by Josh Butler
previewed on PS3
At first glance, 'Revelations' is an unfortunate subtitle for Asassin's Creed's fourth console release. Echoing the title of a disappointing finale to a sci-fi trilogy may not carry the best connotations for the third and final title in the Ezio saga. Also, the intrigue of the word is somewhat diluted by the fact that last-minute 'revelations' have become a staple in the dying breaths of each and every one of the series' targets.
Taking a biblical slant (which is, of course, another Assassin's Creed staple) we could be talking 'Revelations' revelations. The last book - a final word as momentous as it is confounding; as earth-shattering as it is fascinating. In this light, maybe the apparent cliché of the subtitle isn't a lazy buzzword at all, but a hint at the epoch-changing events that will lead to the series hitting the big III.
Understanding the plot
Brotherhood was a shock. Not for how easily it infiltrated the online scene with its cat-and-mouse multiplayer – an idea so ingenious it seems to make its originators appear paradoxically stupid for not thinking of it sooner – but for its single-player; or more specifically, that there was one. Boxed in with this heavily-marketed and remarkably complete multiplayer experience was a whole new instalment in the Assassin’s Creed narrative. With this, Ezio went from being the second assassin to star in his own stand-alone title, to the protagonist of a trilogy, one that finds its end in Revelations.
This closing chapter of Ezio's story of religion and conspiracy picks up after Brotherhood as he embarks on a pilgrimage of self-discovery to the homeland of his ancestor, Altaïr. There he discovers that his predecessor once hid an artefact in the order’s stronghold which has the potential to finally end the war between Assassins and Templars. First he must uncover the five seals scattered around the city of Constantinople, each one carrying an imprint of Altaïr’s memories where the two assassins’ paths will overlap.
This all takes place through the prism of a comatose Desmond in 2012. Relying on the Animus as life-support, he falls in to a sub-system known as the ‘Black Room’ which he hopes to use to access Ezio’s memories of accessing Altaïr’s and thereby connect the fragments of his psyche.
Reinventing the kill
Far simpler to explain than the elaborate plot is Ezio’s new weaponry. One major addition is the hookblade. A variation of the hidden blade, it allows Ezio to utilize ziplines placed around the city for a quick escape. These ziplines will appear in greater frequency wherever you have established an Assassin’s Den. The hookblade has its advantages in combat too, where it can catch targets and bring them in for a closer kill.