A Stab At It: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

By Jim Rossignol on September 22nd, 2011 at 8:32 am.

See how the assassins blend unnoticeably into the crowd.
The next Assassin’s Creed, Revelations, is once again going to have a fulsome multiplayer game for us to sink our concealed weapons into. It’s beautiful, too. And stabby. For a taste of quite how stabby it’s worth taking a look at the trailer below. Goodness, that’s some stylish violence, yes sir. The game is apparently due for release on all formats on November 15th.


I really should try to play the Assassin’s Creed games again. I struggled through the first two: I just couldn’t deal with the ridiculous plot and “memory” mechanics. So contrived, so unnecessary. It bugs the hell out of me that I feel like that about the games because, well, just look at them.

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77 Comments »

  1. Vexing Vision says:

    So, taking bets on the PC delay already?

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      I’ll say a month-long delay to “polish the PC features” will be announced two months prior to release.

    • figvam says:

      PC isn’t even listed at the end of this trailer.

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      @ZyloMarkIII – And they already missed the deadline for announcing the delay by a week. The nerve!

    • Edawan says:

      Two months delay announced one week before release.

    • povu says:

      Oh yes, I’m sure they’ll take their sweet time polishing their DRM again.

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      @ HisMastersVoice: And this is why I am a terrible gambler.

    • woodsey says:

      3 month delay, 2 weeks before release.

    • mejoff says:

      2 month delay, on release date.

  2. Chandos says:

    I actually liked the plot, right up to the end of the second one. Then it was one of those “ah, so it was the aliens then” moments, and they kinda lost me there.

    • Germanunkol says:

      I agree with what you say: I really liked the parallels between Desmond and the earlier Assassins. It was something new in the game industry, I had never seen/played such a story before.

      Also liked the white-memory-style HUD/UI/Menu, (which fitted nicely with the white assassin’s clothes) and kinda reminded me of a modern version of the “Matrix” Interface.

      Additionally, the way “death” was explained as an out-of-memory synch was kinda cool as well, I’ve always been looking for nice ways to explain death and ressurection in games in a somewhat believable way, and I think they solved issue that well.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      I’m actually the same. I didn’t mind the real-life sequences at all, and I’m a sucker for crazy conspiracy theories.

      For me, it stopped right before the aliens though, when I was engaging the pope in manly fisticuffs after disarming his magical staff. Seriously, come on.

    • woodsey says:

      They’re not aliens, I wish people would stop insisting that they are.

    • Synesthesia says:

      yup, fighting with the pope was something im not going to forget.

    • Valvarexart says:

      I didn’t really like the story at all. I don’t know, it just felt like something that a few inexperienced writers wrote in the hopes that it would make the game exciting for, ah, another type of consumer.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    That image makes me wonder if we will ever play a female assassin in the AC series. He certainly can’t have all male ancestors.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      The video seems to suggest that women characters are playable.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      This is multiplayer montage, you could play as a female character in AssCreeBro multiplayer as well. Not in the singleplayer though.

    • Chandos says:

      And what about the lack of cross-dressing or transgender assassins? Surely there must have been some over generations.

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      jrodman says:

      I wish to express myself by playing a differently-abled assassin. I would crush people with my brutal peg-leg.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Revelations is the last in the Assassin’s Creed 2 trilogy, so you’re still playing as Ezio.

      Once his story arc is complete, there will be others. Maybe some of them will be women?

    • Heliocentric says:

      @jrodman one of the multiplayer characters is missing a forearm and has replaced it with a brutal barbed claw.

      That do anything for you?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Tom De Roeck says:

    ..Brotherhood was good, though.

    Also, RE: PC game delay: console deadlines are so much more fixed. I talked about it on the forum somewhere..

  5. ubisoft_rep says:

    “The game is apparently due for release on all formats on November 15th.”

    lol, no

  6. Ondrej says:

    That speeding up/slowing down trailer annoys me.

  7. Hoaxfish says:

    A violence montage, especially clonking someone over the head with a mace multiple times, is rather comforting for early in the morning.

