This game is easily my favorite in the series (thus far). The storyline felt much more personal than any of the previous games, due in large part to the revelations concerning each of the main characters (Ezio, Altaïr, and Desmond). My only real criticism of this game is that Ubisoft switched out the voice actor for Altaïr. I really preferred the voice of Philip Shahbaz over Cas Anvar. This game had a more complex storyline than previous games which led me to become more engrossed in it. Revelations pretty much guaranteed my pre-order for Assassin’s Creed III later this year.
At the end of the previous game, the modern day protagonist, Desmond, was unconscious after being taken control of and being forced to stab Lucy. You wake up in this game on an island in a dream-like world. It turns out he’s stuck in the Animus (machine used to experience past ancestors’ memories) and because of his extended use of the Animus, his mind is losing its sense of identity, unable to tell where Desmond ends and his ancestors’ memories being. A previous Abstergo test subject, Subject 16, who died in the real world is also still stuck in the Animus, now able to communicate with Desmond. He tells Desmond that he needs to continue to live out the experiences of his ancestors in the hope that when he completes their memories that his mind will be able to then distinguish the difference.
Desmond jumps into the memories of Ezio Auditore, the Italian master assassin from the Renaissance. Ezio is at Masyaf, the former stronghold of the assassins, looking for the library of Altaïr in hopes of finding the real purpose of the Assassin’s in their struggle against Templars. He is able to locate the library door, but doesn’t have the required keys to open it; Altaïr having hidden the keys away centuries before. Ezio journeys to Constantinople where he hopes to find the keys. The game puts you in the middle of the struggle between the new Sultan and the remaining Ottoman resistance in the city. Similar to Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and the Borgia in Rome, you work to free Constantinople from Ottoman/Templar influence by reclaiming Assassin dens throughout the city. In Ezio’s search efforts to find the Masyaf keys, he enlists the help of a young Italian bookshop owner in the city, Sofia Sartor. The previous games laid out the heartbreak that Ezio has suffered throughout his life and this game was a nice change of pace to give the character a little happiness.
Periodically throughout the game, you can exit the memories of Ezio and then, playing as Desmond, are able to delve into a somewhat self reflection of Desmond’s own memories, revealing much about his life prior to him becoming a bartender in New York City and getting kidnapped by Abstergo Industries and being forced to relive his ancestor’s memories. The gameplay in these segments can be a bit frustrating, but they’re still pretty simple and can be figured out fairly quickly. In the end, Desmond finally comes to the realization that he is an assassin and has always been one, now finally accepting the role.
As Ezio finds the Masyaf keys, the keys trigger a memory experience similar to Desmond/Ezio, allowing Ezio to relive the memories of Altaïr at various points in his life. The memories lay out what happened to Altaïr from the end of the first Assassin’s Creed game until his death. Ezio also comes to the realization that all of these details that he is finding are not actually meant for him. Recalling the events at the end of Assassin’s Creed II, Ezio realizes that he is merely a conduit to pass these details and messages on to someone named Desmond. He doesn’t understand the mechanics of how the message is being relayed but is aware enough to recognize it happening. The game ends with a revelation as to where a final vault left by the First Civilization of people can be found, followed by Desmond finally waking up from the Animus, surrounded by other assassins (including his father).
This game really solidified my opinion of the series. Revelations really was a great piece of storytelling and gameplay. I would easily recommend this game to anyone, but I would hope you would play the previous games in the series first.