Thursday, December 15, 2011

Assassin's Creed: Revelations - review

Have you played Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood? If so then congratulations you've played Revelations. There has been some gameplay tweaks and some minor additions, but nothing as major as the shifts between the other games.

Ignoring the setup premise of reliving memories in the first Assassin's Creed you played an assassin who performed tasks for your order mostly following and killing people; to an extent it was an open-world Hitman with Parkour athleticism. You could sneak up on your target and gently kill him or charge screaming and hack at them and the game wouldn't directly penalise you for either approach. Combine that with a tight story and it was no wonder it proved a success. But there were problems. Tasks varied little and took place in cities that you had to ride between, which despite the excellent vistas on offer, soon got boring. Add in that if you moved beyond a snail's pace all the guards in the vicinity would divine you were an assassin and try to introduce you to sharp pieces of metal and things would often get frustrating.

Move to the sequel and the intial premise still held, but the developers had listened to the criticisms and corrected them. Travel was shortened and a fast-travel between cities was introduced; guards would only pay attention if you were doing something noteworthy and tasks became more varied. In addition a money making mechanic was introduced that in turn meant things to spend that money on including armour and weaponry. It was the game that the first one should have been.

For Brotherhood they dropped the city travel and based everything in one city. They introduced the concept of having to take back control of this city and for the largest change added multiplayer and integrated the concept into the single-player experience. You were no longer alone and could recruit, train and call upon other assassins during play.

For Revelations they took Brotherhood and allowed you to control parts of the city and defend against them and concept-wise that was pretty much it.

That's not to say the game isn't any good it is and if you enjoyed Brotherhood you'll enjoy Revelations, but that's mainly because it's the same game. For those joining the series for the first time it would be difficult to catch-up and the PS3 edition adding in the original game certainly doesn't help as they are so vastly different (and they didn't even bother retro-fitting it with trophy support). If you're part of the series already this is fine, but nothing spectacular. If you're new to the series and want to catch up buy the books it'll be much cheaper and less frustrating than playing the games.