Assassin’s Creed: Revelations review
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the latest stealth em-up in Ubisoft’s assassin simulator series. The latest game treads familiar turf, and although many fans will love it, Stephen Ebert ponders whether the historical series is beginning to show its age.
For the last three years, new Assassin’s Creed games have left fans knowing what to expect – and while Assassin’s Creed: Revelations feels like much of the same – there are still new toys to play with – although not all of them are fun.
Without spoiling much, players take control of Ezio Auditore Firenze in pursuit of artifacts that hold the key to altering the course of history. That’s the gist of it, in a story that can get confusing fast. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations brings all the open-world freedom and gameplay present in the originals, yet you can’t help but feel a sense of history repeating.
Fans will welcome back the familiar stealthy parkour style gameplay. Ezio’s getting on a bit, but he can still scale walls like Spider-Man, and take out enemies without so much as a peep. All the familiar tactics for staying undercover remain. A triangular icon alerts the player when in danger of being detected, so taking the long way around, hiding in bales of hay, or scaling the roofs to evade lines of sight is once again the way forward.
Close quarter sword fights and counters still look gruesomely spectacular, and are not for the squeamish. Ezio now has the ability to piece together smoke bombs to distract guards. A new hook blade lets Ezio quickly slit enemy throats and shoot down ziplines by using it as a hook to hang onto. It makes navigating around the environment an assassins dream.
A new attack sees Ezio ambushing enemies in this way. Hitting the attack button in time just before you come crashing into the enemy results in another stealthy kill. Players can once again buy gain control of buildings, and then defend them. The environments once again look great, and are as big on scale as they have been. It makes leaping from rooftop to rooftop in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations all the more fun. These only get better the further you go on. The visuals and settings as always look great.
To Ubisoft’s credit, there is an effort to mix things up a bit, but not always for the better. Like in previous Assassin’s Creed games you can control territory. In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations you’ll be asked to defend it in a new tower defence style mini game that rather than add something new and exciting, feels like an unwanted distraction. Players pick whether to use archers, firearms specialists and where to place them in order to defend against incoming waves of soldiers. It just doesn’t fit in at all.
A confusing story also makes understanding what’s going on half the time much more difficult. Those new to the series will especially find themselves scratching their heads. And even though much of the same reliable gameplay of old is still there, you can’t help but feel at times that the action feels too over familiar, like we’ve played this game many times before. That said there is a lot of fun to be had, and die-hard fans will still love Assassin’s Creed: Revelations as there is plenty to do.
The bottom line
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations doesn’t feel like the best in the series. The addition of a tower defence game only highlights how tired the series now feels. Despite this Assassin’s Creed Revelations still does a lot right, but the next Assassin’s Creed game will have to be something special.