Corpse Party

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Assassin's Creed Revelations -Review-

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted"

With those rather cryptic words everybody who played the first three games and the spin-offs should know what it's about. Another round, no maybe the last one for Ezio Auditore and Altair Ibn La Ahad has has begun.
So only one question remains, are you all willing to follow the Creed this time or will it bore you to hell to follow those footsteps with pride?

Once more the game immediately pulls you in where it left you off in Brotherhood, in Desmond’s mind. Basically stranded and alone he hears the voices of other people, those we got to know this far.
The words of the order of the Assassin's couldn't be more true in this case but with different meaning than they have in the game itself.

Other than in the previous titles the player is not able to leave the animus by any means. Desmonds role is relatively small compared to his ancestors most of the time. We all got used to that in the previous titles haven't we?
This time something happened that sent our descendent of Altair into a coma, something that might not be familiar to the players and a bit shocking if they haven't finished Brotherhood yet.

So right from the start the atmosphere is quite thick, the plot is there but the player doesn't know what to search for yet. But this is solved as another character makes an entrance, at least for the time being.
After a few words and explanations Desmond must go to separate his memories from those of his ancestors. Quite the task if you do not really know who you are, don't you think?

This is why the Gameplay is split into different parts this time.
On one hand you've got Desmond, our favorite placeholder for a probably promising main character. Ezio Auditore da Firenze Italian; gigolo and Master Assassin, son of Giovanni Auditore. And last but not least there's also Altair, Grand Master of the assassin order a few hundred years back.
Unlike the other games you're able to play all three of them and to praise the developers a bit they pulled that off quite well. It is impressing and at the same time a bit shattering that they chose to tell the tales of those two assassins this way. If you play it for yourself, you will come to see why.

It's not that I didn't like it but it felt short, too short! They stuffed all this love for the characters, their families and their tales in this one game! Brotherhood had 12 or 13 Sequences and that one so much less! But it's a really befitting end to them plus it makes you really curious what will be next.

The Story Of Revelations

It will stick deep inside your soul for a while, not just because of the very good soundtrack. They managed to tear on the heartstrings of every fan of the series, especially if you watch Assassin’s Creed Embers right after you completed the game. It has twists and turns as well as a rather predictable outcome. The overall picture is really good nonetheless, especially because the player is able to get very fond of certain characters.

You get Altair, Ezio and Desmond in one game three different storylines to the price of one. I won’t tell you here how the outcome is but it has moved me greatly especially Altairs part. That man was the best Assassin that ever lived. But Ezio is really great as well so Desmond has the blood from two very proud and strong Assassins flowing in his veins.

While you get a huge bite out of Ezios life in Istanbul and delicious chunks of Altair, Desmonds part on the other Hand is once again rather small. But not unimportant, because we manage to learn something about him that even might change the players views on him. Basically it’s priceless to see how everything comes together. Every piece is well written but regretfully short since this Assassin’s Creed title has only 9 Chapters with 5-7 memories each. Still it’s about 50-63 Memories for you to see. And it’s a good thing that they feel really short because that means the gameplay has fairly improved.

That way you often find yourself wanting to interact with certain charcters more, much more than you can. Which is both a good and a bad thing for the game because it makes you feel left out sometimes. This feeling not only arises at the end of each sequence but especially when the timeline and dates are displayed in them.


Ubisoft already did spoiler most of the new additions of Assassin’s Creed Revelations the Hookblade and the bombs as well as the Den defense gameplay.

To tell you the truth I really joked and looked down on that hookblade at first, cracked sassy remarks every time when a trailer came out. “Oh look the hookblade, it consists of a hook and a blade! An elegant design!”, and so forth. My review partner nearly got tired of it but now I have to admit Yusuf Tazim was right (the good looking guy with the scar over his face). It really is elegant and fun to slide and climb around with that thing!
  • This hook blade might be the most fun thing after the parachute in the game! It helps Ezio (and only Ezio) to get around really fast, really elegant, kill more precisely and do a hook and run. This means that you do not have to fight every enemy yourself. Our Italian hurls himself over the enemy while grabbing him with the hook blade.

  • Den defense is a little strategy part in AC, a kind of tower defense, literally.
    You can appoint certain assassin classes to a position, every kill will give you moral points which you can invest into new troops and barricades. Some of your forces are better against different classes of the Templars. There are Air-assassins, Brawlers, Riflemen, Bombmen, different kinds of barricades like ones that are equipped with a flamethrower, a canon and so on.
    The only thing you really have to fear is the battering ram of the enemy, that thing is the most horrible enemy unit you can get.

  • »Den Defense Trailer click to open«
  •  Last but not least the bombs, they are a welcome new addition in terms of gameplay, so you do not have to work with smokebombs all the time. You’re even able to use them against the environment like you please; splinter bombs or coaldust ones are able to open up closed wells in the game in which you can hide. Caltrops make the enemy immobile for a certain amount of time and cherry bombs lure the enemy away with a loud bang.
    There are even different shells for the bombs, ones that bounce on the ground, one that shatters and even sticky bombs as well as wire traps! But at the beginning your assassin is only able to carry 9 bombs altogether, so that makes three of every kind. Bombs are thus categorized in: lethal, tactical and diversion. Once you cleared certain quests you're able to carry one more per pouch.

