Thursday 8 December 2011

Gaming Reviews

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Available now on PS3 (Version Tested), Xbox 360, PC)
Review by Blake Harmer

Fans of shanking people in the face with hidden blades rejoice! Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is here to bring a close to Ezio’s Saga and keep us sated until the next game introduces the next of Desmond’s anti-Templar ancestors. However, the main reason for rejoicing is that this isn’t just a cheap rehashing of Brotherhood with more missions but actually brings new experiences to the table making this one of the best Assassin’s Creed games yet.

Following on immediately from the events of Brotherhood the plot follows Desmond trying to piece together Altair and Ezio’s secrets in order to awaken from being stuck in a coma in the Animus and learn more about the pieces of Eden. If you don’t understand this sentence, then this game is not for you. Revelations requires you to have a thorough grounding in the previous games to actually have a chance at understanding the plot (which is now beginning to reach Metal Gear Solid levels of complexity it seems), but hey what do you expect from the fourth game in a series? This is a shame, as from a gameplay perspective; this is probably the strongest game in the series.

Revelations makes sure to deliver rather than being a cheap update of Brotherhood in several ways. Firstly, Ezio’s new tool, the hook blade adds huge amounts of depth to your free running, making it more fluid and allowing you access pretty much anywhere in the game with grace and ease. Secondly, Ezio’s second new ability to make bombs adds a lot more strategy to the gameplay and isn’t as gimmicky as it first sounded when it was announced. For example, you can use bombs to cause distractions without killing nearby people to lure Templars away, but they can also be used for destruction or to escape as well depending on what you use to create them.

Finally, pretty much all of what made Brotherhood great has been tweaked and improved upon. For example, Templar Towers have now been replaced by dens, which can be attacked and reclaimed by the Templars should you bring too much attention to yourself. Defending these spots are done through the use of a tower defence style mini games which are surprisingly well created and just as addictive as the likes of Plants vs. Zombies. Also, navigating the city is easier by having most of the tunnels unlocked from the off which is a godsend considering how big the game’s sandbox is.

At the end of the day, there are a few niggles with Revelations that still need addressing. Free running can still end up having you do a sort of leap of faith when the speed picks up which still means you may end falling and losing lots of health at an important moment, and I thought some of the boundaries for the missions could have been clearer, especially as in one mission I was desynchronised for running ten metres away from the guy I was protecting even though I was doing so to off a guard. But that said these niggles are minor and don’ really detract from the overall enjoyment of the game, and seeing there have been so many improvements to the game, this is a fitting swan song to end Ezio’s story and get us ready for the next full sequel to the series.

The Emotionally Fourteen Games Rating
: The games have always been gorgeous, but Revelations, especially with its new eastern locales, looks stunning.
Gameplay: Improved sword play along with the addition of bomb crafting, tower defence style mini games and the new hook blade improving free running make this the best Assassin’s Creed yet.
Lasting Appeal: A long story, side quests and loads of collectables means that purists will be at this for hours before they reach 100%, and that’s not including the new Improved online mode.
Summary: Whilst the uninitiated will be left confused by the plot, devotees to the series will enjoy one of the best Assassin’s Creed games yet. Sure there are still a couple of slight niggles here and there, but this is still a great game and a superb final bow for Ezio. 9/10

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