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Assassin's Creed Revelations has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Assassin's Creed Revelations has a balletic multiplayer experience. A subtle, elegant and engaging dance unique in the third-person action genre..."
- Dressup Gamer (Sun, 25 Mar 2012)
"perhaps the most obvious way in which games are becoming like films, to return (briefly) to that whole thorny hornets' nest, is the relative prevalence of sequels/prequels/reboots over and against novel, non-franchised titles (in the upper strata, at least)..."
- Tired Gamer (Tue, 27 Dec 2011)
"Assassin's Creed: Revelations builds in every conceivable direction. More space, more toys and more variety combine to create some incredible possibilities..."
- Novel Gamer (Sat, 17 Dec 2011)
"Assassin's Creed Revelations 360 sees Ezio getting older, and the series itself seems to be showing signs of age. Although Revelations feels a little tired in places, it still provides satisfying closure for Ezio and Altair's stories..."
- Story Gamer (Mon, 12 Dec 2011)
"Assassin's Creed Revelations packs in the kitchen sink, but somehow gets away with it. The campaign may struggle to maintain attention with so much else to do, but in terms of variety this is the series' Piece de resistance..."
- Multiplayer Gamer (Wed, 30 Nov 2011)
Assassin's Creed: Revelations shows off its multiplayer and demos its single player. This will be another inventive chapter drawing on compelling environments and complex distractions for which the series has become famous.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations had a strong presence at the Eurogamer Expo in London's Earls Court this September. The multiplayer component was playable on the show floor, while the single player game was demoed on stage to a packed hall at one of the Expo's developer sessions.
The developers explained a little of the game's story, showing some of the game's key locations. With Desmond in a coma and the Animus in Critical Mode, this virtual world will be a different, broken place, and some concept art was shown of Desmond in a fantastical landscape with an unreal stone artefact.
However, most of the game will take place in Constantinople, a more exotic city compared to the classical, smooth lines of Rome or Florence. It's a big location, a cosmopolitan trading city where Europe meets Asia, and the hills of Constantinople should offer some stunning vistas.
Different areas of Constantinople will have a different flavour, from the crooked houses of the poorest districts to the dense opulence of the commercial district, and Ubisoft are using different colour palettes to vary the mood.
Footage shows Ezio arrives in Constantinople, starting with the climax of a chase sequence through snowy mountains. After a carriage crash Ezio is left injured and unable to perform his usual free-running tricks, instead proceeding on foot through an atmospheric, freezing landscape, taking out Templar guards along the way.
The older Ezio seen here is striking, a grey wolf in the winter, and while a visit to a health station eventually restores his parkour skills (the developers deciding not to let the passing years impede the player's abilities in-game), Ezio's actions are less flamboyant and more focused now. Age and wisdom have also sharpened his eagle vision, with Ezio able to follow glowing trails of his targets.
As well as the welcome return of the Brotherhood - with Ezio recruiting new assassins in Constantinople - Revelations introduces some new game mechanics, and the demo saw Ezio accessing assassin bomb-stations to craft explosives. A new secondary weapon wheel will allow quick access to bombs in combat, and mines can be used to take out patrolling guards.
Other tricks will include chase breakers, as previously seen in Brotherhood's multiplayer mode - when pursued by guards Ezio will be able to toss a handful of tacks behind him, slowing down his pursuers and allowing his escape.
This time, Ezio's mission isn't one of revenge, but of knowledge, and that hunt will take him (and Desmond) back into the memories of Altair. The developers demoed one such sequence, set before the events of the first game, where Altair has to battle a Templar villain called the Crusader.
Masyaf (also seen in Ezio's timeline during the game's opening acts) is perhaps an even more stunning environment than before, with Altair exploring the castle's heights as he hunts down his nemesis.
For Desmond to get out of his coma he needs to find a nexus point where his, Altair's and Ezio's memories intersect, so expect the three timelines to draw together as the game progresses.
From the footage shown so far, Assassin's Creed: Revelations looks like another excellent, inventive instalment in the series, with the rich environments and complex distractions of the last two games as well as some fresh innovations.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is released for 360, PS3 and PC on 15 November 2011.
Assassin's Creed Revelations 360/PS3 walks the path of its predecessors. A new setting, fresh gameplay and Ezio's concluding story will quickly attract fans of the series. The bigger challenge here is engaging newcomers -- both painting a compelling picture of the game and providing easy access to the complex mechanics.
Assassin's Creed Revelations is the fourth instalment in the series and the culmination of Ezio's adventure through time, culture and hiding in hay carts. Even the first game, in what has now become a leading franchise, impressed with fluid climbing exploration and innovative social gameplay mechanics -- using crowds, city architecture and society to achieve the different missions. Each sequel has fleshed out this experience while at the same time expanding its scope. This sequel promises to be no different and expand further on its success.
In Revelations, you will play again as Ezio Auditore as he revisits the footsteps of his ancestor, Altair, and concludes his mysterious adventure. It is a journey that will take him (and you) to the cities of Constantinople at the time of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilize the region.
It is the realisation of these locations and cultures that has been a big part of Assassin's Creed attraction. The games have worked through various historic eras and famous locations, each with attention to detail and a distinct feel.
Talk to fans about their hopes for the series and they will say as much about the cities and times they'd like to see Assassin's Creed recreate as the gameplay itself. The thought of taking Ezio to feudal Japan, futuristic Tokyo or even modern day Gotham or Metropolis has often been suggested and is a mouthwatering prospect for some future iteration of the game. Assassin's Creed, more so than any other game, is about place.
Assassin's Creed Revelations will doubtless tweak the gameplay mechanics, and offer a more expansive way to progress. Brotherhood was praised for its city management gameplay that at times turned the action adventure into a Sim City style strategy. Online multiplayer will also be refined and expanded, with more modes, maps and characters to choose from. There is not mention at this stage of a co-operative mode for the main campaign, but I suspect that is relatively likely.
Most tantalising of the changes though is the promise of a new mechanic that enables players to manipulate the city itself. With echoes of Ghost Trick's ability to rewind time, I expect this to take the game in a more puzzle oriented direction.
Assassin's Creed Revelations is certainly being pitched just right for fans of the series. Not too much innovation, with more focus on the story and characters. It's impressive that a series that was original received with mixed reactions has evolved into a comprehensive and well rounded experience.
The challenge for Revelations is its ability to draw in new players to such a highly developed world and experience, while not alienating the faithful. It's a given that those who have played through the previous adventures will be keen to get their hands on Ezio's conclusion, but there is an awful lot to learn and get to grips with for a newcomer.
Assassin's Creed Revelations will be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC this November. There is no mention, at this stage, of a Assassin's Creed released for DS, 3DS, PSP or Wii (which have previously seen spin off titles released alongside the main console version).
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: