Following the end of the last installment(no spoilers in this review), Desmond is in a coma(trapped on the Animus running in Safe Mode, Inception's Limbo(I guess since they were already ripping off The Matrix, why not go to that one next), and we meet Subject Sixteen, who is all like "I thought I was fine, too, but now look at me! I'm like a cross between Jake Busey and The Joker!". Anyway, he tells him that he has to go through "whatever remains of his ancestors' memories that he hasn't already seen, so that it can't be new to him, for when it'll all "attack" his mind"
which sounds like nonsensical BS(why would him already knowing the memories keep them from affecting his mind?). Anyway, because of this, he relives the last of his two forefathers experiences(well, the fun parts, anyway), and thus, we get proper closure for both. Ezio is now in Constantinople in 1511, a glorious(the graphics get the anticipated upgrade, not much is changed in that regard; acting remains solid) locale where he meets new interesting characters(some of them actual historical ones), and where he
feels terribly out of place(I wish they'd made it a different person, one who lived there). He goes there searching for the five Masyaf keys, that will unlock a massive door at said, lovingly recreated castle, which is said to hold something important that will change things(yeah, like we've never *that* before in these
). Each of them contains one of Altaïrs flashbacks, and we relive them. Most of the supposed answers(evidently, their creed about everything being permitted includes stringing audiences along; and near the end, it gets a serious Matrix sequels vibe
I really hope they have a better idea of a proper conclusion than the Wachowski's did for that series) here are backstory and plot(well-written and nicely told as usual), but a little new is divulged. We even find out a little more about the ever-mystical Templars! You continue to steal towers from them(by killing the Captain belonging to it and lighting the signal at the top - though this beautiful new vista already has a full, functioning system of tunnels, so you lose the joy of getting more and more of a rapid way to move between areas... also, except for the carriages(which make up a few of the action set pieces(that early on seem as though Ubisoft used up all their cool ideas for such with the previous incarnation... turns out, they just spread them out more and integrated almost all of them into the main story, which is arguably better), with Ben Hur-like races where you smash the others, and get pulled behind them by a rope, steering side to side to avoid rocks in your path! This happens early on), there are no horses in this whatsoever), and afterwards, they may try to take them back(if your Awareness reaches 100%, that is
and it's harder to keep it down than before, with less effect from fewer tools to prevent it, and now, even renovating causes it to increase! It really feels like a civil war is being fought), and you will engage in Den Defense, something unique to this. It's basically RTS in third-person, you're static and can look around, and have to keep the waves of enemies from reaching the end of a "corridor" of buildings, by putting barricades in their way and placing your men behind them, or atop roofs, calling in cannon barrages and shooting, yourself. Both sides have different types of infantry, each with strengths and weaknesses(this also means that this mini-game will surprise you with new stuff the first several times), and their charge tends to culminate in them bringing in a siege weapon, that, if you defeat it, will be assembled by your people and be used to hold them back, next time. If it doesn't float your boat, you don't have to do it much at all. Also, as part of how the recruits in this are like a photo negative of how they are in Brotherhood(still an overall superior effort, being more balanced, bringing more new great things to these, etc.), if you get them trained to top level(which is now much easier, lacking the feel of accomplishment... though now, you "meet" them, going on individual missions with them), once that happens, they will immunize these hideouts against attack(well, I guess it just means you don't personally have to act as general). Some other aspects of that is that sending them into other big cities now "matters", they're taking over these places, and/or increasing your(/decreasing their!) control of them, so you feel like this conflict isn't only taking place where you are. In addition to a well-done throwing system and alternate fire(for all ranged weapons except the crossbow), this allows you to craft bombs, in the three self-explanatory categories of Lethal, Diversionary and Tactical, with shells of differing fuses/applications, three levels of how powerful the gunpowder is, and numerous effects(smoke, distracting by way of noise/sight, killing by explosion or poison fumes, etc.). This is shorter than the others, feeling like an expansion pack. Multiplayer will have you playing for longer than its predecessor, with every map, ability(short of Sprint Boost, that was somewhat useless... and they can now be crafted, to improve them, though you have to choose in what way(deselecting others)...! Again, only consequence in this franchise is in MP) and game mode(and they're joined by new ones, such as CTF) returning. The relationship between pursuer and target is evened out, and more hints are given about where targets are(and this is included where it wasn't before). There are a ton of chances for customization(and everything costs Abstergo credits, earned by playing, now), in models, weapons used, what move will be used for the well-implemented Taunting, and the personal emblem which you are granted extreme freedom in designing. There is some disturbing content and a lot of bloody violence in this. I recommend this to fans of these. 7/10