These memories take place in Masyaf in its heyday, and chart his never-ending struggle to keep the mysterious Apple of Eden - an alien artefact that forms the basis of the entire Assassin's Creed plot - out of the clutches of the Templars. These sections feature their own novel gameplay twists, but saying any more than that would ruin some genuine surprises. These memories also provide closure for Alta´r's story.
This is still Ezio's game, however. You'll spend 80% of your playing time as him, and that's Revelations' biggest problem. There's a lot of very basic missions to endure between the good bits, all retreading ground extensively covered in earlier games.
The minor tweaks to the combat and climbing, and the new setting, don't cover up the fact that, mechanically, this is the same game we've played three times already. Like Brotherhood, this is less a sequel and more a very limited refinement of old ideas.
As well as two versions of Masyaf from two different time periods and the gargantuan Constantinople (and all that lies beneath it), there's a whole other city to explore, revealed later in the game. No, we didn't see it coming either - especially as it pops up ten hours into the story, just when you're convinced things are about to draw to a close. Even ignoring the optional side content, this is a big game with well over 30 missions.
And if you're invested in the Assassin's Creed storyline, you simply have to finish it - even if the idea of spending another 30 hours as Ezio puts you off. After the comparitively meandering plot of Brotherhood, Revelations' final hours not only explicitly hint at the direction of the next game in the series, but put to rest one of its biggest mysteries in memorably dramatic fashion.
It's also the end of Ezio's adventure, confirming that this is his last stint as the hero. We've complained about being sick of him in the past, but it's hard not to feel a tinge of melancholy as his story comes to an end. In Revelations, he genuinely grows as a character.
Ultimately, then, this latest Assassin's Creed game isn't a complete success. The reliance on recycled gameplay is its biggest flaw, especially if you've played the last two games all the way through. But when it's good, it's really good. There are moments that make enduring the frequent dips in quality worth it, and the sheer volume of content ensures this is excellent value for money.
But while Ubisoft have bled this chapter of the Assassin's Creed saga dry, the clues in Revelations' haunting ending suggest the next game will be something very special indeed.
An abundance of recycled gameplay sours what is otherwise an entertaining, imaginative and memorable end to Ezio's story.
- Two huge cities to explore
- An engaging story full of twists and surprises
- Three very different playable characters
- Essentially the same game we've played three times already
- The Portal-style puzzle sections are a bit lame