    It might sound complicated but really good side tutorial come with it. Those consists of 9 different missions. You do not have to do them but it will be really rewarding if you do.

  • Overall the controls have improved once more; I didn’t fall of a roof or jumped the wrong way even though my Assassin should’ve gone straight forward this time! It’s really good though they changed the controller mapping which is really confusing at first.

    The enemies got a bit wittier, not too much but we got used to it, didn't we? Hence there are much more than in brotherhood and four different fractions who want to take you down, you’ve got a hell lot on your heel. Templars, Ottomans, and two others who might be a big surprise for you.

    Other then that it stayed the same, you still are an assassin and the 100% synch is still in it, but it's far less annoying than it was in brotherhood. And sometimes you will ask yourself "how do I do this the right way to get the 100%?". You slay enemies, possibly as cool, fast and silent as possible, do optional races agains others and the time and train your assassins. With train them I really mean it.

    Another huge addition is that those annoying wanted posters were removed from the game, so you now can only bribe herolds or kill eyerwittnesses. Once your notority gauge is full your dens in the sity will be attacked by templars. Why? because they know you are there and you cause them trouble.
    Every time you buy a shop or a building your notority will go up this time, so be careful. Once your gauge is completely full/red your life will get tricky. It's harder to deplete it now and when a Templar or Ottoman sees you now he recognizes you. If he attacks you those other Templars will try to take over your dens. If that happens you will have to do a den defense battle. If that is successful the Templars will retreat and you will get money(loot) and items. Failing means that you will have to recapture that den again and kill the Templar captain.

    NPCs got much more lively, they talk and interact with eachother and listening to them is really fun sometimes.

    There are also a ton of sidequests to do which will be indicated on your map in different ways. There are game relevant sidequests which tie in with the multiplayer, story related sidequests which include fractions you can work with, none relevant citizen sidequests and hidden tomb quests.
    Sadly there are no riddles this time which is a huge downer for those who loved 16's brain screwing business in Brotherhood.

    While all of those new additions in terms of gameplay can be annoying as well, they most of the time are not. Unlike in brotherhood where I complained and sometimes yelled at the screen because some situations were unfair and stupid (Leonardo's War machines) Revelations did a much better job.

    Design and Visuals

    The design is overall gorgous, the city is well made, it isn't boring, it seems really lively. Every person has something to do, someone carries something, others cut meat, unload crates, reload new ones, scrub the deck, weep the floot and so on. It's like in brotherhood only with much more variaty.
    There are more plants, flowers and small bugs flying around, even pigeons. The lighting of the game s also much better than in previous titles. Once you've climbed up a tower or a buildung especially when it's nighttime or at dusk you will see how beautiful everything is. The fog on the sea and between every buildung, the and the new engine makes the expressions of every character even more believable. I'd go so far as to say it's nearly as nice as in L.A. Noire.

    There still are a few downsides that will put a stop in your fun while running or jumping through the districts.
    They are the same as in every other title of the series. Horrendous pop-ins, no matter what you do, they will be there. Jump from a building, they're here, run through the streets, oh look citizens pop in infront of you!
    And the white birds that are flying in high places in the game are just pixel-textures nothing more. From afar everything looks good, even upclose it's okay but once you move the image slowly shatters.

    Not every sequence in the game will carry over the hidden armor of the game, which is sad 'cause that would certainly be the most neat thing they could've done. Even special skins - once more - won't be displayed.

    The overall picture of Revelations is good in the design department but it will only always be good. Until they figured out how to fight that attrocious problems with the engine and the buffering that is. We sadly have to live with that and the PC version of the game probably won't be any different.

    A Soundtrack, Voices and Effect Revelation

    Basically there is only one thing to say soundtrack-wise: DEAR LORD is it good!
    But hence this is a review I will provide a little more detail to that statement. Jasper Kyd really outdid the Brotherhood OST this one is on paar with Assassin's Creed 2 and I for one love it. The drums, the suspense, he really did bring out the main points in that soundtrack.

    It's dramatic, soothing, inspiring and brings out the best of the game when it should. Those tracks make the game much more interesting and we really have to give that to Ubisoft.
    »Preview Of The Animus OST Edition«

    Ingame Voices

    Those are once more really well done, if you turn your PS3 on english that is, the german ones are good but they are no where near the chosen english voice cast.
    Yusuf Tazim sounds like a fun person but also really cocky from time to time. Ubisoft really chose well and that is one point that makes the Assassin's Creed series really loveable.
    At no time it feels dull or overly dramatic, sometimes when you bump into someone they apologize or ask you something like this with a weird turkish accent: "have I somehow annoyed you, sir?"