    • michaelar says:

      Well — that trailer was incredibly nauseating. If one graphic stabbing is good, then forty in a row must be better!

  8. CaspianRoach says:

    I adore this game for its animation quality. Here’s hoping these awesome melee weapons will be actually useful in Revelations. You could finish the whole game using nothing but hidden blade in AC2/Bro, which tended to become quite boring after a while.
    For me the plot in AC2/Bro was good because it was that convoluted and difficult. It’s a nice change of pace from the majority of games with a brain-dead story nowadays.

    • Captchist says:

      ” You could finish the whole game using nothing but hidden blade in AC2/Bro”

      I’m not sure I understand this point. You’d prefer a game which said “Uh! Here is the boss who can only be hurt by hitting him with the axe, then smacking him with the crossbow”? Those sorts of games are if anything worse.

      I think you answered your own point when you said it got quite boring after a while. That’s why the other weapons are there, to make it more interesting.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Nah I’d prefer that hidden blade wouldn’t automatically block anything and everything anybody will point in your general direction. Seriously, parrying a twohander with a lil’ wee blade is just silly. My point is that hidden blade shouldn’t be as effective in open combat.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Actually if you used your hidden blade to try to block a two-handed sword swung by one of those brutes, it knocked you over. You had to dodge them instead.

      The beauty of the different weapons for me was that they were optimised for different foes. Fighting multiple Sons of Romulus was much easier if you pulled out a very quick, very sharp knife. Fighting people on horses was easier with a big stabby thing or a giant hammer.

      if you used the hidden blade all the way through (which was perfectly possible, obviously), you were missing out on not only the joy of the different execution animations, but the pleasure of being an unstoppable whirlwind of steel carving through the enemy in the most flowing, efficient way possible (or smashing people in the head with a big hammer. Take your pick).

      Assassin’s Creed is about choice, not forcing you to follow a certain path. The different weapons are born of the same philosophy.

  9. piecoughed says:

    A surprising amount of Wubwubwubsteps in the later half of that.

    I too would like to participate in historical murder while sick beats explode behind me. Oh, that’s not what this game is about?

  10. N says:

    Dub Step sucks.

  11. ran93r says:

    I really enjoyed AssBro multiplayer but was late to the party and felt like it was an uphill struggle against the pros, hopefully will jump on this day one.

    • N says:

      AssBro –lol.

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      AlwaysRight says:

      I really loved the multiplayer in AssBro, my girlfriend and I got addicted to it. It was so satisfying to slow poison your target while blending through a crowd and watch him crumble. Its really refreshing to have a multiplayer not based on reaction speed but on patience and noticing subtle behaviour. (Bring on spy party).

    • roninnico says:

      I really enjoyed the multiplayer in this too, even though I came to it late. I really hope they’ve done something to stop people running around like lunatics the whole time though, it ruined the feel of being sneaky assassin types and was bloody annoying to have to chase them all over the rooftops ruining your carefully laid plans.

  12. TheSaddestSort says:

    At Jim: so assassins don’t blend?

  13. ahnda says:

    Software engineers love them some dub step.

  14. akumen says:

    The games are beautiful … but … mechanics were repetitive to no end and the game became easy mode too quickly. Skipped AC:B and probably skipping this one also.

    • Askeladd says:

      Thats how I feel too, and this:

      “I struggled through the first two: I just couldn’t deal with the ridiculous plot and “memory” mechanics. So contrived, so unnecessary. It bugs the hell out of me that I feel like that about the games because, well, just look at them.”

      Fixed.

      I couldn’t even finish the first because of that reason.

    • Jimbo says:

      @akumen I think you should give Brotherhood a go. They added ’100% sync’ optonal parameters to each mission (which are supposed to represent how Ezio actually did it). If you choose to try and follow them they help keep things varied and offer quite a satisfying challenge I think.

    • Wraggles says:

      Seriously if you’ve played none of them, just go straight to brotherhood. The game FINALLY lets you kill main targets with something other than the hidden blade, ignore the 100% sync stuff unless it sounds fun (some of it really is). Adds really fun weaponry, for instance dual wielding your wrist pistol and a sword, able to throw throwing knives at multiple foes, crossbow etc. Not to mention managing your own band of assassins is really really fun.

