When going home from work this evening, I saw an old computer keyboard dumped in a street litter bin. The one that services the tram stop I use in fact. No real reason I brought that up, I just found it a strange sight.
I finished the single player campaign of Assassin's Creed: Revelations yesterday. On the technical side, it's more of what you find in Assassin's Creeds 2 and Brotherhood, plus the brilliant score by Jesper Kyd. However, in this game, I found the command prompts to be rather annoying. I think that might just be because I know the controls so well; might switch them off in Assassin's Creed 3, haven't decided yet. Although I found it rather infuriating that it was so much harder to get 100% in missions this time around, compared to the last franchise installment. Also, I didn't realise how literal he was being when Nathan described the game to me as "a nice little game". The main campaign itself is actually rather short, with a wealth of side missions introduced to thicken it. Slightly disappointing, but considering it's a shameless segue into Assassin's Creed 3, well, it does its job of filling in some of the story gaps.
Before I talk about the story, I just wanted to point out something strange. As in previous cases, I really don't understand why we can't have different language tracks set up for different settings. In this instance: English for Desmond's cut scenes, Italian for Ezio's and Arabic for Altaïr's. But no, there is only 1 language track available for the entire game. Poop. And the choices are English and Russian.
...that's right, Russian. Do any of the characters go to Russia in the game? No. The majority takes place in Turkey. This is really bizarre.
Now, story. I've always been my harshest on Assassin's Creed's story, not because I hate it or am looking for problems, I want to love the games and I find the plot very intriguing. I just get so frustrated at all the basic errors these writers/producers keep making when it comes to video game story-telling. Well in this game...they got the bullseye! They kept the cast small, which meant each character was recurring and you got to know them, care for them. I was genuinely surprised and sad when a certain assisting character was found dead. You also meet the woman heavily implied to be the one Ezio settles with and continues the family line: Sofia. She is a genuinely smart and good-humoured woman, who can match Ezio's presence and even play off his mischief. I really liked her and the development of the connection between these two characters felt very genuine, even if we could only witness a snapshot of each of their meetings.
As for Ezio himself, I was really surprised. I actually like him as an old man. He has an understanding, a worldly awareness that partners with his (hidden) caring nature, while his charm is completely intact. He is also a lot more modest. Oh! And he finally has a window character! And it's his sister Claudia! Which makes me so happy as I had already suggested she be the one Ezio reveals his inner thoughts to. Granted she isn't actually in this game; after completing each DNA sequence, he writes her a letter, allowing him a chance to reflect on his situation and reveal a little of his worries and hopes.
I finished the game feeling comfortably content: some of the gaps in the story had been plugged, we find out about Desmond's origins, Altaïr's side story was a bit of a let down, but it tied in very well with what Desmond and Ezio needed to learn...and say to each other (albeit indirectly). We even find out a bit more about what had happened to "those who came before". So while I genuinely do not believe this game deserves to charge full price (and never did, interestingly) it's a very solid one, one that makes me excited for Assassin's Creed 3.