    They can panik, cheer, laugh, brag and you really feel it because of the exellent voice acting.
    It's even okay if the voices repeat themselves from time to time but it's once more better than in brotherhood. Even doctors have different sentences and herolds got a LOT more to shout about "the eagle ones". (<-- Altair joke, really good impletend) You can hear the guards complain about their payment and that they have to stand around all the time. The conversations between the NPCs really make it feel like a living and breathing city, despite the popups. Especially because some people will rather side with the templars than the assassins and you will feel, hear and see that. Only some weapon sounds could have more wham to them, like the pistol or the cannon but overall it's really satisfying if you slay the enemy with a completely different weapon.


    The basics are the same, if you played brotherhood you might feel right at home, if not then you might give it a turn, since it's a bit more difficult now. But first a huuuge downside: You must now have a Uplay passport to play online, so if anyone would buy the game used, he or she would have to pay MORE to get one. Up until now they aren't available but I will update this a.s.a.p if they're in the PSN.

    A new mode named death match is now in the game and it's been my favourite so far because it robbes you of the compass you normally have. So you have to rely more on your hearing and your eyes to kill the target. In Deathmatch there are no Look-Alikes so you are able to spot your target, it's still quite risky and difficult because others can so too.
    Unlike as in brotherhood you will also get 100 points if you see your target, wanted to stun him but he was faster. It's called honorable death and is really rewarding even though assassins/the hunters are still overpowered as hell.

    After a match you will also be rewarded with abstergo points (like any assassin fan would want those). These are here so that you can buy stuff from the abstergo shop, lika new player avatars and such. They are quite pricy so expect to play a lot.
    And like Brotherhoods MP it's still fun, even more so when you have a friend or family member playing with you, talking over headset, discussing your plans to murder those sonsofbitches.

    One thing I especially enjoyed is that my Fan-Lady(the Courtesan) aka Fiora Cavazza is still in there. That sassy little asset! :D
    But sadly she doesn't really have different facial expressions so they basically just re-used the old model. And also you can't customize her in any way but she's not the only one the Kight and the ottoman jester share the same fate. :/

    Everyone except her has different expressions, especially when you get caught and slaugtered like a lamb.

    Half of the old maps have been carried over so you can still enjoy yourself in Le Mont-Saint-Michel but also different parts of Istanbul, like the Galata District.

    Customization options are limited you can customize the armor, the arms, the head and much more but it's limited to three only slightly different versions. Also you have to reach a certain level to unlock them, plus you also need abstergo points to buy them after you reached that level. This will get really annoying if you want to have them all. Colors, additional gear and weapons, everything even the head parts need to be purchased.

    Final Verdict

    Assassin's Creed Revelations is a worthy successor to AC1 and 2, it exceeds Brotherhood by any means and feels less forced. Also the characters are much more interesting this time and you will witness wonderful scenes in Altair's, Ezio's and Desmond's life.
    Especially Desmonds part surprised the hell out of me in terms of gameplay and information. He described a world beyond sight and thing we haven't seen up until now.

    Sadly the most common errors of Assassin's Creed stay the same, gameplay and graphic-wise. It's sad to see that such a beautiful city has to suffer from the same old flaws that the first game had.But they do not weight so much that it will take away all the joy and pride of the game.

    The Soundtrack is strong and the Story is well written even if it feels too short and explains much less than you will probably expect it to do.
    The major cliffhanger at the end cleared the path to the next Assassin's Creed and many of you will most likely be eager to see it.

    If you played the other titles and lost hope for the series after dragging yourself through Brotherhood, I'd recommend you to play it. This title might be able to revive your expectations quite a bit.
    All others should at least give the series a go, it might not be the real revelation we all waited for but it's still worthy to be a book and that is always a good thing.

    If you weren't much fond of the other AC titles then this one won't change your mind. Bare bones, it's the same gameplay style in every way but with some good additions. So it would only mean something to you if you're already interested in the story that is to tell.
    The multiplayer is okay but nothing new and it doesn't really feel fresh or exciting after you entered 30-80h+ on Brotherhood sessions already.

    Replayability can be lower or higher depening on your liking of the franchise but I'd consider it very low unless you missed out on a few trophies or had bugs with a few things. Huge fans might probably be able to play it twice or more.

    That way... as much as it pains me as a fan I can only give a good:

    Score : 8.0/10

    Depending on your gusto it can be much less or much more in terms of score. But since the improvement was little but overall better than brotherhood I found this to be more satisfying and enjoyable to play.

    By the Way if you didn't get your hands on this one, it can be yours to load in the PSN Store for $2.99, same goes for €! It's a small price for a good additional, well animated chapter of Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

    Also I'd like to apologize for the lack of original footage (aka screenshots), since my oh so beloved PS3 does not allow me to take screenshots in any way. This will change as soon as I (or DarkChaplain) will get our hands on the PC version of Revelations. Or win the lottery jackpot to be able to afford pricy equipment, root for us!

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