      Comparing AC1 and 2 to Brotherhood is really apples to oranges.

  15. Lugg says:

    Oh God! A Patrick Steward voiceover! My heart is melting! Why hasn’t he said “engaging” or something?

    And that’s quite a lot of stabbing there. Nice music though!

    • Icarus says:

      It’s not Sir Patrick, sorry. I’m not sure who it actually is, but the voice doesn’t quite go.

    • Lugg says:

      Hmm, I think you’re right. It could be Christopher Lee, though. Which is also awesome!

  16. reticulate says:

    I never really got into the AssBro multiplayer, but I’m all excited to see how many more batshit insane conspiracy theories they can wedge into the single player story.

    Also, I’ve found the mechanics to be continually refined over the course of the series. It’s a posterchild for continually iterating and improving the experience. You’re doing yourself an injustice by at least not checking out AssBro, at the very least.

  17. Theodoric says:

    Eh, I preferred the first two games. It actually had philosophy and themes; now it’s all sci-fi stuff with aliens and whatnot.

  18. Premium User Badge

    _Nocturnal says:

    I tried this several days ago. Can’t say much, because I haven’t had any experience with the Brotherhood multiplayer, the rest of the players were inexperienced too and we frankly sucked at it. The level we played in was quite small, basically a couple of little squares and the buildings around them. There was no arrow pointing you towards your target, you had to rely solely on a portrait of his/hers. When you’re close to the target there are some indicators, mainly the controller vibration, and I understand that when your attacker is close by you start hearing whispers, which is surely going to mess with your head. There are some bonuses for inventive kills, a level-up system and different skills for each character, but I guess all of that was already in Brotherhood. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to it, but even with the limited information and skills we had, it was great fun and it certainly had a unique feeling to it.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    I really enjoyed Botherhood’s multiplayer. It’s almost exactly the sort of game I’ve been saying should exist since the first Hitman came out. It’s a shame they felt the need for a progression system; I think it was at its best when pared down to the purest form of spot-follow-stab.
    It’s a shame the matchmaking dried up pretty fast within a decent ping of Melbourne.

  20. RogB says:

    Assassins creed should never have had ANY sci-fi ties. They should have just gone balls out 100% historical period.
    I dont mind them liberally messing with history (like the whole davinci stuff) but all the scifi reminders completely break the immersion for me.

    that said, I do quite enjoy the games (from #2). I just wish they took the scifi bits out, as it turns it into ‘Star Trek Holodeck: revelation’ for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Actually, I think it’s a really clever mechanic. Instead of having invisible walls at the edges of towns, they can say the memory doesn’t extend that far. Instead of punishing you arbitrarily for going mental in the town square and slaughtering civilians, they can just say that Ezio didn’t kill civilians and desync the memory.

      It rather holds the entire, trans-temporal plot together, in fact, in a way that just focusing on a straight-up Italian renaissance plot couldn’t.

    • Avenger says:

      ^ this…

      But, is it really worth it? They have heavily modified the tone of the story and gameplay towards a sci-fi game, just so they can keep it less 4th wall breaking.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      I don’t think the fact that it’s sci-fi is that relevant. Assassin’s Creed has always been about crazy conspiracy theories and the one they’ve finally gone with (among many sub-plot conspiracies like the Templars etc) is that life on Earth was originally started by aliens. It’s not like they’re giving Ezio laser guns to pew pew with, so it’s not excessively ‘sci-fi’ to me.

    • Jimbo says:

      The whole Animus thing is borderline genius in terms of setting up a game franchise. It has so much potential. Granted they haven’t really made use of that potential, because they’ve decided to milk Ezio for 3 games now, but the potential is still there.

      The overarching plot is totally ridiculous, but I find it to be ridiculous in a fun way.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Exactly, Jimbo. I willingly suspend my usual cynicism and disbelief when playing AssCreed, and it’s so much more enjoyable for it! :)

      Besides, the characters and dialogue are all superbly written, so it can get away with it.

