The Score: "Assassin's Creed: Revelations"

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 12:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Buy Now
  • Playstation 3, X-Box 360
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  • November 15, 2011
Game Informer 8.75/10
GamePro 3.5/5
IGN 8.5/10
Game Spot 8/10
USA Today 3.5/4

Video game addicts thirsting for virtual blood splatter and sleek crime-free murder need look no further than their local gaming outlet this week with the new release of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

While welcoming to first-time players of the Assassin's Creed franchise, diehard fanatics will be presented with familiar faces in the series' fourth title.

Though Revelations touches on all three of the major protagonists introduced in the story so far, Ezio is still the star. The boy who once sought revenge for his family has become a man in search of meaning and wisdom. Now a venerable mentor over the entire Assassin order, that quest for understanding takes him from his home in Italy to the distant metropolis of Constantinople. While there, his story follows a double path. One embroils him in the web of intrigue surrounding the power struggle between the conquering Ottoman Empire and the unseated Byzantines. The second thread traces his meeting of a beautiful stranger as she aids him in tracking down the lost legacy of his predecessor, Altaïr. Both story-driven quest lines are rewarding and excellently written, with a host of new characters and an entertaining narrative. (Game Informer)

Much like its predecessors, Revelations takes players to new, visually stimulating on-screen heights.

It's so much fun to move through Constantinople and other key areas. This is due in part to the world's sheer beauty. Deep golds and reds make a stroll through the grand bazaar a feast for the eyes, and famous landmarks like Hagia Sophia cut striking silhouettes against the night sky. Row a boat across a strait, and you marvel at the authentic wake that ripples behind. A mauve haze softens the horizon as day passes into night, and makes you keenly feel the passage of time--a thematically relevant effect, considering how conscious the older Ezio is of his mortality. Of course, previous Assassin's Creed games looked stunning too, but Revelations is no less impressive for it. Not that every detail is perfect: citizens still occasionally pop into existence before your very eyes, and you might spot a guard clipped halfway through a rooftop. But such quibbles hardly matter in a game this visually spectacular. (Game Spot)

Although solo and off-mission adventures are left to gamers to decide, a wrong move could ultimately offset the journey.

In between various missions that include recruiting mercenaries and freeing captives, Ezio looks for hidden books that then provide clues to the keys he is seeking. This leads to underground scavenger hunts that are treacherous and require Ezio to make his way through seemingly endless caverns to find hidden artifacts. If you haven't got your basics down, any matter-of-fact move could result in Ezio's death - and an aggravating restart to the previous, hopefully nearby, checkpoint. (USA Today)

Much like last year's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the fun does not end once you have completed the single-player missions.

Multiplayer is augmented again this time around, with various new modes, a wealth of customization options, a better interface and even a story mode that will allow players to learn more about the modern day Templars as they progress (or "train") in the Abstergo facility. Ubisoft is creating a fine counterpart to what is typically considered a very single-player centric series. The decision to weave more of the franchise's lore into these modes was simply genius. Most remarkable is the mode's ability to create a variety of unique gameplay experiences through different match types. Wanted and Deathmatch recreate the more calm and collected idea of stalking prey while something like Artifact Assault is far more breakneck and frantic. The fact that all of this experience builds towards an ultimate goal will certainly reward those accustomed to focusing on the core storyline. (IGN)

Critics believed Revelations' lack of ample character development, inability to perform small tasks and a limited amount of missions takes away its chance to be considered a classic.

But as the third entry in as many years, Revelations pounds home the realization that the familiar open-world approach lacks punch without a thrilling storyline to keep things intriguing -- and this is the stodgiest tale to date. Ezio remains as nimble as ever despite his advancing age, but the quest trudges along through dull political maneuvers that feel wastefully inane at this point in his tale. And even when he strikes up a personal connection with someone -- a refreshing change for the violent warrior -- it feels like we're getting the Cliff's Notes version, minus much of the character development. (Game Pro)
The actual meat and potatoes gameplay of the main game is a touch disappointing. While the city of Constantanople is huge -- I would say that it presents perhaps the most impressive vistas of the entire series -- the city seems more compact and less varied than cities that starred in past games. Small things have been snipped out of the game, such as horseback riding -- which wouldn't have worked in Constantanople's tight streets -- and the mind-bending Subject 16 brain-teasers. (Financial Post)

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Check out the gameplay below:

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