6 October 2013 | lova-alexander
Where it all went wrong.
Throughout the last five years, I have been a longstanding fan of the Assassins Creed series. I thought Assassins Creed 2 was the best game of that year, I loved Brotherhood just as much, and although I never played the original I watched a Let's Play and enjoyed it. Revelations is where it all went wrong. All my expectations for this title (stemmed from the massive promotion of the game) were violently cut short when I finally played it. The game is a pointless entry to the series, with zero improvements over it's predecessor, Brotherhood, as well as multiple flawed concepts that completely detract from the experience that we usually have with these games.
Let's start with the setting. For the majority of the run time, you'll be playing in Constantinople instead of Rome like in the previous installment (still in the early 16th century though.) The theory supporting this idea was good, because as Constantinople was considered the international market superpower at the time, the player would be able to see and interact with many different cultures of the world, and the city would be full of life. But what we got instead, was a city which functioned almost exactly like Brotherhood in terms of travel, supporting factions, and income system (which is actually a lot worse, but we'll get to that). The city is completely monochromatic (everything's brown for some reason), and it's nowhere near as large or environmentally diverse as Rome, making exploration boring and pointless. As for the various cultures, you see a few, but you can't interact with them anyway making them pretty much wallpaper. The most amount of interaction you have with the setting is when random assassins try to kill you for a quick time event that takes a second. This city is in no way better than Rome, it adds nothing new, in fact it detracts in terms of size because it's the smallest setting in the series.
Now for the flawed concepts. Assassins creed revelations does try to add a few features to the system, VERY FEW. The ones they added are pointless though. The hook blade only allows you to travel on zip-lines, it's the only reason you remember you have it. It adds nothing new to combat except a few counter animations. They also a bomb system where you can mix different bombs from multiple recipes which all do different things for either stealth or combat. This would be great if it wasn't BROKEN. Often when you use the cherry bomb, it alerts enemies to your direction, instead of diverting them away. The other bombs are useless, and have awkward aiming mechanics. The assassins recruit system is still there, and it's better now because you have to do missions with recruits to elevate their rank, making them more personal. But throughout the main storyline there will be little opportunity or purpose in using them, making them a wasted investment. Speaking of that, there is also no point in purchasing weapons and armor. Money takes a long time to accumulate, and the weapons you have at the start are enough to carry you through the whole game. Especially since the game is very short. I finished the main story mode in one day, which I find insulting given the cost of the game. But how do you purchase weapons and armor you ask? I'm about to discuss the worst part of this lazy game.
The den system. This irritated me so much, it made me rush through the game to finish it early. Every time you renovate a building you increase your templar awareness, which eventually puts one of your dens at risk of being taken over. You heard that correctly, THE GAME PUNISHES YOU FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING. But it gets worse. You protect the den with this "tower- defense" mini game, which is the single worst idea I've ever seen in this series. You magically spawn units to defend against an unfairly powerful templar squad that attempt to break down the den. It's not so much about strategy, as it is about frantically spawning things in desperation, as the enemy barely gives you any time to recover units before attacking again. It's so annoying having to play this thing over and over every-time I want to renovate buildings, so I didn't want to earn money. Wish I could've earned back the money I paid for the game.
The combat system is still satisfying, but underwhelming due to nothing new. It's still standing around and waiting for enemies to attack, and then countering. Unless you fight the Janniseries, who are unfairly tough since the game never explains how to fight them. The graphics aren't bad, but aren't good for a 2011 title.
The story is downright terrible. I won't give away any spoilers, but in this game's story you find out nothing new, it doesn't answer the big question everyone had after seeing the ending of Brotherhood, and it's full of characters who, in comparison to the beautifully written and unique Italian characters of the last two games, feel one-note and awfully boring. Nothing happens that is relevant, it's filled with plot holes, the Altair missions are reasonably interesting but very rare, and the Desmond part of the game is boring. You ponder through an awkward first-person mode, with platforming puzzles that look like a parody of portal 2, while Desmond recounts extraneous information about his upbringing, which leads to nothing. The story in the game is so irrelevant, non-conclusive, it feels like you can skip it and play AC3 straight after brotherhood. You should do, because this game is the least memorable in the series. That is the most objective statement in this review, because two years after this game was released (and after AC3), no one ever talks about this anymore. I have to much time on my hands.