Tag Archives: Desmond

In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, you fight ideas with bombs

I’m continuing to work through the Assassin’s Creed games…well, the ones I have anyways. Left to go in my current collection are the topic du jour (psst, that’s French for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations), Assassin’s Creed III, and two entries from the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles sub-series, which I’m lead to believe are a bit different in structure and style. I’ve already played the first game, the second game, the sequel to the second game, and the one featuring pirates and battles at sea. I like each of them to varying degrees.

All right, here we go. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the third and final chapter in the so-called Ezio trilogy. It picks up right after Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which, I had completely forgotten, ended with a big ol’ killer twist. Anyways, spoiler alert for a 2011 game…in three, two, one. Desmond Miles has fallen into a coma due to the stress of being forced to kill his ally Lucy Stillman while being controlled by Juno, the hologram attached to the Apple of Eden. In an effort to save Desmond’s mind, Rebecca Crane places him back in the Animus, in the machine’s safe mode called the “Black Room”. Alas, the only way to repair his mind is by reliving his ancestors’ memories until there is nothing left for them to show Desmond, at which point the Animus can separate Desmond from Ezio and Altaïr and awaken him from his coma. Er, yeah–it’s not at all confusing. And so, you jump back into the perspective of the still suave but older Ezio Auditore. Four years after ending the life of Cesare Borgia, Ezio has traveled to the former Assassins’ fortress in Masyaf to discover the secrets Altaïr had previously unearthed and find the true purpose of the assassins.

Phew. Look, at this point, I’m not really paying all that much attention to the plot, especially since I’ve already heard that, despite the game’s boasting subtitle, there are very few revelations to learn in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I’m here for the running around, rooftop climbing, knife throwing, stealth stabbing, hay jumping, bomb tossing, collectible finding antics. Also, buying different dyes for Ezio’s outfit always makes me happy, especially the green-themed ones, and watching Constantinople grow due to his influence and the money roll into your bank account in larger amounts is extremely satisfying.

As far as I can tell, this plays just as well as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I think by this point in the series Ubisoft tightened the controls and really made everything feel both good and natural. I’m finding myself not making as many  jumping mistakes when climbing up tall towers, and the hookblade upgrade really helps move things along quicker, with Ezio now able to leap higher and use ziplines conveniently placed around the city. Otherwise, it’s an Assassin’s Creed game, and so you probably already know what you do in these games, generally. Strangely, there’s some optional first-person platforming sections when playing as comatose Desmond, and they are about as fun as you might initially expect. I’m going to finish them all for the sake of Achievements only. Also, if the Templars become too aware of your actions, they will attack one of your dens, and the only way to get it back is through a tower defense minigame, which I do not like one bit.

As of this writing, I’m somewhere in…sequence 5 (of 9) for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. I’ve only seen two or three instances of tailing missions so far, and they honestly weren’t that bad compared to others. Otherwise, everything has been par for the course, with some fetch quests, some platforming challenges, some hidden murdering, some open murdering, and a whole lot of collecting treasure, purchasing shops, and completing challenges. For some reason, I really like these kinds of games because there is always something to do, a goal to go after, not just the main quests. Even standing around idle will eventually help, with money being deposited in your bank account every twenty minutes.

Perhaps the thing that separates Assassin’s Creed: Revelations from others in the series, at this point in its release, is its focus on bombs. For those that don’t know, bombs are explosive weapons used by assassins from as early as the High Middle Ages, and they can be employed for a variety of tactics, including escape, assault, and distraction. Ezio can craft his own bombs by looting dead soldiers for materials or he can purchase them from illusive shopkeepers, and I have found myself using them more than expected; if anything, they are great distraction items, especially if you need to make a quick getaway. Still, the controls for them can be fiddly, and trying to use them effectively in the middle of an eight-on-one sword fight does not always work out right. It does add some variety and options to the missions though.

I don’t expect to learn much by the end of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, but coming to it many years later, and not right after the previous game, wherein many were beginning to suffer from Ubisoft fatigue, I’m having a fine ol’ time. I also have to wonder how many, if any, are even playing this game’s multiplayer; I’ll give it a try after credits scroll, but I won’t hold my breath.

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The rest is up to me, Assassin’s Creed II

gd assassins creed 2 final thoughts

It’s a little weird to be completing Assassin’s Creed II in 2015 when there are now a bajillion more entries in the series, some of which are universally praised and others, such as Assassin’s Creed III, are pretty much loathed. My storied history for this series created by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs has been playing Assassin’s Creed, then skipping right to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and now finally go back to see Assassin’s Creed II‘s lengthy credits roll. I’ve been dabbling at the game piecemeal over the last few months, but was driven to see it off my “still playing” list since getting wind of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag being a freebie for Xbox 360 users at the end of this month. Frustratingly, that means I’ll be skipping two more games in the “as released by Ubisoft” timeline, but neither of them sound highly recommended.

Anyways, Assassin’s Creed II–it’s pretty good. It’s definitely better than the original Assassin’s Creed game, though I fuzzily remember very little from that original outing save for frustrating climbing, annoying collectibles, and repetitive missions. Hey, wait. Some of that junk is still here in this one. Hmm, I guess it is the other elements that make the game stand a few rooftops higher, such as more nuanced and engaging combat, better climbing mechanics, and building up your home base with shops, paintings, and loot to earn some sweet coin. Plus, the locations you visit are more interesting to explore, and stabbing dudes from on a horse is never boring though I still prefer smoke bombing and making a hasty exit.

