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Assassin's Creed Revelations: The end of the line for Ezio and Alta´r

Stories come to a dramatic close and your questions are answered...

You want answers - we've got answers. "We're not called Revelations for nothing," smiles Alex Amancio, the Creative Director on the Assassin's Creed game that will be the swansong (or, perhaps, the graceful hay-bound swan dive) of the series' primary stars. "This game's goal is to close doors," he continues.

"There's a lot of answers that players have been asking for. We need to focus everything for a grand finale for Desmond, so right now we've got a grand finale for Ezio and Alta´r. All of the pieces of the puzzle that players already have will suddenly make sense."

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Don't worry if, to you, the Assassin's Creed timeline feels more like a patchy felt-tip time-squiggle. As well as explaining what's been going on these past three games, Revelations is also being touted as a coherent recap of all ground previously covered and all rooftops previously vaulted by the Assassin's Creed series.

In the present day a comatose Desmond may be trapped in the 'Black Room' - a surreal construct of the imagination that lies deep within the Animus mainframe - but he can still experience the olden times quest of an increasingly aging Ezio as he follows the path of his own ancestor Alta´r. To which end, at various points within the plotline, you (and technically Ezio and Desmond) get to take Alta´r for a spin around the 12th century and stop off at the more prominent events in his career as a badass assassin.

Templar of doom "The seal that opens up the door beneath Masyaf is one of several artefacts that act a little bit like memory sticks," explains Alex Amancio. "They life. Ezio is on a spiritual journey - trying to find sense and purpose in his life. When he's experiencing Alta´r's story it puts his own life into perspective."

So this is how Ezio, after a spot of flame-throwing and lighthouse exploding in the harbour of Constantinople, finds himself in the snowy foothills around Masyaf. In the original Assassin's Creed Masyaf was Alta´r's stomping/swinging ground, but in Ezio's time those wicked templars have taken up residence and are scouring the Mediterranean for the aforementioned artefacts to unlock its secrets. Unless Ezio gets there first.

For now though Ezio (his age giving him the beard and gravitas of 'The Rock'-era Sean Connery) is sitting on a beam high above a village on the outskirts of the decayed fortress - it's here that Alex Amancio wants to show off a few of the skills that Ezio has picked up during his time as an Assassin Godfather. The core of Revelations' many nips and tucks deals with increasing your freedom during your missions - speeding up your traversal record experiences; think of them as a predecessor to the Animus.

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Every time Ezio contacts one of these keys, he can live through a key moment in Alta´r's around town with the new hookblade, but also letting you toy with non-player characters (NPCs) in ways that suit your preferred tactics. At the heart of this lies Eagle Sense and a vast catalogue of bomb-making equipment.

Eagle Sense has been ratcheted up to give Ezio an orange glow when fighting blue enemy silhouettes in clouds of smoke, but also lets you track foot-steps and predict guard paths. This means that you can invariably use bombs to your advantage - and which of the huge ranges of bombs you use depends on your play-style and the ingredients you've come across on your travels.

Stealth players could perhaps throw a distraction bomb to disrupt the guard patrol, or those with more violent tastes could leave a lethal booby-trap for the guard to set-off when he trots past instead. This is where we see Ezio borrowing more than a little NPC manipulation from Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell: Conviction.

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