E3 2011: Assassin's Creed: Revelations Preview

By Darryl Kaye on June 16, 2011, 3:50PM EDT

You only have to look at sales figures to see that Assassin's Creed has exploded onto the scene this console generation. Ever since that first trailer appeared, people were automatically curious and while the first game split gamers, the second and third main installments into the franchise more than made up for it. But when speculation about the fourth installment began, many believed it would be Assassin's Creed 3. Instead, Assassin's Creed: Revelations appears to round out the story of Ezio Auditore and from what we've seen and heard, it looks like it will be another fully complemented addition to the franchise, much like Brotherhood was before it.

For this iteration into the Assassin's Creed universe, you'll be able to play as Ezio (from Assassin's Creed 2/Brotherhood), Altair (protagonist from the original Assassin's Creed) and the over-arching character, Desmond. It was revealed in one of the spin-off titles that Altair travelled to the middle-east to search out Genghis Khan. And while trying to find the final key to unlocking Altair's secrets, Ezio too travels this path. It leads him to the Ottoman Empire, specifically the heart of it in Constantinople.

Ezio is quite a bit older now though, he's coming to the end of his life. And Assassin's Creed: Revelations will tackle his final chapter "“ it will bring an end to Ezio Auditore's story. A rather risky move in the eyes of many people, it's rare for franchises to show their protagonists age in such a way.

The good news is that his combat proficiency won't be hindered by his age "“ he's stayed in good shape. In fact, he's now enhanced some of his skills because of his experience. Eagle Vision has now been replaced by Eagle Sense, and we're told that this will allow Ezio to do much more than he could before. One example, shown during the Ubisoft press conference, was of Ezio using a smoke bomb to confuse guards, while he enabled Eagle Sense and dispatched them with relative ease.

Ezio also has a new trick up his sleeve, quite literally. Because Constantinople is a city which is built on a bit of a slant, the developers decided to allow the Assassin's to use this to their advantage. Zip lines will be placed throughout the city for quick travelling, and Ezio now has a hook blade attached to his right wrist in order to facilitate their usage. He can use the hook blade in combat too, as it enables him to pull enemies close to him for a pummeling, but it will also allow him to climb quite a lot quicker than in previous games. This may well see the removal of the awkward "quick climb" which featured in the two previous titles.

Another new mechanic for this iteration is the ability to customise bombs. While bombs as a concept aren't new to the franchise, we're told that in Revelations, Ezio will be able to tinker with bombs to make numerous types. This functionality is said to carry over to the multiplayer component of the game too, although Ubisoft haven't yet specified how much depth it will have in that aspect of the game.

The demo itself didn't show a great deal of the game, instead highlighting a few of the new mechanics while attempting to dazzle audiences with a huge chase scene at the end. But Ubisoft has stated that Desmond will play an even greater role this time around "“ people have a lot of questions after the ending of the previous title. He's seen his playing time gradually increased as the series has progressed, but with Altair also being playable, hopefully the story won't suffer as a result "“ there could be too much shifting around everywhere.

With the mutiplayer set to expand further and the story bringing an end to a rather solid protagonist, Assassin's Creed: Revelations is shaping up to be one of the must have titles of 2011. Fans of the franchise will surely find something to enjoy and if it's anything like Brotherhood, there will be plenty to keep you occupied for a while. Plus, fans of the original will also get to check out Altair one last time without having to pop Assassin's Creed back in their console.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is due out on the 15th of November worldwide on PS3 and Xbox 360. This is one experience you won't want to miss out on.

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