July 19, 2012

Assassin’s Creed Revelations (Day 3)

As I rounded the final corner of the Assassin’s Creed Revelations story and saw the end rapidly getting closer, the sadness and satisfaction of two epic tales coming to a close tugged on my withered heart strings. Assassin’s Creed Revelations was tasked with the difficult assignment to bring the legends of Ezio and Altaïr to a glorious conclusion. Despite the odds, Assassin’s Creed Revelations came through with such a strong finish that none could doubt its incredibility.

There were times when I wasn’t sure it would hold up to its previous, talented siblings. At one point, I was afraid that its creative action spark might have gotten snuffed under the bomb making system that seemed so unnecessarily complicated and tedious that one would need an excel spread sheet to properly do it. But just as I began to wonder what had happened to its energy, I was immediately given a mission to blow up the entire harbor and sail to a secret underground city in a cave. I could barely aim the 16th century flamethrower because I was giggling like an idiot from the excitement of pure destruction. Which brings me to another point: Assassin’s Creed Revelations is a game for both stealth and carnage lovers.

The game has a good balance of sneaking around and slitting people’s throats without notice and of rushing in with swords, guns, and bombs and ripping things up. At some points, you are forced to take a certain option. Sometimes, you will be forced to ninja your way through a Janissary camp and poison their leader with a dart while he’s drinking coffee. On other occasions, such tactics would be impossible and your only option would be to kick the doors open and murder everything that moves inside.

You still have the optional full synch mechanic that has transferred over from Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. The optional full synchs are basically optional challenges that you can do during missions to mix things up. For example, if the mission is to navigate a labyrinth with fifty bloodthirsty guards who all want to use your innards as fine jewelry, and the optional full synch is to do the mission blindfolded while only wearing teacups for protection, you can still get the mission done without blindfolds or teacups, but you only get 50% synch. However, if you do the optional full synch, you will get 100% synch, and thus will be allowed to feel good about yourself for not halfway doing it. Some of the optional full synchs are reasonable such as getting from point A to point B without being detected, but some are just ridiculously tedious. All of the optional full synchs can be done without too much trouble, but some are just annoying. There’s one mission where the optional synch is to kill five people from a bale of hay, which isn’t awfully hard. It’s just boring to try to lure five guards close to a hay bale, then taking them out one by one without their thick-skulled friends noticing.

But I digress because these complaints are insignificant compared to the amazing story of Assassin’s Creed Revelations. And as I tumbled off the cliff with that wretched Templar dog, my punches were only half-hearted; the rest of me not being able to cope with the fact that Altaïr and Ezio’s tales would finally cease. In denial of their inescapable endings, I crawled unwillingly back to Altaïr’s library in Masyaf, armed with the five keys, Ezio’s new Italian girlfriend, and the usual arsenal of deadly weapons. With the keys, I opened the door to the library to find one of the greatest, most beautiful endings in video game history. Never, had a series ever been able to bring me so attached to its characters. Never, had a series been able to bring my twitching dead ice block of a heart sputtering back to feeble life. Well, congratulations Ubisoft for making an incredible game with an ending that made me cry.

Image Credit: Ubisoft

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