Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review for Playstation 3 & Xbox 360 Version

by on November 22nd, 2010
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The Assassin’s Creed series began with a bang at the start of the seventh generation of consoles, only to gradually fall from grace. What began as an innovative display of next gen technology has become stagnant over four iterations. The series is applauded for its impressive fusion of Parkour platforming, hack and slash combat, free roam gameplay, stealth, and science fiction. Should you, fan of the series or not, be willing to take up the life of an assassin for the fourth time?

There is a question you should ask yourself before purchasing the PS3 or Xbox 360 version of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Have you played the previous titles? If your answer is ‘no,’ but you’re still interested- do yourself a favor, play the original first. If you enjoy it, play through Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Why is this so important? If you haven’t been passionately following the series, the final chronicle of the Renaissance assassins will be lost on you.

Storytelling is a key part to Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Conversations are heavy with characterization and plot development. The game doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path of its predecessors and offers a much richer, rewarding experience to those that have followed the stories of Ezio and Altair. If you aren’t interested in the plot and are interested solely in its gameplay, you may be disappointed.

Each Assassin’s Creed title has taken the route of gradually tweaking the gameplay from the original to perfection- as opposed to genuinely innovating. It is this creative decision by Ubisoft that has led to the stagnation of the series. It isn’t necessarily bad that you can pick up any AC title and essentially have the same game- it just alienates new players. Revelations clearly expects you to have perfected your technique during the past three games. Whereas 1 & 2 made sure to hold the hands of players and gradually introduce them to the gameplay elements- Brotherhood and Revelations largely throw gamers right in.

On the other side of this historical sci-fi game, the Desmond sections have finally been largely killed off. Those used to plodding through Desmond’s gameplay desperately trying to get back in control of Ezio or Altair need no longer worry. The gameplay is almost entirely placed within the historical events! Thank goodness! The mission variety is still limited to assassinations, fetch quests, and stealth quests. Visually the game hasn’t changed much from “Brotherhood.” The character animations are still superb and the locales remain breath-taking.

The controls haven’t changed much- they are still complimented by the use of the PS3 controller. The Xbox 360 controller, given its optimization for shooters, doesn’t fare quite as well- though it gets the job done. One gripe I personally have is that swordplay still isn’t challenging at all. You can pretty much counterattack away without fear of failure. Perhaps it is my extensive background in hack and slash titles, but even to novices, the combat is far too easy.

If you enjoyed every previous title, you’ll likely adore Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. You’ll find Templars to slay, haystacks to dive into, and walls to scale. The one big addition is, surprisingly, a tower defense element. If you aren’t thorough in purging your territory of enemies- they will launch a full-on offensive to reclaim it. This results in a fairly fun little diversion. The only other area to see significant improvement is the multiplayer mode. It doesn’t sell this sequel on its own, but it does make it a more enjoyable package.

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