July 18, 2012

Assassin’s Creed Revelations (Day 2)

In my previous blog, I expressed my concern that Assassin’s Creed Revelations might be a tad too easy. It was a simple matter to counter attack one insignificant guard, then use the execution streak to dispatch the rest of his insignificant friends. Not only that, but Ezio’s massive arsenal of sharp, deadly objects made killing as easy (and often) as breathing. The first Assassin’s Creed made killing nice and simple. You used your hidden blade for stealth kills, your sword and/or dagger for close combat, throwing knives for baddies you couldn’t reach, and your good ole’ fists for interrogation. However, combat in the Assassin’s Creed series has evolved since then, and now it’s a wonder how Ezio can walk with the weight of all of the weapons he carries around. But I am happy to say that the difficulty curve has indeed ramped up.

With the addition of the execution streak in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Ezio could sweep through whole platoons without even having to look. Well, enter the Janissaries, the elite royal guards that will ruin your beautiful wave of mass murder and spit on your corpse. While most guards can easily be dismissed with a knife to the face, the Janissaries will take close to ten stabs before they even acknowledge your petty attempts. They can also shoot guns that hit for half your health, counter your counter-attacks, and throw bombs at their feet that blow you to bits but don’t do more damage to them than cover their ridiculous helmets with ash. In addition to the Janissaries are the new and improved roof guard annoyances. In some places, there are riflemen stationed inside buildings that can shoot the dust of your boots a hundred feet away. And since they are inside, you can’t kill them, making traveling harder.

In an attempt to tell you as much about the story as I can without spoiling the incredible golden nugget that is the plot, my story telling may be limited. But without further ado, here’s some of what happened today:

Today I climbed to the top of what I believe to be the tallest building in Constantinople. I forget what it was called so I shall call it The Cylinder. While I was enjoying the sights, I decided to perform a leap of faith with my new buddy Yusuf Tazim, the leader of the Assassin’s in Constantinople. With no fear, we gracefully flung ourselves off The Cylinder and probably broke the sound barrier with our speed on the way down. No worries however, for we landed safely in a continently placed bale of hay. Later on I met Sofia Sartor, an Italian that sailed on the same ship as me to Constantinople. She is the owner of a bookstore that used to be Niccolo Polo’s former trading post. Ezio, searching for the remaining Masyaf keys, winds up at her shop. After a brief, friendly greeting, Ezio opens up a secret door into what is technically the store’s basement and tells Sofia that he will return. And return he did, with a key and a map — after murdering an entire Templar expedition. He and Sofia strike a deal: she finds the books that show the location of the Masyaf keys and she gets to keep the books.

Soon, Sofia finds a book and it leads Ezio to none other than The Cylinder. Ezio scales the building without trouble and enters looking for the next key. Apparently, regular maintenance workers were slacking off, and Ezio falls through the building and into a massive and gorgeous underground ravine. But even beautiful scenery cannot stop Ezio, and he trudges on through until he finds the second key. Like the first key, the second one also contains memories from the assassin, Altaïr. And as Ezio finds more of the keys, the mystery of Altaïr’s life begins to unfold…

Image Credit: Ubisoft

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