Published Dec 13, 2011The thing about trilogies – and although this is technically the fourth entry in the studio's flagship franchise, the Florence-based Assassin's Creed 2 and its Rome-set sequel, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, are best considered a single two-part take – is that the final entries often lack the freshness of the debut and the up-and-running excitement of the middle chapter.
The narrative requirements of finishing up the tale can also tie the hands of the tellers, and Revelations is no exception. It's even more hamstrung by the intricate complexity of its historical yet sci-fi story of a war between the Assassin's Guild and the Knights Templar, which has been fought since the Middle Ages.
This closing chapter sees the Renaissance-era hero, Ezio Auditore, a now grey-haired 50-year-old, scouring the sprawling sandbox of Ottoman Empire-era Constantinople to find out what happened to the Crusades-era original hero, Altair, after the first game ended.
Ubisoft's decision to bring their two protagonists and storylines together proves quite inspired, as does the time-folding narrative needed to explain it all. It also gives us more on info on Ezio and Altair's present-day descendant, the hoodie-adorned Desmond Miles, who is in a coma and mentally trapped inside the cyber world of the Animus, the deus ex machine device that allows this whole game to happen. By the end, they've sent the story in new direction for subsequent sequels.
As far as the game play, it's the same-old mix of stealthy combat and parkour-based movement. It's still enjoyable, to be sure, though the missions can get repetitive pretty fast and the new tower defence-inspired mini-game isn't much fun.
But the problem is that due to the constraints of the series' now-annual release dates, the game simply feels too familiar when it promises to be a revelation. (Ubisoft)