Another year, another romp with our buddy Ezio. I’m a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but like Ezio, it’s getting old. With each entry, they’ve added mechanics and tweaked the gameplay but, to me, they’ve all had the same problem: I’d pop into Desmond’s head, have fun for the first couple of hours trying out all the different mission types, and then I’d realize that the back half of the game is the same thing over and over again. At this point, it just becomes a grind to get to the end. I stick with it because I actually enjoy the story, the characters, and the setting. I believe the narrative in Assassin’s Creed has been its strength since the beginning, covering for a relatively repetitive game.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Like a bad breakup, I just want closure with Desmond. He needs to step out of the Animus and become a modern-day assassin. And I’m willing to slog through another Ezio timeline in order to wrap everything up in a nice little bow. But there’s got to be something they can do to liven things up. I had no interest in their competitive multiplayer last time around; however, the addition of a cooperative story-driven angle would be cool. Alas, that last sentiment will probably remain a dream, but they are making changes, for better or for worse.
The signature free-running for which the series is known is getting a new trick: According to reports, they will be adding a hookblade in order to use zip-lines in town for faster traversing. Also, those side missions that get boring after the third time you do them will now be random events. You would think this would make the game less tedious and repetitive, but I don’t think so. I for one tend to avoid the side quests I hate and stick to the less aggravating ones. Removing that option to chose feels like a step backward. But who knows? It might be a blessing in disguise and make the game more dynamic in the process.
Despite my gripes with the franchise, I want more Assassin’s Creed. The story alone is worth the price of admission. I just wish the mission structure and variety would evolve into more than just busy work. We’ll wait and see when Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is released this fall.