    • Avenger says:

      I can’t get over that fact that the whole storyline is based on the ridiculous idea that DNA inherits memories.

      Yes, “it is a fantasy” “You are expecting too much” etc. etc.. I know. But every time the story makes a little attempt to get “realistic”, it fails monumentally because what it basically is still saying is whatever experience you have in this world is completely and 100% accurately imprinted in your testicles.

    • aethereal says:

      @Avenger
      So you’re saying that you dont like playing with your testicles?

  21. Sinkytown says:

    Heard a little dubstep on a Weetabix advert this morning, too. My appreciation/understanding of electronic music is kinda shallow, but shark = jumped, right?

  22. Avenger says:

    What the hell is this am I hearing on every trailer of this game??!

    If they seriously replace the music with this techno cacophony I will not only not buy this game, but I will seriously HURT anyone who plays it around me as well…

  23. Tengil says:

    Actually, the dumbest thing about Assassin’s Creeds plot is the superficial veneer of “historical correctness”. Even if alt-history where the Knights Templar secretly control the world through alien technology is aggresively dumb, what’s even dumber is stuff like letting Borgia live at the end of the second game despite murdering every single one of his lieutenants for no apparent reason other than the real Borgia not having died at that point.

  24. meatshit says:

    Didn’t AssBro come out less than a year ago? If Dragon Age II taught me anything, it’s to be extremely wary of AAA games with a short development cycle.

    • Deano2099 says:

      An entire year, just the PC version was delayed. But Brotherhood was a year after AC2 I think and that turned out pretty well.

    • reticulate says:

      Yep, 12 month cycle. They’ve got a few studios working on this and the engine is just a point release update over AC2, so most of the time is spent in asset creation. They’re not exactly reinventing the wheel, so it’s not as bad as it sounds.

      I am glad this is the last Ezio story, though. As much as I like the character and setting, it’s time for a new perspective.

  25. Isometric says:

    Assbro multiplayer didn’t even work for me. Could NOT get it working at all on pc. As for the games themselves, I’ve found them to always be a struggle to get through. I’ll inevitably play this but I doubt I’ll enjoy it.

  26. Iokanaan says:

    oh, really, the new AC has new maps?! that’s incredible news!

  27. Shooop says:

    The entire memory plot thing is hands-down the dumbest story idea I’ve seen in a video game from the past 10 years.

    And good lord this looks like a damned PS2 game.

  28. Bobtree says:

    There’s an RPS forum thread about ACB multiplayer: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1454-Assassins-Creed-Brotherhood-MP

    What I’ve read about the ACR mp beta is extremely mixed and not encouraging. Try googling “reverse detection meter” to see what I mean.

    Two 1-year sequels are not what this kind of game needs; Ubi will probably milk it to death.

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    LMichet says:

    Jim Rossingol, you are one of the few people I have heard of who pass up on the sheer kinesthetic glee of playing these games because of the plot.

    • Shooop says:

      Well honestly, he’s not missing out on all that much. It’s a fun diversion walking around stabbing people, watching them search for a few seconds, and then stabbing another, but it’s not worth a full retail price and the DRM hoops Ubisoft makes you jump through.

  30. Waltorious says:

    This game has the wrong name. Clearly it should be called Stabmaster Steve.

  31. Chelardar says:

    This game looks worse to me! Either it’s the over-saturated colours and the unrealistic cloth, or it’s the lighting. Weird, anyway-it doesn’t look half as good as brotherhood.

    • Shooop says:

      I believe it’s the face textures. Or more accurately complete lack of.

      Gotta say, if I saw anyone who looked like that, I certainly wouldn’t rule out stabbing them for fear they were a defective Terminator.

  32. DOLBYdigital says:

    I never liked these games because of the horrible fighting AI. I just can’t stand watching a circle of enemies stand there and wait their turn to get killed. It was so boring and really took the fun out of getting spotted and having to fight your way free. I heard interesting things about the multiplayer but don’t think that’s worth the full price.