The historical hit-man series rides (yet) again
Those familiar with the Assassin's Creed series will know that it is a curious blend of science fiction and historical intrigue. The basic idea is that in the present day, a chap named Desmond is popped into a machine that allows him to relive the memories of his ancestors, Altair and Ezio, both of whom were part of a mysterious Assassin's guild.
In Assassin's Creed Revelations, you get to play all three characters at various points. The game picks up directly where the previous title (Assassin's Creed Brotherhood) left off, so if you're new to the series, you may well be left somewhat bamboozled by its convoluted plot, despite an early cutscene that attempts to fill in the story so far.
Revelations is the fourth major PC release for the Assassin's Creed franchise in as many years and there is a definite sense that the format is beginning to grow a little stale. To counter this, the developers have introduced a number of new gameplay elements, such as a defence mini-game, where groups of assassins can be deployed to protect certain areas against attack from waves of enemy troops. There are also several slightly surreal first-person platforming sections.
By and large, however, it's the tried-and-tested areas of the game that remain more successful, whether you're parkour-ing around Istanbul's rooftops or stealthily tracking your prey before leaping from the shadows to make your kill. Revelations has a lengthy single-player campaign with large open-world areas that get even bigger as you explore. It also has a fun multiplayer element, with a selection of assassin-themed online modes that allow you to develop your character the more you play.
Visually, Revelations is easily the most accomplished game in the series so far. Cityscapes often resemble Renaissance paintings, while characters' faces are varied and brimming with personality. The game's system requirements aren't the most stringent we've seen, but a reasonably recent graphics card is needed to enjoy the full effect of the visuals and we'd definitely recommend using a game controller over keyboard and mouse control.
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A fun romp for newcomers, but old-hands will have seen it all before
Large, open worlds to explore; gorgeous visuals; multiplayer allows for character development
Rather convoluted story; gameplay will feel stale for veterans; new gameplay elements aren't very successful
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