Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Available on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: M
Players: 1-8
Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: November 15, 2011
PSN/Xbox Live: Online Multiplayer

Parent Talk: Revelations is rated M for mature by the ESRB because of strong language, blood, violence and sexual themes.  We highly recommend parents not to let their young ones play this.

Plays Like: The previous Assassin’s Creed games.

Review Basis: Finished the story and played some online multiplayer on the PS3 version, which also exclusively includes the original Assassin’s Creed.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations fantastically says goodbye to some old friends. Ezio and Altair have helped shape this generation, and their legacy ends on a high note. Not every new element is a hit, but the overall package provides an excellent time-kill this holiday.

The Great:

Revelations is just that, a storytelling revelation.  The cutscenes naturally flow and grip you as the story is shaped. By the time Ezio and Altair appear for the last time, you’ll feel more attached to them than ever. Desmond also returns with a unique and twisted tale all his own.  There’s a great balance between the plotlines, and Revelations doesn’t disappoint with the fan-expected AC “whoa” moment. Where the series goes from here in anyone’s guess, but Ubisoft seriously upped their game.

The Good:

+ Same great gameplay.  Accept a mission, then enjoy the playground of the city as you run, climb, jump and stalk to another assassination.

+ Epic scale, grand adventure.  From a river chase to exploring a deep, dark cavern, the large set pieces are exhilarating and the game’s best moments.

+ Refined controls.  A tweaked input layout gives you immediate access to primary and secondary weaponry. This allows for better stealth in assassinations, and more varied combat.

+ Fresh, improved online multiplayer. New modes, a tightened user interface and abundance of options entice players to come back. There’s even a story wrapped around multiplayer; how cool is that?

+ The nicest-looking AC. You might be surprised by the more detailed character models and environments. Constantinople never looked this good.

+ Subdued, but tense music. The soundtrack injects excitement into key scenes. The voice acting is equally impressive, making this a pleasing adventure for the eyes and ears.

The So-So:

+/- Desmond’s segments are like his mind, fractured and bizarre.  In first-person, you navigate a strange Troninspired world by creating a series of blocks.  This actually helps reduce the monotony of assassinating, but players may be thankful it’s optional because of how off-the-wall it is.

+/- Have we played this before? Non-fans of Assassin’s Creed won’t find enough variety here to be brought on board. Long time fans will be pleased.

The Bad:

– Tacked-on, useless tower defense. When Ezio overtakes new areas of Constantinople, he’s challenged for ultimate control.  Guards pour down a street, and Ezio must command rooftop troops to hold them back. It’s useless, and most of the time I just wanted to drop down and finish the invaders myself.

– Familiar, though less frequent problems. Case in point, redundant assassinations.

The Ugly:

Diving off a rooftop and missing your target, only to watch him kill you.  Assassin…I think not.

The Lowdown:

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the best AC, but proves that yearly iterations can be problematic.  If you like the series, pick this up for the holiday break. The refinements and excellent online multiplayer make this a wonderful conclusion to Ezio and Altair’s colored history. If assassinating isn’t your thing however, there won’t be enough new here to change your mind.

Average Score Scale: 8.0 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 8.5/10 (Inflated)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: You’re an AC fan and enjoy a great story.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: You’ve tired of the AC formula and seek significant improvement over before.