What do you think about yearly releases? A business model that flogs a franchise on a yearly basis can really hurt developers, fans, and Guitar Heroes. While I'd normal be the first to reprimand Ubisoft for taking such measures with their excellent Assassin's Creed series, each entry in the franchise gets better. If you can give me more, I'll take more.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations appears to be continuing that trend. Not only does this fall's most anticipated genetic-memory-assassins-vs-templars game include a new single-player campaign that promises to answer some of your burning questions, but it also brings back the amazing multiplayer from Brotherhood. I managed to play some of Revelation's tweaked multiplayer mode today and saw more of the single-player campaign.
First off, multiplayer feels exactly like it does in Brotherhood. I managed to outscore every other player in the game… combined. While the rep wasn't sure I knew what I was doing, my aerial kills, hidden kills, and surgical stalking proved him wrong. New perks like smoke mines offer up new strategies for both escaping and killing. Plant a mine near an escape route to create your own escape gate or throw one down underneath your perch to catch a player who wanders into it. I could also see a few new customization options in my multiplayer session.
Assassins who hop into Revelation's multiplayer can set icons, titles and more. Ubisoft is also expanding the multiplayer with new modes and options for assassins who've already exhausted everything in Brotherhood. If it brings more players to the cat-and-mouse multiplayer, then Ubisoft has done their job. Of course, Assassin's Creed is really all about the single-player and Ubisoft showed plenty of that off as well.
Ezio's new hook blade certainly makes traversal faster and more dynamic. Whether you're launching yourself up several handholds or sliding down wires into double air assassinations, the hook blade opens up a lot of new movement options. The hook blade also means a host of new, vicious kill animations and faster combat. The demo showed Ezio hooking an enemy as he ran into him, launching into a combat kill string.
Revelations also seems to focus heavily on the cinematic as gameplay is broken up frequently by establishing shots and environment-altering cinematics. Ezio set an entire harbor aflame before escaping by running through the flames and avoiding falling masts, sinking ships, and the occasional bewildered enemy. Ubisoft left us with a short teaser about Desmond's role in Revelations.
Not much was revealed about Desmond's trapped psyche following Brotherhood, but we did see quite a few establishing shots of MC Escher-type platforming levels and some intriguing computer language, suggesting that Desmond's mind was wrestling with the Animus's programming language.
There's a whole lot more E3 2011 coverage coming from Game Revolution so keep your eye out on even more impressions, hands-on thoughts, and previews. We'll deliver some breaking news while we're at it.