E3 2011: Assassin's Creed: Revelations (Impressions)

by: Tina -
More On: E3 2011 Assassin's Creed Revelations
Game: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Window/Date: November 15th
What works: Revelations features a beautiful environment rife with historical elements. The upcoming iteration will also see several new advancements in combat, making you feel even more like an epic assassin.
What needs work: As far as I can tell, both the action and storyline elements of Revelations seem up to par with the rest of the franchise. I’d just like to see more of Desmond and Altair soon.

The Assassin’s Creed franchise covers a long history of a conflict between the Templars and Assassins throughout a large timeline intermingled with (not always historically accurate) history. We’ve seen the various tales of Desmond, Altair and Ezio as they learn the ways of the Assassins on their respective journey. Nearing the potential end of the war against the Templars, however, this upcoming title - Assassin’s Creed: Revelations - in the series will see the three characters involved in one game.

The demonstration we were privy to on the E3 showfloor is very much similar to the reveal trailer at Ubisoft’s press conference. We see old-man Ezio embarking on a dangerous journey in Constantinople in search of artifacts that Altair has allegedly stowed away. Players will have to once again venture into the memories of their ancestors to find hidden clues and abilities that guide them to their destination and goal.

Although the storyline seems to go very much in line with the series’ predecessors, there are several new gameplay components that will prove to spice up the already invigorating stealth-action (is that an oxymoron?) that we’ve all come to know and love in Assassin’s Creed titles. One of these components that was made to be more prominent in the gameplay demonstration at E3 was the hookblade. Ezio is more than daring, and so this tactic of leaping across from platform to platform with the hookblade is certainly appropriate. After Ezio is seen burning down ships and tackling his enemies, he’ll be swinging from boat to boat with the hookblade, and even using the mid-air advantage to take down several enemies at once. It’s both playful and stimulating, and a welcomed addition to the combat in Assassin’s Creed.

There are also a vast array of bombs at our disposal in Revelations. One of these was the smoke bomb that renders the area around Ezio in a cloud of smoke, after which he can activate his sights to identify his enemies. While they’re blindly swinging at smoke, you can easily roll over enemies and knock them to the ground.

One thing Ubisoft certainly knows how to do, is make playing Assassin’s Creed feel like you’re an actual assassin. There are very many tools and ridiculous moves you can pull off with finesse to warrant that feeling. Part of the experience beyond being an assassin, however, is to explore the worlds of historical importance like the areas covered in Constantinople. As we traversed the bazaars and crossroads of Constantinople, our lead developer at the controls explained the various world influences on the architectural and stylistic designs to be found everywhere.

Ezio has to break a chain blockade that is stopping ships’ pathways across the water in the mission that was revealed at E3. It’s during this mission that will eventually lead to the mass destruction at his hand’s, but also break open the path for his ship to pass through and escape the city. I can’t say whether or not this massive destruction will be a recurring quality for Revelations, but I can definitely say that Ezio at least has the knack for it.

Lastly, I think it’s worth mentioning that Ubisoft chose the best song for their trailer at this year’s E3. Their CGI trailer featured “Iron” by Woodkid and, hey, at least it wasn’t Kanye West’s “Power” again amirite?