Defending your dens shouldn't be a constant headache… provided you keep up recruitment.
As in Brotherhood, freeing up a den makes little “assist citizen” markers show
up on your map, each one identifying a potential recruit. Unlike Brotherhood,
however, you’ll often have to do more than just defend your would-be trainee
against a gang of Templar thugs. During our session, for example, we had to
track down a pickpocket who was slipping obsolete coins into people’s pockets;
run a race against some guy who wanted to impress a girl; and save a wounded
man’s wife and child from a Templar hit squad. The extra effort – and the extra
story that goes into these encounters – made the recruits a little more
interesting than their Roman counterparts, and we’re told their personalities
will be more visible throughout the course of the game.
your Brotherhood Assassins could only level up from trainee to Assassin, going
off on timed missions and diving in to help you as needed, your recruits in
Revelations will be a little more versatile. After they make Assassin, for
example, they’ll have five more ranks to rise through. When they reach Master
Assassin, they’ll take over the defense of their respective dens, effectively
stopping attacks and giving you one less thing to worry about.
are also a bit more capable in the timed “Mediterranean Defense” away missions
(which take place offscreen, in cities across Europe). These now have a purpose
aside from gaining experience and collecting items. Each sortie you send your
Assassins on now lessens Templar influence in that specific city, and once it’s
down low enough, you’ll actually be able to conquer and hold it for the
So that’s the
game’s second chapter (and a pretty good chunk of Revelations’ new additions) in
a nutshell. As the fourth chapter began, we learned of a Templar conspiracy to
kill the son of the Ottoman Sultan, meaning we (along with the Turkish
Assassins) needed to haul ass across the rooftops to his residence at Topkapi
Palace. The assassination was set to occur during a party, and luckily enough,
the entertainment hired for the evening was a group of Italian minstrels. Yes,
the same minstrels who got all up in your face in the last two games. And yes,
you get to kick their asses.
not to be seen, the first part of the mission involved finding the minstrels
(not too difficult) and, as they tried to sing us a song, knocking them out and
stuffing them into convenient nearby haystacks. Once that was done and all the
Assassins had been properly outfitted, Ezio picked up a lute and walked to the
palace, entourage in tow. The guards weren’t too keen to let him in at first,
but after a couple of atonal, off-key ditties about Cesare Borgia (and various other
characters from the series), they were only too happy to see Ezio pass through.
our main task was to stroll around and identify killers with Eagle Sense,
playing occasional songs to deflect suspicion (and for our own amusement). Once
we’d picked the would-be hitmen out of the crowd (again, by using a targeting
reticule to scan them), one of our Turkish friends would creep up and slide a
knife between their ribs before they could attack Prince Suleiman – who, as it
turned out, was the same Suleiman who’d told Ezio he was a student in the
After their hitmen had been dealt with, the Templars tried one final, last-ditch attack on Suleiman,
only to die at the hands of Yusuf and Ezio (who stabbed one in the neck with
his broken lute). Recognizing Ezio from the boat, Suleiman offered his thanks,
and was soon hurried into a nearby tower. Once things had died down and the
guests had been evacuated, we were tasked with climbing up the side of that
tower, unseen, and eavesdropping on the conversation within. Doing so meant
sneaking past squads of Janissaries, an experience that quickly taught us they
weren’t to be messed with.
tower introduced us to a couple of new characters: Suleiman’s uncle Ahmet, next
in line to be the Sultan, and Tarik, captain of the Janissaries. Their heated
conversation taught us two things: First, that Tarik wasn’t at all fond of Ahmet,
and didn’t think he was fit to lead – certainly not as fit as Suleiman’s
father, anyway. Second, it taught us that – as much as he insisted otherwise –
Tarik probably orchestrated the attack in order to make Ahmet look weak.
Tarik was worth keeping an eye on, although we had other obligations to take
care of. Before we could get to them, however, a slight tilt of the camera
alerted us to a man running out of the crowd from behind Ezio. Before we could
react, he’d grabbed Ezio by the throat and sunk a knife into his back.
This, we soon
learned, was a Stalker, one of many random Templar hitmen who hide in crowds
and strike when you’re not expecting it. They can be easily countered if you
know to watch out for them, and will try to run after stabbing you if you’re
not fast enough. Either way, our first encounter with one was a huge shock –
although the loot we gained from chasing and killing the bastard afterward made
him well worth the surprise.
shaken off our astonishment, it was time to head back to Galata Tower, climb
it, head inside and break a crane, which sent us plunging uncontrollably into the deep caverns below. After
a quick slide down a hazard-filled slope, a precarious catch with the
hookblade and a climb up the dangling remains of the crane, we found ourselves in the first
of several hidden dungeons, which correspond more or less to the Assassin Tombs
and Romulus Lairs in earlier games.
looked scary, all underground waterfalls, yawning chasms and rotting wooden
planks, the dungeon turned out to be a fairly straightforward obstacle-course
run, time-consuming but not terribly challenging for anyone who knows how to
get around in Creed. At the end were a bunch of chests, a hidden switch
(detectable through Eagle Sense) and our ultimate prize: A Masyaf key, holding
within it not only the potential to access the hidden Assassin library at the
fortress, but also a recorded memory from the first Creed protagonist, Altair.
to his headquarters, Ezio took a seat in the library and activated the key.
Suddenly, we were Altair again, moments after the conclusion of the first game.
Al Mualim, the Assassin leader who’d been corrupted by the ancient Apple of
Eden, lay dead, and Altair had to carry him through a disbelieving crowd to a
way, he was challenged by Abbas, his old rival, who couldn’t bring himself to
understand why Al Mualim had to die, refused to accept that his body should be
burned (taboo for Assassins, apparently), and who, after a heated argument,
shoved Altair off a small cliff and into the crowd below. A brief fight with
some of Abbas’ supporters ensued, forcing Altair to quickly disarm them – at
which point Abbas reappeared atop a high tower, this time holding the Apple