The Assassin's Creed franchise has engrossed gamers across the globe with the on-going war between the Templars and the Assassin's, taking us through fictionalised versions of ancient societies that we’ve only read about in history books. The series has always stood out amongst the crowd as something a little different, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations certainly doesn’t buck that trend.
With the final story in the series to feature the main characters we have grown to know and love over the past few years, how does it compare to its wildly successful predecessors?
What Revelations Got Right
Impressive story - Assassin's Creed has always had a wild imagination, but the storytelling technique was often majorly flawed. We're happy to report that Revelations throws that stigma out the window, serving up an epic tale that is pitch perfect.
Desmond is still left off in the background most of the time, which suits the pacing of this final chapter just fine. Instead we're treated to Ezio's adventures as he delves further into the secret war between the Templars and Assassins.
Perhaps the most thrilling and interesting plot segments are when we dive back into the shoes of Altair, the protagonist of the first Assassin's Creed game. We learn more about his past, and have an intimate chance to connect with the character as we play through a number of memories throughout his life.
It may start a little slow, but Assassin's Creed: Revelations is by far the best in the series when it comes to storytelling.
Improved graphics - The game engine in Assassin's Creed: Revelations has received some significant upgrades, which makes the scenery look simply stunning. Whether it be a castle in the snow, the netherworld that Desmond is trapped in, or the streets of Constantinople, the visuals pop and bring in some extra detail that was sorely missing from previous games in the series.
Combat evolved - Most of the gameplay mechanics are the same as previous games, but the combat has certainly involved thanks to the ability to craft your own bombs. There seems to be an endless series of combinations you can use to concoct a weapon of mass destruction, ranging from your standard explosion and smoke bombs, through to a poison bomb of death. Having the ability to craft these bombs for different situations certainly makes the combat system feel robust, and adds a new strategic layer to the gameplay.
Multiplayer refined - Brotherhood may have introduced us to the idea of multiplayer in Assassin's Creed, however Revelations is when it truly arrives. A far more polished multiplayer suite awaits you as you head online, and a new story progression system has been implemented. As you level up and improve your skill set, you'll also unlock more information about the Templars and their journey. If you're sick of the onslaught of FPS multiplayer games out there, Revelations may be that change of pace your are longing for.
What Revelations Got Wrong
Den Defence - Revelations throws an interesting mini-game into the mix with Den Defence, one that is completely horrid and shouldn't exist. If you control a den and the Templars come in to seize the area, then you'll find yourself playing some form of tower defence game to defend the den. Interesting move, yet aside from feeling totally out of place amongst the rest of the action, the controls are woeful. Maybe with some refinement Ubisoft could pull this off, but as it stands right now it certainly mars the experience.
More of the same - A blessing and a curse - despite the addition of bomb crafting and some new items, Revelations is definitely more of the same, with prettier details to look at. The story telling prowess is finally there, however if you haven't been a fan of the previous titles in the series, this minor upgrade won't be enough to change your mind. It's nice to see Ubisoft pull off a perfectly paced tale, but they definitely played it safe on this release.
Finicky controls - The control method of Assassin's Creed has always been rather finicky, and Revelations is no exception. Often jumps are made by mistake, leading to death or detection by guards, sometimes climbing just doesn't seem to work out quite how you hoped it would. It's not a deal breaker, but the controls can make the game a tad frustrating at times.
The Final Verdict
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is a great ending for these characters, with a story that is certainly memorable and perfectly paced. The improved graphics bring the world to life in a way we haven't seen before, and the refined multiplayer offers up a new online experience with some fantastic story progression. Having said that, the changes are incremental on the previous titles in the series, and won't do much to change your mind if you haven't been a fan in the past. If you like Assassin's Creed then Revelations won't disappoint, offering the best experience from the franchise thus far.
By Stephen Heller
Similar gameplay to previous entries, Den Defence is woeful and controls are still finicky.
A much needed upgrade brings with it the best looking game in the series
The music is often subtle, but ramps up to fit the action perfectly.
A lengthy story with collectibles and a great online component
A great end to the series that is worth checking out.