I never thought I'd see an Assassin's Creed title flying under the radar during the holiday season, at least in the media. It's an odd development considering the series wide appeal and blockbuster production values, but with the likes of Batman, Battlefield, Uncharted and Skyrim in the mix, Assassin's Creed: Revelations has been keeping a relatively low profile. Is Ezio's fatigue finally setting in? Certainly not for the legions of Creed followers just itching for another opportunity to battle the Templar. I happen to fall into that category. Assassin's Creed: Revelations is easily one of my most anticipated titles of 2011.
What's that you say? You'll pay attention again once Assassin's Creed III finally rolls around with a new protagonist and setting in hand? Fair point. Admittedly, Ubisoft has gotten much more milage out of Ezio and the Renaissance period than anyone could've predicted. Over the past few years a new Creed instalment has come out featuring the gaming industry's second-most iconic Italian protagonist, instantly fueling speculation as to where the series will go next. Without fail, Ezio rears his head once again, and there's a reason for that...he's an interesting character and Ubisoft Montreal have been able to successfully find ways to keep integrating Ezio into the series' overarching narrative.
With that in mind, Assassin's Creed Revelations represents the conclusion to the Ezio trilogy. He's an old man in his 50s now, one who should be thinking about settling down. Of course, the life of an Assassin compels him to continue the fight against the Templar and pursuit for truth. Following in the footsteps of Altair, Ezio travels to Constantinople with the aim of putting an end to the centuries-old conflict permanently. Revelations promises to integrate Ezio, Altair and Desmond Miles in ways unseen up to this point.
Aside from the campaign, Revelations is also looking to greatly expand on the multiplayer elements introduced in Brotherhood. We can expect to see more modes, characters and locations this time around. Players will be able to customize their characters and weapons, as well as battle in Capture the Flag and Deathmatch modes. More importantly, Ubisoft Montreal is making an effort integrate narrative elements into multiplayer. Successful players will be rewarded with additional insight into the Abstergo corporation, and everyone will have the ability to participate in matches with bite-sized narratives of their own. Brotherhood's multiplayer was a breath of fresh air, and Revelations seems poised to build on that.
Assassin's Creed Revelations will no doubt be one of 2011's marquee titles when all is said and done. Ubisoft have demonstrated a willingness to move Heaven and Earth (or... hundreds of developers across multiple studios) to ensure a top-tier offering arrives every Autumn. With the conclusion to Ezio's trilogy and expanded multiplayer functionality on the table, Revelations is one to watch in the weeks to come.