Before I beat Mass Effect 3, I had actually beaten Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Revelations is the third, and hopefully final, game in the story of Ezio Auditore, a Renaissance era assassin. Like the previous 3 Assassin’s Creed games, Revelations is a third-person, free-exploration game.
Mechanically, Revelations has very few gameplay changes beyond what its predecessor AC: Brotherhood had on offer. Though they’ve added a “hook blade” which effectively increases climbing speed and maximum reach and a mildly complex bomb creation system, neither of these additions fundamentally alter the game. Careful planing, stealth and precise application of the hidden blade remain the easiest way clear most missions.
From a plot standpoint, Revelations feels like it could mostly have been replaced by a few cutscenes. Most of the game isn’t spent on a great struggle against an unassailable enemy, but instead on an extended fetch quest. The best parts of the game are the short sequences in which we see bits and pieces of Altaïr’s life post Assassin’s Creed 1 and those amount to perhaps 6 scenes scattered over the length of the entire game. Of course, I hadn’t had lingering questions about Altaïr’s life before playing Revelations, so it is difficult for me to say that this was necessary information.
It doesn’t help that Revelations removed both the ability to interact with the “real” world and the interesting (if not terribly fun) puzzles that lead to true revelations about the game universe. The first game’s “subject 16” data were puzzles layered on top of puzzles. The lack of something similar is a real disappointment.
Though the game is solidly constructed, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations feels a bit too much like Ubisoft just phoned it in. It certainly isn’t terrible, but from a franchise with the consistent level of quality that Assassin’s Creed has brought to each game, this feels like an expansion pack in the clothes (and with the price tag) of a full game.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations: 0