Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the fourth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, a direct sequel to 2010’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and the third and final chapter in the ‘Ezio trilogy’. The game was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows in November and December 2011.
The plot is set in a fictional history of real world events and follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through control. The framing story is set in the 21st century and features the series protagonist Desmond Miles who, with the aid of a machine known as the Animus, relives the memories of his ancestors to find a way to avert the 2012 apocalypse.
Revelations features two other returning protagonists: Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad in 12th and 13th century Masyaf, and Ezio Auditore da Firenze in 16th century Constantinople. The main story follows the Assassin Ezio’s journey to unlock the secret of Altaïr’s vault in Masyaf using disc-like artifacts containing Altaïr’s memories.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is set in an open world and presented from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on using Ezio’s, Desmond’s, and Altaïr’s combat and stealth abilities to eliminate targets and explore the environment. One of the protagonists (Ezio) is free to explore the Assassin Base in the city of Constantinople and the city itself to complete side missions away from the primary storyline.
Critical response towards the game was generally positive, with praise directed at the narrative, the detailed environments, well-written protagonists, pacing of the plot and the satisfying ending of the game, although some reviewers noted that the gameplay of the series was getting overly familiar and the newly introduced features felt lacking in comparison to the ones introduced in previous titles of the series.
The game was a large commercial success, outperforming the sales of its predecessors. The game was followed by Assassin’s Creed III in October 2012, a direct sequel that continued the story of Desmond Miles and introduced a new 18th century playable character.
A remastered version, along with its predecessors Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15, 2016 as part of The Ezio Collection.
Main article: Gameplay in the Assassin’s Creed series
The main protagonist, Ezio, can use the hookblade to access ziplines across the environments. The hookblade is one of the new features introduced in Revelations.
The game follows the series’ standard open world gameplay in the Ezio and Altaïr Sequences, where the game’s main story takes place. New gameplay additions include an item called the “hookblade”, which can be used to zipline across the city or grab enemies to yank them in for a combo attack. The hookblade reportedly speeds up navigation by around 30 percent and serves as a replacement to the traditional dual Hidden Blade.
Along with the hookblade, Ezio also has around 15 different bomb variations at his disposal, which are to be crafted. The game features new Desmond Sequences known as “Desmond’s Journey”, five “Dalí-esque” first-person platforming missions in a radical departure for the series.
Each sequences of “Desmond’s Journey” can only be unlocked by collecting a certain amount of Data Fragments hidden throughout Constantinople, or by purchasing The Lost Archive DLC. Data Fragments are a new type of collectible in Revelations, replacing the flags of previous games in the series.
Also added and expanded are seizing districts of the city from the Templars. While capturing a district is very similar to Brotherhood, the Templars will send reinforcements to recapture districts, which Ezio must defend using a “tower defense” minigame called den defense, where he controls a group of Assassins from rooftops against several waves of Templar soldiers and siege equipment. Similar to Brotherhood, initiates can be sent on missions to other regions, eventually wresting control from the Templars, and then using the city to produce a stream of income and new Assassin recruits.
The game is playable in full 3D across three platforms: PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360, with the console versions supporting both stereoscopic 3D mode for 3D HDTVs and for 2D HDTVs. All Revelations gameplay and cinematics have S3D support.
Like Assassin’s Creed, characters based on historical figures are present in the game, including Suleiman the Magnificent, Piri Reis, Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, Ishak Pasha, Manuel Palaiologos, Şehzade Ahmet, Yusuf Tazim, Al Mualim, Bayezid II, Selim I, Shahkulu, and Tarik Barleti. Sofia Sartor is based on Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman by Albrecht Durer.
Revelations features all three of the series’ major characters: Desmond Miles, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad and Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The main part of the story takes Ezio to Constantinople, present day Istanbul, in 1511 AD, consisting of four districts: Constantine, Bayezid, Imperial, and Galata; Cappadocia during the rise of the Ottoman Empire, part of which is a completely underground city populated solely by Templars; and Masyaf, where the old Assassins’ stronghold is located (featured in the first Assassin’s Creed game), to which Ezio travels at the beginning of the game. He discovers Altaïr has sealed within the fortress an ancient artifact that is said to be a powerful weapon which could end the Templar-Assassin War forever, and had the keys hidden in Constantinople. Ezio uses these relics of the “First Civilization” that hold memories of Altaïr to relive Altaïr’s experiences, during which players control Altaïr.
The game continues Desmond’s story in the present day, following the events of Brotherhood, where he is trapped in the Animus 2.0, in a comatose state, in which he has found a safe mode known as “the Black Room”. Here, Desmond must find a “synch nexus”, a key memory that links him with Altaïr and Ezio, to reintegrate his splintered subconscious and awaken from his coma. While in game, Ezio meets a variety of historical characters, including: Manuel Palaiologos, an heir to the now-lost Byzantine Empire; Byzantine Templars lurking in the shadows of Constantinople; Prince Suleiman, a man who will one day become one of the Ottoman Empire’s greatest Sultans; and his uncle, Prince Ahmet.
Following the ending of Brotherhood, present-day protagonist Desmond Miles has fallen into a coma due to the combined stress of being forced to kill Lucy Stillman and being controlled by Juno, the hologram attached to the Apple of Eden. While Shaun Hastings stays behind in Rome to attend Lucy’s funeral, Rebecca Crane takes Desmond to New York City and meets with his father, William Miles. In an effort to save Desmond’s mind, the duo places him back in the Animus, though this time in the machine’s safe mode, known as the “Black Room”.
