Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

While two out of the three Assassin’s Creed titles released thus far have been fantastically enjoyable adventures – the two most recent, thankfully – it could easily be said that anticipation for this fourth instalment has dwindled. It could be the sheer quantity of groundbreaking […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageWhile two out of the three Assassin’s Creed titles released thus far have been fantastically enjoyable adventures – the two most recent, thankfully – it could easily be said that anticipation for this fourth instalment has dwindled. It could be the sheer quantity of groundbreaking works being released in such a short timeframe, with the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim having recently been released, or it could just be the fact that this is the third high-definition (HD) edition of the Assassin’s Creed franchise in as many years.

With many franchises that become annually updated with new outings the sneaking suspicion creeps in that each successive release isn’t going to offer much more that a remodelling of that which has gone Electronic Theatre Imagebefore. While Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood did improve significantly on its predecessor, it wasn’t the same leap in inspiring  gameplay design as that which Assassin’s Creed II offered over the somewhat disappointing original title. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, this newest release, may not revolutionise the series, but it remains a reliably enjoyable experience.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is obviously designed with the intention of being sold to fans of the franchise. Newcomers can pick-up the mechanics of the videogame and jump into the story relatively easily, though there’s many details that might be missed until much later in the adventure if the player isn’t aware of what has gone before.

The single-player campaign begins by offering a crash course in the story so far. The short sequence misses out much of the detail that fans may feel important, but covers the basics of the story in its own ham fisted way. The plotline of Electronic Theatre Image our modern day protagonist, Desmond, plot has gone a bit Lawnmower Man: his broken mind is lost within the animus, and he must revisit unfinished memories of Altaïr and Ezio in order to save his sanity. This premise allows Ubisoft to craft a new ending to each character’s tale, offering closure to the fans.

It’s a while before Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ single-payer campaign reveals itself for what it truly is. Dramatic set-pieces and unique events hold an opening that reminds players of the basics whilst still providing plenty of new and interesting gameplay sequences. Once the opening has finished however, the player embarks on a new adventure in two brand new cities: the sun kissed Istanbul and Constantinople.

The control system hasn’t changed since Assassin’s Creed II, meaning any fans will be immediately at home. Missions typically revolve around reaching destinations and assassinating enemies, as would be expected, but also the familiar return of exploration and rooftop racing are presented in addition to a few new set-ups. The structure Electronic Theatre Image is story led as has been the case since Assassin’s Creed II, with the only strict aside being the usual collect-‘em-up affair. Of course, the player is still free to set their own agenda in terms of gaining upgrades, purchasing property and securing new territory for the assassins.

A few changes to the formula have been implemented, some small, some big. Those on the smaller side include clever fixes to the walk and talk imperfections that have plagued many videogames, and the hook claw allowing players to grapple ledges and use zip lines. The bigger renovations include the customised construction of an extensive list of bomb types and the den defence mode. Den defence is a brief strategy mini-game in which the player purchases various troops types with morale; enemies appear in waves with kills adding to your morale tally. It’s a simple tug-of-war type arrangement in which players will strive for superior troops with each larger, more aggressive wave of enemies.

In addition to the commendable single-player experience, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations features a refined multiplayer mode. Just as the tradition set by BioShock 2 dictates, the multiplayer mode in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is presented with more than just a menu: a cutscene delivers a short story introduction before the  player leaps into the training mode. Originally introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the Electronic Theatre Image multiplayer gameplay has been improved simply by listening to player feedback. More gameplay modes have been included, but also the combat action has been expanded through stun attacks, team manoeuvres and more.

Each instalment in the franchise has looked slightly better than the one before, but where Assassin’s Creed: Revelations improves most upon its predecessors in the cutscenes. There are many occasions upon which the player will wonder if there sequence they are watching is actually real-world actors: it seems that the current-generation hardware has not only achieved Electronic Arts’ early ‘target visual’ video quality, but finally surpassed it. In-game, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is a more well rounded presentation, with fewer glitches and clipping issues within the world, especially in the multiplayer gameplay modes.

As might have been expected, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is a videogame that might struggle against the pedigree of many recent releases, but not through fault of its own. The unfortunate nature of the annual release is that Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is a videogame that many will have already experienced under a different name. Release fatigue is kicking-in, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations simply isn’t as absorbing as previous titles in the franchise. There’s no denying that it’s still a very enjoyable experience, but it’s arguably interchangeable with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the predecessor now available at a fraction of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ price.

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