Just a polished remake with the same character and couple new fancy moves? If that is what you think i suggest you stop reading before SFO (Secret Fan Organization) finds you. You would have to be destroyed, and they would shoot you in the head, and you would die. All lame jokes aside, Assassins Creed is an extremely story driven game, all of them. This is something everyone who played atleast one game in-depth knows. In fact, there is noone who played just one game. Its like reading a book that got interesting and you cant put it away (dumb example, noone reads).
Anyways, Assassins Creed Revelations follows the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the assassin familiar to everyone, who was the series lead character ever since the second game. His motivations will be the main story difference from the other parts he starred in. As most of you know, he always went into action with revenge on his mind. The death of his father and brother in AC II, and his uncles death in Brotherhood, but in Revelations he appears as an older and wiser man (with a lumberjack James Bond beard) seeking to find his own destiny. Ezio is not the only character in Revelations, hero from the first game Altair returns, aswell as Desmond Miles. Following the story of Ezio, since his birth, to his 50s, its sad to know that after Revelations he will no longer be with us because he was not just a character to most gamers, he was a person, with a story we followed from the beginning to the end. I will not spoil the story for you, because that is the most important part of this series. To give you an overview of what is going on, Ezio travels to Constantinople (todays Istanbul) in the 16th century, searching for keys that can open a hidden chamber in Altair’s fortress at Masyaf to find the ultimate weapon against Templars, and as shown in the trailer, Ezio gets ambushed as he arrives to the library. It is this event that sets the wheels of the encounter in motion as the two factions at war now both seek the five keys required to unlock the hidden chamber in the library.
What you probably already assumed is that Revelations got quite a few tweaks in the gameplay. Well, the mechanics are pretty much identical to its prequels, exploration and combat mix with most of the focus going into world details. I can't imagine the effort and time they must have put into making the environment look so lifelike and real. After looking at the city for the first time you will need a couple minutes to pick up your jaw from the floor. Yes its that amazing! The ancient cities have been somewhat recreated with the help of authentic maps and documents, and the world of Revelations looks so alive it simply feels like you went back in time. Ok, enough of the sightseeing. Onwards for great justice!! Wait, what? Erm... The first major addition in the game is a new weapon/accessory. The hookblade. Its exactly what it sounds like, a blade... with a hook. Its positioned on his wrist next to his daggers. Purpose of the hookblade is to extend your reach when climbing and jumping across rooftops all the while making it a lot more faster and smoother giving a nice change of pace. There is also a whole zipline network above the city to which you can attach with it and slide around. You can also release from it and perform attacks on enemies from above making a cool entrance topped by an awesome looking kill. It has its usage as a combat weapon aswell. Cutting throats from a distance, why not? It gives you an option of tripping the opponent and running if time is of the essence, making it a nice exit strategy tool aswell.
The second major addition to the game are bombs. They've become a new fashion line popular with youngster assassin wannabe's (yeah, Ezio is old). I dont know about you, but when i heard "bombs" i was like what? Its a stealth finesse killing game that rewards subtlety more than brute force. Even so, what makes this feature so good is that its opened for creative use. By that i mean - you make your own bombs however you like them. You make them by gathering or buying parts around the city, ending up with hundreds of possible combinations and really putting your imagination to work. I know right? There are several different powders that you can find or create and depending on their capability they will make small focused blasts or explosions that will have a rather large area of effect. This is where strategy comes into play. There are effects other than just making stuff go boom. You can make bombs that will have a timer, so you can use it as a distraction tool without even being there, or even make booby-traps. With a simple tripwire, you can attach a bomb to a guard you just killed for example, and when other guards come to investigate the situation, it explodes leaving you with a nice clear area to work with. A nice new feature if you ask me.
Moving on...What is Stronghold Defence? A kinda weird, new minigame that looks like Tower Defence. Without going too much into it, its about guarding a tower that is your local hideout from an attack by Jannisary troops. They are charging in from the left towards the right and you have to stop them. So, you take up a position on a roof that overlooks a street, place baricades to stop incoming enemies, and buy your own units and lead them into battle. You buy your troops with Morale Points. At start, you get a limited amount of morale to hire leaders, who will later have troops under their command. You start with basic archers and gradually move upwards in terms of unit strength. Next in line are riflemen, who can pierce trough armored enemies and so on... Ah yes, and morale replenishes as your kill count increases. Kinda fun minigame by the looks of it, certainly makes you feel more "in control".. The effect im guessing they were aiming to achieve.
And last but not least, a few words about the multiplayer. Of course by playing only single-player you will get all the pieces required to understand the story, but by playin multiplayer aswell, a bonus is added to the big picture. Ok so, the basic concept of multiplayer is somewhat similar to the one in AC Brotherhood. You basically get assigned a target, and you follow it. Only challenge i see in this is trying to blend in with the crowd, and to look more like a NPC so that you dont get identified. And as you level up, your character goes through a ranking system of Abstergo, which to my understanding is some sort of a front for the Templars (i may be wrong..). So by earning access to new abilities and unlocking stuff, you will also be drawn in the Templars inner circles and thus learn a lot of interesting stuff about the order and about the war with Assassins. So, even if its not fun, do it to add more flavor to the story.
I must say, 2011 has a LOT of steak sauce games, and Assassins Creed Revelations is definately one of them. Its strong story driven gameplay alone is enough to put it in the top games of the year contest and thats without even mentioning the world design. It may not win, or be the best, but it will be an enjoyable experience worth the money.