Upon awakening on Animus Island, the original Animus testing program located within the Black Room, Desmond meets the preserved consciousness of Clay Kaczmarek (Subject 16), who occupied Abstergo’s Animus before him. Clay explains that Desmond’s mind is broken, and the only way for him to repair it is by reliving his ancestors’ memories until there is nothing left for them to show Desmond, at which point the Animus can separate Desmond from Ezio and Altaïr, and awaken Desmond from his coma.
Desmond enters the Animus Island’s memory portal, which places him back in the perspective of Ezio Auditore. Four years after ending the life of Cesare Borgia, Ezio has traveled to the former Assassins’ fortress in Masyaf to discover secrets Altaïr had previously discovered, and find the true purpose of the Assassins. Upon arriving, he finds Masyaf taken by the Templars, who mark him for death. Ezio escapes to the bowels of the castle, where he discovers the entrance to Altaïr’s library.
He learns that five disc-like “keys” are required to unlock the door. He also learns that the Templars have discovered one underneath the Ottoman Sultan’s palace. The rest lie hidden in Constantinople, capital city of the Ottoman Empire. He travels there and is greeted by Yusuf Tazim, leader of the Turkish Assassin Order, and befriends a young student named Suleiman. Ezio learns that the keys were hidden in the city by Niccolò Polo.
While searching for the old Polo trading post, Ezio encounters and befriends Sofia Sartor, a young Italian traveller and book collector, and eventually falls in love with her. Ezio discovers the locations of the remaining keys with Sofia’s help, all the while keeping his intentions, growing feelings and position a secret from her.
Meanwhile, Constantinople is in chaos due to conflicts between Prince Ahmet and his brother Selim, who are quarreling over who will inherit the Sultanate. Caught in the middle of the conflict, Suleiman reveals to Ezio that he is an Ottoman prince (Selim’s son), and that he suspects the Templars are behind the feud. Ezio uncovers evidence that Manuel Palaiologos, with Templar support, is attempting to raise an army to overthrow the Ottomans and re-establish the Byzantine Empire. Ezio kills Manuel and recovers the final key, only to discover that Ahmet is the true mastermind of the Templar plot to open Altaïr’s library.
During these events, Ezio uses the keys in his possession to witness Altaïr’s life after the events depicted in the first game. After killing Al-Mualim, Altaïr took possession of the Apple of Eden and assumed leadership of the Assassins. One of the Assassins, Abbas, did not support Altaïr due to past events, and for killing Al Mualim. When Altaïr and his wife Maria left Masyaf for 10 years to repel the Mongol invasion, Abbas staged a coup d’etat, seizing control of the Assassins and executing Altaïr’s youngest son Sef.
Altaïr sought revenge; but as Maria tried to stop him, another Assassin stabbed Maria in the back. Altaïr was forced to flee with his elder son, Darim, and went into self-imposed exile for 20 years. Altaïr eventually returned to Masyaf, killed Abbas, and took his rightful place as the leader of the Assassins. In the process, Altaïr told the dying Abbas the truth of the latter’s father’s death. Years later, Altaïr encodes his memories on the five keys Ezio would find, entrusting them to Niccolò.
Returning to Constantinople, Ezio discovers that Ahmet has killed Yusuf and kidnapped Sofia, demanding the keys in exchange for her life. Ezio agrees, but immediately gives chase upon ensuring Sofia’s safety. He recovers the keys, but before he can deal with Ahmet, Selim arrives with his armies and executes Ahmet himself, stating that their father “made his choice”.
Due to his son Suleiman’s endorsement, Selim spares Ezio, but tells him to leave Constantinople and never return. After completing this memory, the Animus begins to delete excess data—including Animus Island. Clay imprints his genetic memories onto Desmond before sacrificing himself to prevent Desmond from being deleted by the Animus.
Ezio and Sofia return to Masyaf, where Ezio uses the keys to unlock Altaïr’s library. He finds it empty except for Altaïr’s skeleton and a sixth key. He discovers that the library was not meant to hold books—rather, it was a vault meant to house Altaïr’s Apple of Eden. Through the key, Ezio learns that Altaïr had sealed himself inside to preserve its secret from the Templars.
Ezio leaves this Apple in the library, stating that he had seen enough for one life. He then begins talking directly to Desmond, not knowing exactly who (or where) he is, but knowing that he is watching. While talking he discards his weapons, signifying his retirement as an Assassin. He tells Desmond that he realises that he is a conduit for a message, and expresses hope that Desmond will be able to find answers to the questions he and Altaïr had worked so hard to uncover.
Suddenly, Desmond is approached by Jupiter, a member of the First Civilization. He explains that the First Civilization had built numerous vaults to study methods to save the planet from destruction. All of the data collected was transmitted to a central vault, where the data was tested.
None of the methods were effective, however, and they failed to stop the solar flare from destroying their civilization. Jupiter shows Desmond the location of the central vault, which from the map is located somewhere in New York, and tells him that he must save the planet from an impending second solar flare.
Upon hearing Jupiter’s words, Desmond awakens from his coma and finds Rebecca and William standing with him, along with Shaun, who has returned from Rome. Desmond states that he knows what they must now do; meanwhile, the central vault activates underground.
The multiplayer aspect has its own plot from the Templar perspective. After impressing Warren Vidic in the first stage of Abstergo Animus Training Program, the player is selected to participate in the second stage of the program for further training.
Upon being promoted to the rank of Master Templar, the player is allowed into the inner sanctum of the Templar Order, and is implanted with a tracker to ensure his/her trustworthiness. After reaching level 50, the player is dubbed an active agent, and assigned the task of retrieving the current Mentor of the Assassin Order, William Miles.