For the Last Time…
In the latest installment of the series, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations brings the Ezio Auditore storyline to a close, as well as revealing answers to some of the mysteries surrounding Ezio, Altaïr and Desmond. As he is nearing the end of his days, Ezio faces a larger Templar threat in the bustling city of Constantinople, and he will need the help of the growing Assassin Brotherhood as he embarks on his final mission.
We are thrown in the middle of an incident where Desmond needs to awaken from his current state in the Animus. To do this, he must witness key events near the end of Ezio’s life. The main story consists of the hunt for the five Masyaf keys that unlock the entrance to Altaïr’s secret library, which is said to contain a vast amount of knowledge. To collect the keys, Ezio must follow the Templars to Constantinople.
New Town, New Tools
We all loved the immense city of Rome, but it’s nothing compared to the huge metropolis of Constantinople. It seems that people tried to fit in as many houses as possible while still having some open areas such as the Hagia Sophia or the abandoned Topkapi area. Horses are not included this time around, so players will have to rely on quick travel via the sewers or free-running across the rooftops to get somewhere. Numerous ziplines have been installed across the city that make it more exciting to traverse above street level.
To utilize the ziplines, the game provides one of the two new weapons: the hookblade. It replaces one of the hidden blades and can be used for combat. However, its primary function is to serve as an extension of Ezio’s arm. While climbing, the hookblade will automatically reach for a higher ledge that is usually unreachable by hand. This new tool makes climbing not only faster but more fluid.
Bombs also make their debut in the series. There are many different types that can be created with a plethora of materials found throughout the city, and each lets the player take advantage of specific situations, whether it is to distract guards, to remove an obstacle or to evade pursuers. Creating these bombs is easy since there are so many bomb-crafting stations throughout the city, as well black-market dealers who sell different types of bombs.
With a growing Assassin Brotherhood comes new tactics against the Templars. Ezio can now take over Templar Dens and convert them to Assassin Dens. The Den takeover is similar to the Borgia Towers in Brotherhood. As you recruit more Assassins, each one will level up in the missions that they are assigned to, and after one reaches the rank of Master Assassin he or she may take control of an Assassin Den.
Ezio’s notoriety makes a return, but becoming incognito is much harder and at the same time, more fun. There are no more wanted posters, so bribing heralds and killing witnesses are the only two remaining methods left. A consequence for staying wanted – or “aware” as it is called – for a long period of time triggers a Templar attack on one of the Assassin Dens. At this point, Ezio must return to the conquered den and defend it from more Templar attacks. This is done through a strategic mini-game where you can order troops to line the rooftops leading to the den as well as set up barriers in an attempt to bar the Templars from taking back the base.
As always, there are many side missions to choose from should you decide to deviate from the main story. Ezio can help out Master Assassins, learn new bomb techniques or aid thieves, mercenaries and gypsies. Full synchronization objectives also make their return and some are actually challenging and require thinking. However, there have been some glitches that prevented full synchronization such as enemies that never die or civilians tagged as targets.
Templar Training 2.0
As for the multiplayer, Ubisoft has added more features and game modes that make it more enjoyable; the first of which is the integration of a story into the multiplayer progression. As you level up, dossiers and videos about Abstergo and the Templars will be unlocked that provide additional information and secrets about the organization.
There is no way she’s getting out of there alive.
A few game types have also been introduced. Deathmatch works the same way in that players must hunt a target while evading a pursuer, but this time the compass and duplicates of characters been eliminated in order to make finding targets and staying hidden more difficult. Simple Deathmatch is another new mode which works like Deathmatch without the addition of perks. Lastly, Artifact Assault is the game’s version of capture-the-flag in which one side tries to stop the opponent from taking the artifact back to their base. Players can also compete with their friends in a new way aside from stabbing each other in the back. At the end of each match, your score will be compared to your friends’ scores from when they played the same game mode. Customization has also been extended to not just a player’s perks but their emblem, clothing, taunts and weapons as well.
The Final Verdict
The story of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations does a great job in wrapping up the loose ends in both Ezio and Altaïr’s stories. The combination of both timelines gives us the answers that we have been looking for these past four years. We are also given a glimpse into Desmond’s past and how Abstergo took him, but in the end the final curtain drops for Ezio and Altaïr. As the credits roll on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations players can finally say, “Requiescat en Pace” to both men as we look to the future to find out who will be the next Assassin.