Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the third and final chapter in the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who started off as an impulsive ladies man but has now matured to become a master assassin. In Revelations he's much older, wiser, and unfortunately plagued by his past.
As far as farewells go, Assassin's Creed Revelations is a fine send off for Ezio. It has easily the most gripping story in the series to date, and provides answers to a lot of the questions that have been building in the fans' heads. Of course, it doesn't give too much away about the wider Assassin's Creed mysteries, as there's another game coming out next year.
Revelations takes place in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the year 1511, with Ezio on a mission to find five keys hidden by his ancestor and mentor Altair. The keys will unlock a powerful secret under Masyaf, a castle that once served as home to the Assassin Order, but things won't be easy as antagonists the Templars are also on the same quest.
The city of Constantinople plays a major part of Revelations, delivering a stunning portrayal of a city historically known as the crossroads of the world. A melting pot of different religions, cultures and races, it's bustling with life and places to explore that serve up plenty of interesting encounters and environmental challenges for the acrobatic, roof-climbing Ezio.
The city is split into multiple areas, each of which has a unique style and feel from the other, from the interweaving streets of the Galata district to the lush, green locations of the Imperial district and the ship-laden docks. It's a joy to explore.
Revelations introduces a handy new tool for Ezio dubbed the Hookblade, which doubles up as both a hidden blade and a new way of navigating the city's rooftops. By holding circle, or the B button, Ezio will stick out his blade and latch on to any protruding surfaces in his path. This means that he can leap across much wider gaps and scale building much faster. Not bad for an old man.
Another new mechanic in Revelations is the ability to make bombs. By looting ingredients from chests and enemies or purchasing them from stores, three different types of bombs can be created; lethal, tactical and diversion, all of which have different properties and uses. There are a substantial amount of different bomb types in the game so you're encouraged to be adventurous with your crafting.
Although it might not be the headline act, Revelations also features a stellar multiplayer component. Developed by the team behind the excellent Splinter Cell Mercs Vs Spies mode, it sees players aligning themselves with either the Assassins or the Templars and hunting down their enemies. As with the single player game, the focus is on staying hidden, stalking targets and picking the right moment to strike. Overzealous killers leaping out to pin down their prey will often find themselves on the sharp end of another player's blade. The multiplayer's slower pace and more thoughtful approach to gameplay makes a refreshing change from the run and gun shooters dominating the market and is well worth investing time in once you're done and dusted with the single player campaign.
Taking the tried and tested gameplay from previous efforts and introducing some great new weapons and ways of exploring its wonderful world, Assassin's Creed: Revelations is arguably the best game in the series so far. If you're a fan of the franchise, picking up Revelations is a no-brainer, but it's also a great place for those that haven't played the previous games to start, as it kicks off with an in-depth recap of all the events, meaning you won't feel like you've missed out on a thing.
+ Beautiful City.
+ Cool new weapons.
+ Story answers some burning character questions.
- Formula feels a little familiar.
- Story can baffle on occasion.
- Short on revelations about the wider series.