I have been a fan of the Assassin's Creed games since the first one and I was looking forward to seeing the return of Altair, as well as a lot of loose ends being tied up that have done nothing but multiplied over the sequels. So what was my reaction when I finished Assassin's Creed Revelations?
Well to put it lightly, I wasn't impressed at all. Read on if you want, but I'll warn you, there are some minor spoilers below.
First of all, everything just seems so rushed. And when I say everything, I mean literally everything. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given the fact that it has only been a year since Brotherhood was released, but Ubisoft can do a lot better than this. It took me about 7 hours to complete Revelations. Okay, 7 hours is a long time, but compare that to Assassin's Creed 2's length. It took me about 20 hours to complete that game. So you can see why I was disappointed, especially considering that Revelations was supposed to wrap everything up. You can't wrap everything up in such a short amount of time, and they actually didn't. The so-called "Revelation" was just a CGI cutscene about something we already knew about, the world ending before and the ones that came before, that's it. I'm all for making the story more interesting but I think the majority of people can agree with me here when I say that this whole 'ones that came before' thing is getting a bit ridiculous now. Even the intro felt rushed because it was basically just an extended version of the CGI trailer shown at E3.
Secondly, there is less of everything. I know that there are some people out there who will say that "less is more", but those people should try playing Revelations. There are less outfits, less missions and less stuff to do in general. We get two cities to explore this time, Constantinople and the underground city (forgot the name). Constantinople is much smaller than Rome and there isn't anything to do at all in the underground city, so it's not even worth mentioning.
New main features are bomb making and the hookblade. Bomb making is fun, but there really isn't any need to use it at all. You can pretty much play through the game (excluding one particular mission) without using them at all. Plus gathering ingredients for the bombs you want can get tedious sometimes. The hookblade is definitely a welcome feature, but there is one problem. When Ubisoft told everyone about ziplining to get accross the city faster, they failed to mention that you could only zipline from a certain side of the city. Of course, they replaced horses with ziplines so if you're on a downhill section of the city you're going to have to walk up like any other normal citizen and believe me when I say that the game puts you in that predicament very regularly.
AC1 players looking forward to the return of Altair will be greatly disappointed to discover that there are only 6 memories actually involving Altair and they are very short. All of them take place in Masyaf and most of the time there can be one of two things you'll be doing: Either fighting your way to the fortress at the top of the hill, or fighting your way to the bottom of the hill. There's even one memory where Altair should be in all fairness wearing his black armour that Ezio acquires during AC2, but for some reason he is still wearing his white robes. Again, it's just something else that seems so overlooked and rushed.
Templar Towers are back from Brotherhood, only this time the Templars can attack your Assassin Dens if Ezio becomes too notorious. Now by reading that, you probably think "oh, that sounds quite good, at least it keeps you occupied". Well, what if I told you that instead of having some regular AC based mission such as perhaps killing the attackers, it goes into this weird mode called 'Den Defence' where you'll be commanding Assassins from the rooftops surrounding the area which you need to defend? It probably doesn't sound too bad with how I described it, but believe me, it really is awful.
Then there's the Desmond memories. I'm sorry for saying this so harshly, but whoever thought of making the Desmond memories how they are should be given the sack. They aren't fun at all, they're just weird gameplay sections that take place in first person view and you've got to make your way around the levels using these blocks which you place down around you to climb places. When you get to a certain part of the level, Desmond will start talking about his past. When Ubisoft said that we'd get an idea of what Desmond's past was before he was captured, this isn't exactly what I had in mind. I would have just settled for regular memories with Desmond being the playable character.
For my last complaint about gameplay... Where the heck did Ubisoft put the VR Training feature? I spent hours on that mode alone, and it definitely would have helped with having nothing to do on this game!
Soundtrack is okay, but it is far too repetitive. The main theme of Revelations plays far too often for its own good. Graphics have improved but there some major glitches on some of the outfits. I know the outfits for Assassin's Creed have always been like this, but Revelations outfits are the worst of them all.
Despite all of the bad things that I'm saying about Revelations however, there are some things about the game that I did like. For example, Ubisoft have finally ditched the silly wanted posters on chimneys. Combat is actually challenging when you're facing higher ranking guards this time, especially now that guns have pretty much replaced archery. Eagle Vision has improved. Finally, the game has the same old AC gameplay that we all love... There just isn't as much to do with it as the previous games.
Now you're all probably wondering why I haven't said anything about the multiplayer so far and that's because I can't say anything. I tried getting into a match and in the entire half an hour it spent in the matchmaking lobby, it didn't find enough people to actually start a match. I also don't like saying much about the multiplayer because Assassin's Creed was just fine without it before, and the singleplayer has really downgraded since Ubisoft decided to introduce the feature.
Revelations is yet another example of a game that becomes too heavily focused on the multiplayer aspect that the singleplayer goes completely downhill as a result. Now I'm not saying that the game is terrible because it is quite decent, but it is definitely not what I have come to expect from an Assassin's Creed game.