What are we, seven games into the Assassin's Creed saga? Eight counting Revelations? The portable versions aside, I've liked (and sometimes maybe even loved) every one to date. Even the first, which a few groused about because of the late-game mission repetitiveness, held me riveted from Abstergo to Jerusalem and back again. I blame my unwillingness to view games as strictly the sum of their rules. Sports like football and baseball are absurdly repetitive, too. It's how you get from A to Z--how a game system lets you--that matters.
And so we have Revelations, out today, and implying per its title that it'll finally pull back the curtain on some of the game's lingering mysteries (to say nothing of the crazy cliffhanger at the last installment's close). One of this series' enduring strengths is its ability to craft a sophisticated if sometimes bewildering story framing all its clever gameplay riffs on the sort of sneak and stalk mechanics pioneered by Looking Glass in 1998's Thief: The Dark Project.
The word on Revelations so far seems mostly positive. Game Informer handed it an 8 out of 10, and a 9.25 out of 10 in a second opinion, writing:
Assassin's Creed Revelations lives up to its name. For those who have been following the journeys of Desmond, Altaïr, and Ezio, this newest installment makes good on the promise implied by the title and serves up some big reveals about the ever-growing fiction. The core missions offer a level of cinematic immersion and tight design that is new to the series, and the plotline pulls together dangling story threads into a satisfying whole while simultaneously setting up the next game.
CVG agrees, awarding Revelations an 8.5 out of 10 and while noting the game "isn't a complete success" because of its "recycled gameplay," the site says
...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...the clues in Revelations' haunting ending suggest the next game will be something very special indeed.
The Guardian awards the game a respectable four out of five stars, writing:
Ezio Auditore is, simply put, the only reason one needs to pick up a copy of Assassin's Creed: Revelations. While it doesn't feel like the step forward for the franchise that its two predecessors did in their day, Revelations can confidently stand shoulder to shoulder with the better titles of 2011.
And last up, let's consider Joystiq's take, another four out of five stars, echoing worries about the gameplay's sameness and noting some issues with a new tower defense-style meta game, but still concluding:
Surprise or no, Ubisoft has managed it again. By introducing an interesting new cast of characters, making additional refinements to the free-running and combat systems, and providing closure to characters we've gotten to know for their entire lives, by defying all logic, Assassin's Creed: Revelations is another great Assassin's Creed game -- mostly.
And there you have it. You can pick up a copy today, if its on your list, for Xbox 360 or PS3.