installed and played on X360

plot and story - 3/5

Ever filled with plot turns and cliffhangers, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Revelations finished the story of Altair Ibn La Ahad and foreshadows the winding years of Ezio Auditore. The main plot line for ACR is that Ezio is relinquishing the Templar hold on Constantinople, repairing the Assassin Order, and finding what secrets Altair's library has hidden away from the world. Desmond's tale is progressed just slightly but he's in a coma caused by the animus for the *entire* game! Don's get your hopes up for using Desmond's new skills and talents he's learned from Ezio and Altair. The Apple of Eden shows up yet again but only to kill Templars at the hand of Altair and the tease the player of it's power in the next game. More questions are placed in your minds and fewer answers are given to you. I'm taking away points in this category because after three games, players are becoming a bit impatient. It's neat to see Altair regain his honor and still kill at age 92 and watch Ezio rebuild the order, but we need more satisfaction Ubisoft.

setting and level design 4/5

Constantinople is a fantastic environment for the time frame of the game and the overall history of the city. Constantinople is massive; many shops, small buildings, tall towers, and all the usual parkour-style atmosphere you need in an Assassin's Creed game. The addition of the hook-blade allows for convenient use zip-lines placed in strategic spots in the city. Zip-lines are a nice way to clear a lot of space in a short time and air assassinations from the line are very entertaining. My only quarrel with ACR's level design is that it's too cluttered. Many of the avenues and paths to take are littered with obstacles, some you cant jump over or on, and most of the traveling becomes annoying and redundant. The game can be a joy, but add in some hard terrain to traverse and your enjoyment can turn to disdain in a heart-beat.

graphics and visuals- 4/5

ACR has boosted their graphics to show off better facial expressions and more dynamic environments. However, many building and walkways have surely been recycled from previous games, as well as bystanders, textures, and flora. There's not much new to look at other than the improved lighting and colour palette used by the designers, and the different animations the developers have included with conversations and combat.

sound music and dialogue- 3/5

There's not much to say in this category for a game like ACR. Orchestral music whispers in the background as you sneak around coves, awnings, and roofs before the kill. Turkish instruments are audible as you run around the city and give a good sense of immersion. ACR is filled with all the same sound effects found in previous games such as: opening chests, finishing a mission, lowered health bar, running out of time, etc. I cannot give ACR a full 5 out of 5 on this category because nothing spectacular is heard from this game that is memorable, meaningful, or ignites a response by the listener.

gameplay and controls- 3/5

The Assassin's Creed series is full of detailed button combinations, swift controller operations, and the ability to make your trigger finger numb from constant holding. ACR is the most detailed in the series in terms of button controls, so when AC1 had problems with controls you should know that ACR does as well. Haphazard reaction times from controller to Ezio can be a headache, mistakes are frequent because controller lag or character animation fumbles, and game glitches are always present. Sprinting and jumping can be a breeze but the camera doesn't always follow so traveling with speed can be a hassle.

New Features:
Crafting Bombs has been added and creates a whole new way to set up the assassinations. I opted to ignore the bombs because of slow time to target and most decoys or smoke bombs didn't work in my favor. Ingredients to craft bombs are hidden in chests everywhere in the city, on soldiers and militia, and given as rewards to missions and received when your underlings complete their missions. As i chose not to create and use bombs the ingredients I collected sold for a very pretty penny and increased my wallet weight quickly. There are three different types of bombs; Explosions, Decoys, Tactical: but each can be built with different effects.

The Hook-Blade is given to you by a fellow assassin and is used to increase your range when scaling cliffs, ladders, walls, buildings, and anything else in the world. Tapping of holding the "jump" button allows Ezio to leap upward and catch an otherwise out of reach ledge or hand-hold. When jumping from building to building or ledge to ledge and you know you're not going to make it you can hold out your Hook-Blade to catch a nearby coping or edge to prevent falling.

Eagle Sense is an improved version of Eagle Vision from previous games. In ACR Ezio has aged and with his years he's crafted the art of reading people and intuition. With Eagle Sense you can see guard patrol patterns, places of interest like hiding spots, discover hidden doors and rooms, decipher people's real motives, and track certain characters.

Templar Dens are Assassin headquarters taken over and re purposed for their deeds. Templar Dens are my least favorite part about ACR; in fact, it's so annoying and hair-pulling that I quit the game on a number of occasions because of these buildings and the migraines they cause. When you discover a Den you need to use your Eagle Sense to track the Den Captain. The Templar Captain is a "COWARD," as the game quotes and warns you that if the Captain learns of your attack on the Den he'll flee and hide, leaving you to fend off the guards and wait a full day to try and kill him again. After you dispatch the cowardly Captain you ignite a signal fire and you get cozy in your newly acquired base for your activities. 

My hatred for Templar Dens is that after you capture one it immediately goes on the radar of other Templars and they threated to retake it for their control. When you accept to fight them off you are prompted with a strategic game resembling Tower Defense or a less hardcore version of Horde Mode from Gears of War. Different Dens have different battle zones and you are gifted a certain amount of morale points. With morale points you can place assassins, gunners, barricades, and cannons to hold their ground and battle wave after wave of Templar as they try and make their way to your Den to burn it down; if they succeed you lose your den and restart the area with a newly appointed Den Captain. The problem with this mini game is that the Templars will win fifty percent of the time. After they overtake you rage can fill your thoughts quickly but don't throw your controller; restrain yourself.

After many rage-quits and screaming at my tv the way I combated the incessant task of the Dens is that after i retook all of them and once I controlled the city I never protected my assassin HQ again. This sounds like I'm betraying my virtual brethren but the Templars never overtook my HQ once I killed their Captain and made my home there. The icon on the mini-map will blink for ages and the prompt script will tell you to help but you will remain in control of the city. There is a chance they will take back the Den, but I never had this happen. The strategic mini-game of Assassin Tower Defense should be fun for some, but it's not enjoyable for me.

difficuly replayability and entertainment- 3/5

Difficulty here can be enormous or minuscule depending on your clocked hours in the Animus and how you can adapt to the city and the controls. Gameplay functions can be a pain at times and the specific timing and button controls take precision and attention to perform; not to mention persistence if you get it wrong. Add strategic planning, patience, and determination to the mix and Assassin's Creed can be a very entertaining thrill ride or a poster-child for throwing your system out a window.

Replayability is moderate. You can continue to play your campaign after you complete the game and increase your income and assassin guild but after the main missions there isn't much to do except search for collectibles. If you're a perfectionist you can go back in time and replay the missions you didn't get 100% sync on.

ACR's entertainment value is moderate as well. There's quite a bit here to keep you away from boredom but the cityscape becomes boring, the plot starts to wane, and gameplay quirks can make you quit for a day or two. The "thrill of the kill" moments are always there so don't get worries that Assassin's Creed is losing it's muster, but it does have parts that are lack-luster.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations gets a score of 20/30
 


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