Assassin’s Creed Revelations brings to a close the saga of Ezio Auditore da Firenze after three Assassin’s Creed games featuring him as the lead character. To celebrate the end of this chapter in the Assassin’s Creed chronicles, Ubisoft have released a special version of their new game, the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus Edition.
For me Assassin’s Creed Revelations marks the end of a barrage of triple A titles that started with Deus Ex: Human Revolution way back at the end of August. Since then we’ve been treated to the likes of Dead Island, Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Skyrim and loads of other fantastic titles.
I’d reviewed the last two Assassin’s Creed games for Game Console back when they were released. I was even fortunate enough to be flown over to Oz for a face-to-face with Assassin’s Creed II‘s creative director, Patrice Désilets. My intension for the fourth game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, was to simply play though the game at a leisurely pace rather than actually review the game. The best laid plans and all that; as it happens, I’m actually going for the Assassin’s Creed review hat-trick. Look out for my Assassin’s Creed Revelations review on techday.com in the next week or so.
As I wasn’t planning on reviewing Revelations, I was going to have to buy a copy. If I’m going to buy a game and it’s one those games that I know I’m really going to like, it’s not unusual for me to go for the collector’s edition. The Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus Edition, whilst not the most extravagant collector’s edition that I’ve got hold of recently, still has a lot going for it.
The Animus Edition comes in the most awkward-shaped box that a game could come in. As nice as it looks with its wrap-a-round lenticular Animus-style packaging, the box looks as if it’s been squashed. It hasn’t, but it still won’t stand upright.
With the cardboard packaging removed, the box looks pretty cool, although the felt lid is only resting in place and, as the box won’t stand upright, will just fall off.
Inside the box the hardcover Assassin’s Creed Encyclopedia and game disc are neatly stored. The first thing I noticed was the rather spectacular detail on the book’s spine.
The main draw of the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus Edition, for me anyway, is the Assassin’s Creed Encyclopedia. It seems that publishers are getting wise to the fact that those cruddy little flip-book sized “art-books” are actually a bit crap. Whilst the Assassin’s Creed Encyclopedia doesn’t quite top the beautiful Skyrim art book, it comes rather close.
The encyclopedia’s dust-jacket is made from some rather thin cartridge-style paper and looks a bit cheap. Also my copy hadn’t faired too well, being stuffed into the Animus case. But underneath the dust jacket the book’s cover is nicely embossed with the assassin’s seal.
The encyclopedia isn’t just packed full of text. There are also loads of double-page spreads dedicated to the beautiful concept art created for the series to date. Even the more text heavy pages are adorned with some really nice illustrations.
The only downside of the book is the amount of spoilers in it. I’d not recommend anything other that a cursory glance though the book until you’ve played through Assassin’s Creed Revelations.
The Animus Edition includes a copy of Ubiworkshop’s Assassin’s Creed Embers animated movie. Again, this is best watched after experiencing the Revelations game. Embers serves as an epilogue to Ezio’s tale as his past catches up to him when a stranger arrives at the aging assassin’s vineyard. The movie uses a cell shaded CGI art-style that looks a bit too much like a cut scene for me. The movie is also available from Xbox Live (and probably the PlayStation Store as well).
While the pack is full of great stuff, lets not forget the game itself, which bring to a close the tale of Ezio Auditore.
The pack also has a copy of the Assassin’s Creed soundtrack featuring some featuring a selection of tracks from the game series.
The Animus Edition includes a code redeemable for an extra mission, a selection of weapons, some armour and a couple of multiplayer character classes. There’s also a Uplay code that unlocks the multiplayer game mode.
The Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus Edition offers possibly the best value of all the collector’s editions that have been on offer of the last few months,retailing at only NZ$30 more that the regular version. The highlight of the pack (other than the game, itself) is most definitely the Assassin’s Creed Encyclopedia, which offered a marvelous insight into the level of detail that has gone into creating the living, breathing world of Assassin’s Creed. The inclusion of the Embers movie is very welcome, providing a nice end-paper to Ezio’s story. Whilst the soundtrack may appeal to some, it isn’t really my cup of tea. All in all a nice and relatively cheap special edition of a superb game.
I’d recommend the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Animus Edition to any fan of the series looking for something a bit more interesting than usual without having to break the bank.