We’ve worn our love for the Assassin’s Creed series on our sleeve for quite a while here at Click, so we’re a little bit sad that Ezio’s story is finally drawing to a close. However, rather than letting ourselves get too downbeat about it, we are instead preparing to embrace what is sure to be yet another master class in the art of the third person adventure title from the Ubisoft Montreal team. And to get ourselves geared up for its imminent release, we caught up with lead game designer Alexander Breult for a chat in Toronto last month…
Click: Tell us a little bit about Revelations then…
AB: Revelations is the conclusion of Ezio’s story. It’s the final chapter of the trilogy that started with ACII, and it sees Ezio on a more personal quest to go back to Masyaf learn about the origins of the Assassin’s, and Altair in particular, but when he arrives there he learns that the place has been completely overrun with Templars who are trying to find a Templar secret. So the game becomes a race of time to get there before the Templars, and to do so he must go to Constantinople (which will be the main city we’ll be seeing in the game) to find a series of seals. That’s basically the core aspect of the game. On top of that, you’ve got the feature that you’re going to be able to relive certain key moments from Altair’s life… through Ezio.
Click: Wow! That’s interesting… how does that work?
AB: The way it works is that the seals that Ezio must collect to be able to access this secret library that the Templars are searching for are actually devices which contain parts of Altair’s memories, and those devices are able to make him relive parts of Altair’s life.
Click: When you started out on Assassins Creed II, were you expecting it to be a trilogy, or was that something that just happened as you progressed?
AB: We always had an idea of the scope of the story we wanted to tell about Ezio. It wasn’t necessarily defined which form it would take, but we knew that we had a big story to tell players, and it was really important for us to be able to get that story across in the best way possible. In ACII we see Ezio becoming the master Assassin and in Brotherhood we are concerned with rebuilding the guild of the Assassins and defeating the Borgia once and for all. Whereas here we really wanted to be able to bring a close to Ezio’s story, on a much more personal level than we ever have before. It was important for us to be able to achieve this closure to the story.
Click: Brotherhood added the multiplayer side of play and the control of the other Assassins, which were both well received. What new stuff does Revelations bring to the table in terms of new stuff, or is it just a case of refining what you have to ensure it’s the best game possible?
AB: We are continuing to build on everything. We still have the multiplayer and the guild management aspect of the game, which will please fans of that, but we do have some new stuff appearing too. The first of the major new additions is the hook blade, the new weapon, which is also a navigation tool. That allowed for a lot of improvement on the navigation side of the game, to be able to climb around using the hook blade gives a really different feel to the navigation system.
The other major new feature is the bomb crafting system where the player will be able to assemble a range of different bombs which will prove to be really useful later on in the game!
Click: Is the multiplayer as it was, or have you made any improvements there?
AB: Again, there we build on what we had. We have added a lot of new material though. We’ve got plenty of new modes, new characters, new weapons, new animations and more. There’s also a lot work been done using the feedback that we’ve been given from the community in order to improve the game for the users, which was the most important thing. We have better matchmaking, better navigation features, more information and statistics after games and that kind of thing.
Click: Excellent, it sounds good! So, you said that this was going to be finishing up Ezio’s storyline; does it also finish off Altair’s?
AB: It’s more about revealing the key aspects in the life of Altair and revealing what happened to him than necessarily playing through with him in a typical way.
Click: We know that ACIII is coming next year, so… actually, ACIII is coming next year right?
AB: Is it? I only know about Revelations…
Click: [laughs] Why don’t we believe you? Anyway, is Revelations going to lead us into the ACIII storyline, or is it going to be more a case of wrapping everything up that’s gone before in terms of Ezio’s storyline?
AB: We’re wrapping up the stories of Ezio and Altair with this one, but we do also need to remember that we have a story to continue, especially about what’s going to happen with Desmond. We’re going to be explaining more about his motivation, as well as leading up to what we can expect him to do next.
Click: So in total we’re getting Ezio, Altair and Desmond’s stories all being told in Revelations?
AB: Yes, that’s correct. We have all three with significant parts in the game.
Click: You added in the ability to ride your horse in the cities in Brotherhood, which was surprisingly fun. Can we expect to see that returning again here with Revelations?
AB: No, we don’t actually have that this time around. The design of the game didn’t really suit having the horse in the cities with Revelations. It worked well in the last games because the cities weren’t as tight and confined, or as busy, as they are in this game, so for that reason you’re not going to be seeing that again here. However the cities this time around are really optimised for free running, exploration and use of the hook blade, so we don’t think that too many people will be particularly disappointed with how it’s turned out!
Assassin's Creed Revelations is coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 on the 15th of November.
You can read our interview with scriptwriter Darby McDevitt
or take a gander at our hands on preview
. And stay tuned for our exclusive review soon!