vita di Altaïr ibn La-Ahad e Ezio Auditore da Firenze e la testimonianza delle meraviglie della conoscenza e del potere che diventa svelato attraverso la verità. Come si opera attraverso le ombre per servire la luce, cerchiamo di scoprire l'assassino del Credo splender rivelazioni così che le nostre azioni per servire l'umanità migliore. Il nostro cammino sarà lungo, irto di pericoli e di sorprese ma, se è vero che i tre principi e mai perdere la fede nel Credo, poi ci sono gli assassini hanno la sapienza abbiamo bisogno che ci guida verso la meta. E' tempo, preparare voi assassini!

Welcome my fellow assassin brothers and sisters to our final chapter. We have been together for many years but now the time has come to write our last chapter in the lives of Altaïr ibn La-Ahad and Ezio Auditore da Firenze and witness the marvels of knowledge and power that becomes unveiled through the truth. As we work in the dark to serve the light, let us uncover the splendor of Assassin's Creed Revelations so that our actions serve mankind for the better. Sharpen your blades assassins for our lifelong journey has finally arrived at its conclusion and it is up to us to uncover the truth of life. Our journey will be long, fraught with dangers and surprises but if we hold true to the three tenets and never lose faith in the Creed, then we assassins shall have the wisdom we need to guide us to our goal. It is time, prepare yourselves assassins!

Throughout mankind there have been a few constants, but none more highly contested as the acquiring of power. Wars have been fought, alliances have been deceptively destroyed, and countless lives lost all in the name of obtaining power. Our Assassino ancestors have pledged their lives to maintaining a balance and order to the struggle for power and to see that the exploitation of mankind does not occur. In Assassin's Creed Revelations we find ourselves on a quest in a race against time to uncover and decipher the secrets our ancient Assassino ancestors and protect them against those who would wield destructive power to control mankind.

In Assassin's Creed Revelations Ubisoft has taken the already amazingly innovative control scheme core of previous Assassin's Creed titles and added some slight new innovations and polish to create one of the most addicting and enjoyable gameplay experiences in the Assassin's Creed lineage. One of the major innovative changes to the gameplay is the introduction of the Hookblade. This multi-tool of death offers some upgraded changes to enhance the control mechanics on multiple levels. Now if you are leaping from beam to beam and you come across a hanging grapple point, instead of leaping to it and going around the corner, by holding the B button you can use the Hookblade to propel yourself forward in a longer leap which will enable you to reach other areas and provide other tactical options when confrontation is necessary. Not only will the Hookblade assist you in your ariel movement, but it will also assist you greatly when it comes to scaling obstacles and monuments. When you are climbing a monument it used to be a long process where you had to find the correct route to reach the top. This is where the Hookblade shines because now with the push of the A button you can jump up, grab a hold of a ledge above and slingshot your way up, thus dramatically shortening the time it takes to scale buildings and monuments to the top.

While this one innovation affects gameplay on numerous levels, one of the main issues we have found involves the new Eagle Vision. In the previous Assassin Creed games you could use your Eagle Vision to scout targets, find hidden secrets, and more, but now Eagle Vision has become somewhat of a hindrance. The main issue behind Eagle Vision is that it takes away from the flow of the game by requiring you to remain absolutely still to access it. After that you are free to move about as normal, but in a game that prides itself on the free flowing movement of the character, forcing them to come to a complete halt just to start to use it takes away from the fluidity of the game's natural mechanics and therefor doesn't seem to fit the feel of Assassin's Creed.

Assassin's Creed Revelations also brings in some other innovations in the form of den defense mini games that also seem to take away from the feel of the game. The way the den defense game works is if you draw too much attention of the Templars, then one of your assassin's dens may come under attack and until you complete the defense game and the nearby shops will close down to you. When you go through the defense game you will have the ability to place assassins and defenses that will hinder the oncoming waves of enemies as they set out to destroy and reclaim your den. While this is a new innovation for Assassin's Creed Revelations, it doesn't mean that it's a good one. The feel is very simplistic and in the end does very little to increase the enjoyment we all find in the Assassin's Creed games by taking you once again out of the free flow gameplay.

One constant of all Assassin's Creed games have been breathtaking viewpoints showcasing a vast beautiful city beneath your boots, and in Assassin's Creed Revelations we find all of that and more. Hidden crypts and ancient tombs are more menacing than ever, and even the guards themselves look and feel more realistic in their looks and interactions. While there is nothing really new and innovative about the graphics compared to Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, that doesn't mean that it's a bad thing. With a powerful history of delivering amazing graphics, Assassin's Creed Revelations keeps to the bloodlines of the Assassino and delivers one stunning moment after another.

When you hear the call of the Assassino it sounds like an eagle's cry from the heavens signaling a rebirth of order and justice. Assassin's Creed games have always penetrated our souls with their music by delivering that compels our spirits and guides our blades as we move in for the kill. Assassin's Creed Revelations provides wonderful music combined perfectly with various high quality sound effects and very good voice acting to deliver an audio experience that will make your ears rejoice.

When Assassin's Creed Brotherhood was released, we were finally treated to some of the most innovative multiplayer experiences ever. Normally a great single player focused game does not have the ability to pull off a balanced and enjoyable multiplayer, but Assassin's Creed does. With multiplayer challenges to complete, EXP to earn and level up our multiplayer characters, along with new weapons, items, and characters to unlock, one thing was for sure, the gamble paid off and all of us bear witness to how innovation and quality can revitalize a, once before, non-existent element in your game, and in doing so take the next step in the evolution of the Assassin's Creed games.

This belief holds true now more than ever before in Assassin's Creed Revelations. Now there are not only new modes, but more characters and a big new innovation in the formations of user created guilds. Now not only can you customize your characters appearance and weapons, but now you can create your own assassin's coat of arms for your guild. Now the higher you go up the multiplayer ladder, the more information and knowledge you gain about our good friends at Abstergo Industries. Knowledge is power my fellow Assassino and we must never tire of our vigil to obtain more of it. A new twist to the multiplayer is that there no longer is a compass pointing in the direction of your target, instead a picture of your target is in the upper right hand corner and it will glow blue when you are in the line of sight for your target. While this takes some getting used to, it ultimately creates more of a balance throughout the entire multiplayer experience and that is what the Assassino are about right? Creating some form of balance?

While it's true that there are a lot of similarities to be seen between Assassin?s Creed Brotherhood and Revelations, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. Assassin's Creed Revelations delivers on a lot of great qualities that has made the series a success and innovates and evolves what was good into great. As we mentioned earlier Assassino, this is our final chapter of our story and while others may take our place in time, we assassin will never be forgotten for it is our ancestors that help us write our futures. Always be learning and evolving Assassino and never forget the Assassin's Creed: We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins. Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Overall: 8.8 / 10
Gameplay: 8.9 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.7 / 10


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