What do you get the master assassin who has everything? We’ve been following the story of Ezio Auditore for two games now in Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood - watching the Italian stallion’s journey from birth to adulthood. But Ubisoft Montreal is proving that there are still a lot of things for our now aged and wise Ezio to achieve.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations allows the Renaissance hero to find the last pieces of the Apple of Eden jigsaw puzzle and solve the mystery that has haunted him for years. He does so by traveling back to where the struggle between Templars and Assassins began - Constantinople, during the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
As well as the usual weapons at Ezio’s disposal, you get to play with a new toy called the Hookblade. It can be used to grab and chuck enemies around and line them up for some spectacular assassinations - but it goes far beyond combat. Rooftops are now littered with zip lines that can allow Ezio to sling himself down at high speed (with the added bonus of assassination from above).
You can now create your own bombs in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations too, with black markets in the city selling ingredients for you to mix in various bomb shops to build the explosive for whatever situation you want.
While the last Assassin’s Creed game introduced the Brotherhood (which makes a return in Revelations), the big new concept here is the Dens. Dens are hotly-contested areas in which you have the option (or in some missions, requirement) to attack to gain some ground against the war with the Templars and Byzantines. As well as attacking and taking dens, you'll be charged with defending them. These missions see your own areas get challenged by enemy forces. This is probably the biggest change to the Assassin’s Creed formula - tower defence gameplay from the third-person viewpoint of Ezio, the Den commander!
In short, there's plenty of Assassin's Creed: Revelations - both familiar and unfamiliar - to sink your blade into.
Despite adding a number of features, Assassin's Creed Revelations is very similar to its predecessors, and that's both its biggest strength and weakness. There's nothing wrong with Assassin's Creed. It's a great franchise with unique, compelling and well-designed gameplay. The catch is that we've effectively been doing similar things for the last several years now. Incremental upgrades are more than welcome, but at some point players need a new experience. Although, it is still a great game to play and just finish for the story.