I won’t really go into too much story stuff, as the story in the Assassin’s Creed series–both in and outside the Animus–has never really interested me. I’m more into the exploring and climbing of buildings and running from rooftop to rooftop, with the occasional cool-looking assassination. Naturally, I did all the tombs as fast as I could, as the platforming puzzles, while frustrating and unclear in spots, are really the most enjoyable aspect to me. I will always hate tailing missions and chase missions, which thankfully only made up a small portion of the game. I prefer going from point A to point B and stabbing a dude in the neck, and I’m sorry if that concerns you. At least now I understand why it felt like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood picked up immediately after the conclusion of the previous game–that’s because it did.

Alas, come the end, I only found…42 of 100 feathers. I will not be going back to find the remainder of the flags. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood spoiled me with its ability to purchase maps of flag locations–though I still never went out and grabbed them all–but here you have only your ears and eyes to guide you on your collecting path. They tinkle and sparkle, but that’s not enough. No thanks. That means I will also miss out on the Auditore cape, which is unlocked for finding all the feathers. One last task for me to handle before deleting the game from my Xbox 360’s hard-drive is finding the remainder of the hidden symbols on select buildings, and I suspect I might grab a feather or two along the way, but not enough to finish the side quest.

Lastly, I do enjoy end credits sequences where you, the player, are still involved in some way. One standout favorite is shooting asteroids with developers’ faces and names on them in Vanquish to add to your final score tally. While not as cool as that, the end credits sequence in Assassin’s Creed II has you running around as Desmond outside the Animus as he and others try to escape the modern-day Templars. It’s more of the same from the main gameplay, but it is fun to see the names of the game’s creators scroll by as you punch, counter, and run from danger.

Well, I’ll be back to my assassinating ways very soon once Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag becomes free for Gold users at the end of April. Until then, the rest is up to me.

Games Completed in 2011, #5 – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC
Genres: Stealth, action, historical timefunk, silent stabby stabfest
Modes: Single-player, online multiplayer
Hours clocked: Around 15 to 20 hours

Well, I honestly didn’t expect to complete Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood as quickly as I did, but basically once you’ve reached DNA Sequence 7, the game pushes forward at a tremendous pace, allowing no pauses or breaks or wild meandering across Roma. Sucks to be Ezio, I guess. Sucks even harder to be Cesare Borgia.

Anyways, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed II, a game I did not play, and I think I suffered a little bit from missing out on Ezio’s original adventure. Not a ton, mind you, but enough to get me wondering what some of his remarks meant and why he trusted person X or distrusted person Y so vehemently. A string of events take Ezio to Roma (or Rome, as I call it), and it is here that he will begin to build his own guild of assassins to take down the continuing Borgia threat and steal back the Apple of Eden from Cesare Borgia. On the flipside, Desmond and the other Scooby-Doo people are trying to get a password out of Ezio’s memories to find out where he safely hid the Apple. It’s a decent story with some possibly interesting characters, but a lot of folk are dropped and forgotten about after their sole mission. A shame, really, especially when concerning Ezio’s sister.

There’s a lot to do in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. I’ve discussed this before. In fact, there’s so much that I did not get to finish it all before being forcibly pushed forward to complete the game. Thankfully, after the credits roll, you’ll be able to return to virtual Roma to continue burning Borgia towers, collect flags, and open up shops. This is good; this is very good. Now I can play and run around the world without quests getting in the way. That might seem like a weird thing to say, but the worlds Ubisoft constructs for its Assassin’s Creed games are just so wonderfully dense and detailed that it is fun just living in them. Don’t need to do anything special. Heck, that’s why some of my favorite missions were when Ezio had to follow a person around the city without being detected; sitting on benches never felt so great.

Having never played Assassin’s Creed II, I can only compare this new outing to the original. The controls are much smoother, but having Ezio jump in a specific direction is touch-and-go; sometimes he does a cool leap, and sometimes he just leaps to his death. The fighting…has actually been made easier, which is a letdown. Once a killing animation begins, Ezio can basically chain together five to ten more instant kills with the touch of one button. Sure, it looks freakin’ fantastic and shows off the uniqueness of every weapon, but it makes fights a little on the bland side. I failed more missions from being detected than from dying in a fight, especially since you can loot medicine from fallen soldiers’ bodies.

Upgrading Roma is an addicting thing. The minute I see a closed shop, I need to buy it so I can increase my income. If it’s under the shadow of a Borgia tower, down goes the tower. Some shops even have quests, which require you to find a specific number of items from hidden treasures and rewards from assassin contracts. And speaking of contracts, man…having your own brotherhood of assassins is great and crappy. The great comes in from summoning out of nowhere to do your bidding; the crappy refers to the, uh, text-based minigame of sending them off to do contracts to gain XP and level up. It’s a neat idea, but it’s presented uninterestingly in menu form only, and I can guarantee that people stop actually reading contract text before long.

So I have a few flags, shrines, and Borgia towers to unearth yet, as well as Subject 16’s puzzles. After that, I probably won’t head back into Roma, but I definitely will give the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer much more devotion. Currently, I’m a level 7 and loving it. Have only played the Wanted mode, which is a cat-and-mouse game of hunt and be hunted, but it’s a blast. Unlike anything else I’ve ever played online. Considering I love just walking around and blending in with crowds, it’s perfect for me. That said, I’m not great at it. Haven’t figured out how to do a stun yet, but I was able to assassinate a target from hidden in a hay pile. Will write about that and more multiplayer musings in another post.

All in all, I was surprised by the quality in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, as well as the amount of things to do. It may be a sequel to a sequel, and even just a torso for the multiplayer legs, but it’s still a wholly entertaining experience. Considering I got it for sale at $39.99, I’m pretty satisfied. So, Assassin’s Creed III…where’s Ezio off to next?