The Assassin’s Creed franchise has been one of the best in Action Adventure & Stealth games. From the initial game in the series to the most recent game, Revelations, the franchise has really spread out. From the walls of Masyaf to the big city of Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) the series has showcased a lot of history & a lot of action. Does this game follow suit? Let’s find out.
The game uses a graphics engine called the ‘Anvil’ engine. It first came into action in 2009 when the first Assassin’s Creed game was launched. Revelations features a modified version of the engine which can accommodate a larger number of npcs (non player character). The color tones vary from the cold & frozen Masyaf Assassin temple to the warm & dusty Constantinople. Though even with all the upgradation to the graphics engine Revelations looks & feels very similar to its predecessors. The entire feel of the game, the movement, basic combat etc. has not changed drastically. The environments are more detailed but all that comes at the price of a more expensive graphics card.
The game has a full day night cycle which makes the game a bit more realistic (as compared to the static weather in Assassin’s Creed 1). The vegetation, draw distance, lighting, reflection, shadows have all been updated & the look spectacular if you have the hardware.
The game also supports hardware tessellation which adds a whole new dimension to the terrain. The rocks don’t look like squashed textures & the environment looks a whole lot prettier with more realistic lighting.
The key to an immersive game has always been good graphics but good sound is also very necessary. Assassin’s Creed Revelations feature solid soundtracks & very good sound acting. The characters speak in various languages & the subtitles do a perfect job of translating the foreign languages. The accents are pulled off very accurately which not only add to the authenticity of the game but make it even more immersive.
The background score is subtle but marks its presence as soon as the action starts which is often in this game as you will be running up the walls, killing templars which all in all sounds & looks fantastic. The clang of the weapons clashing to the clang of the weapons of the dead templars falling on the road echo clearly through the headphones & are a delight to listen to.
One thing that the gamer might like is the digitalization of Ubisoft’s starting screen. The audio is very Tron-ish & makes the gamer feel like he is inside a real machine (just like the main character in the game, read on). All in all a superb package.
The heart of the game lies at the gameplay elements it is made of. At heart Assassin’s Creed : Revelations is very similar to its predecessors yet it has enough variety to set it apart from the previous games.
In Revelations you take control of Desmond who’s mind is trapped inside the Animus (the machine that is used to look into a person’s past by investigating the DNA). But this Animus is not like any other. It’s the Animus Island which is a failsafe software that keeps Desmond’s mind from collapsing. As the gamer journeys further he meets Subject 16 (refer to: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood) on the Animus island. Desmond must take control of Ezio in this game & must find the secrets locked away in Altair’s library.
As the gamer progresses he will take control of Ezio, Altair & Desmond throughout the game. Ubisoft have included several missions called Desmond’s Journey where the gamer must play as Desmond in a tron like environment.
In the game, there are several new features. For example the hookblade which a hook & a blade. Old Ezio must use this hookblade to perform zipline assassinations, evade enemies & even climb up towers faster than anyone else. New to this game is territory control. Ezio must take control of Byzantine territories & the Byzantines will try to take the occupied territories back by attacking the assassin’s den. This results in a tower defense sort of a mini game in which the gamer must build barricades & order his assassins to slow & kill the byzantine soldiers from destroying the den. It does sound interesting but it gets boring after a while.
What does stay interesting is the main story line &the various ways the gamer accomplish the objectives. Renovate shops to get discounted stuff, generate revenue, catch pick pocketing thieves & much more. The city of Masyaf is a living organism that reacts to the gamers’ actions.
One major addition to the core gameplay is the bomb crafting. Ezio can loot different items from dead soldiers & obtain various materials to make several different bombs like the fake gold bomb which attracts a lot of attention, a fragmentation bomb or a proper grenade & many more. This adds another dimension of strategic gameplay to Revelations & makes the gameplay even more exciting
Multiplayer is not something to write home about but it is there for you to have fun with some friends but the core is in the story mode which leaves the gamer emotionally attached with Ezio & Altair.
The final chapter in the two great assassin’s lives is here & is a must play for all gamers. Whether you’re looking for a quick story mode or looking to put in many many hours playing a single game, Revelations is the only stop you’re going to need.