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Revelations: Absolute Proof That Annualization Sucks?

I don't hate the franchise. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger Assassin's Creed fan; behind Uncharted, Ubisoft's awesome series is my second favorite of the generation.

And as much as I enjoy Assassin's Creed: Revelations, it's clear to me that we could've received a better game if Ubisoft didn't embrace this new "annualization" trend. You know, the thing Call of Duty and Madden does: release a new entry once per year and rake in a ton of cash simply due to the popularity of the brand.

And it'd be wrong to say that Revelations is a bad game. Truth be told, it does absolutely everything right in terms of mechanics; it didn't change much, but it tweaked and refined the presentation and controls just a tad, so the end result is excellent. And while some will say, "oh, that's the reason it's of lesser quality, because too much was the same," that isn't true at all. Ubisoft implemented a lot of new things...the problem is that they didn't fit, and some just felt plain ol' half-baked.

In short, it's what happens when you rush things. When Brotherhood came out, we were told that it would be Ezio's final adventure. And then, lo and behold, we find he's coming back, and Altair is, too. Why? Because the characters already exist, and they need to pump another game out for another holiday launch. So they take the tried-and-true formula and in an attempt to add more (so it doesn't feel like a rehash), they drop in interesting but unrefined ideas and in the end, the entire production suffers.

It's the first AC title that is not elite in my eyes. And that's too bad, because the core gameplay is still fantastic. It's just that it seems painfully obvious: had they taken their time the final product would've been up to par with previous entries. Also, don't forget that with Brotherhood, they were merely continuing a path they had long since chosen; the rest of Ezio's story was actually already written. Revelations just sorta came out of nowhere to appease the "annualization" gods.

And I'm sorry, but it bugs me.

Tags: assassins creed, revelations, assassins creed iii, assassins creed 3

11/27/2011 9:18:24 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (49 posts)

playSTATION
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 9:43:50 PM
Reply

its why i like games like uncharted that has a 2 year cycle. now its kratos time to come back next year :D

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firesoul453
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:00:35 PM

ya two years is great. Its a long long time, but not "forever"!

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frostface
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 3:54:02 PM

CoD's have two year cycles, they just leap frog Dev's.

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Akuma07
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 6:30:00 PM

frostface makes a good point.

If it wasn't for the multiple devs, CoD would have a 2 year life cycle.

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firesoul453
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 8:59:26 PM

Correction! As I've already mentioned

COD games DO have a 2 year dev cycle

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firesoul453
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 9:59:43 PM
Reply

I was just thinking about this the other day. I was thinking to myself. I wonder how they manage to make such a great game in just a year

Remember that even call of duty games take two years to make. (they switch developers)

I can't think of any game developer that manages to release such a good game in just one year.

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FatherSun
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:33:24 PM

I could only see that happening if the dev has created a spectacular engine and has a full roadmap of how the games story will play out. If they are coming up with a story and changing game mechanics every year then they are risking failure.

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BigBoss4ever
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:07:17 PM
Reply

this is a BAD trend for the entire industry and the entire generation, not just to AC series alone.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/27/2011 10:07:32 PM

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FxTales
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:14:44 PM
Reply

Yes, and I say that because I wasn't so much disapppointed, just underwhelmed with Revelations. Also did anyone else feel like it was short? I came away thinking that didn't take long to finish.

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FatherSun
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:27:55 PM
Reply

I have no problem with how long it takes to make a "GREAT" game. Be it a month, 1 year, 2 or even 3 years. As long as the finished product excels in quality. Who doesn't prefer quality over quantity? I was worried about this franchise when UBI began the annualization rumblings but I had faith. I am 20% in and I already see what you speak of Ben.

I fear that the "Gamefication" era upon us will eventually ruin games altogether. I feel we have one generation left. Then a few years of blah, then hopefully a triumphant return to greatness. I just hope dark age madness does not turn me off enough to stop playing games altogether. NAHHH!!! Ill just play the classics.

We are rapidly losing the traditional RPG, and most new games released are developed with planned DLC. Years ago we would get so much bang for the buck. This new age is more than a double edged sword. Its a clusterfuck of razors and barbed wire. This is why we must appreciate the great developers out there. They are what keep me in the GAME! Naughty Dog, SuckerPunch, Kojima, RockStar, Santa Monica, etc.. come guys help me out here...

Last edited by FatherSun on 11/27/2011 10:30:41 PM

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firesoul453
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:39:06 PM

Well only thing is that a lot of times developers that take a long time just to make it "perfect" often aren't as good as some game uncharted or sometimes go so far as to completely over think it and mess it up


But ya I want developers to completely finish a game and not rush it. I don't have enough time to play all the games I want to now anyway

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Ludakriss
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 8:11:28 AM

Continuing the list of great studios. Eidos Interactive, the dev that used to creat Time Splitters (now Crytek UK). Don't know about the rest of you, hungry for a good, mature, well spoken story but, I miss Legacy Of Kain series.

Absolutely breat taking they were. Ms Amy Henning if you're listening, your talent is once again called upon. Please answer.

Last edited by Ludakriss on 11/28/2011 8:12:06 AM

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mehrab2603
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 10:03:29 AM

Oh man Legacy of Kain, what a story it had. How I wish Eidos let Amy Henning to make another game in the series. She with her Uncharted team making a Legacy of Kain.........*dead*

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Ludakriss
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 9:23:19 AM

I'm glad other people remember that story. Great morals questioned. =)

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godsman
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 10:48:06 PM
Reply

I am still playing AC:Brotherhood. I can notice a huge decrease in quality of the story. It felt like the story lost focus in the adventure.

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Warrior Poet
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 11:51:00 PM
Reply

I'm liking the five year Zelda cycle. Each new Zelda game tends to be revolutionary in some way, and they're all very meticulously thought-out and pretty excellent. Imagine annualization for that franchise?

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Jawknee
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 11:53:59 AM

Annualizing Zelda would indeed suck but 5 years is too long. I'd say 3 is plenty.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 2:09:53 PM

GTA seem to be on a four year cycle now (with gta5 coming next year) and it feels like forever since gta4. So yeah I agree with Jawk, three sounds just about perfect.

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BikerSaint
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 5:54:21 PM

3, agree!

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___________
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 12:38:47 AM
Reply

only thing that brought revelations down was it felt rushed and because of that they removed so many things.
though AC3 has been in development since 2 finished, brotherhood and this were built buy a different team so it should be as big a jump as 1 to 2 was.
i feel as if brotherhood was irrelevant though.
storywise, it feels like they could of left it out and it would of not mattered it does not do much for the story.
revelations really carried from where 2 left off, continuing desmonds adventure and training to find the temples.
brotherhood though, did nothing really, just felt like a filler, a good excuse to milk the franchise just a bit more before finishing it.
i really wish they left brotherhood, and let revelations take its place.
how much you want to bet revelations would be getting much better scores if they did?

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gungrave
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 12:58:07 AM
Reply

Hey Ben, do me favor, next time be sure to include a "SPOILER WARNING". Thanks.

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drortego
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 7:00:30 AM

What exactly did he spoil?

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Underdog15
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 8:58:57 AM

Nothing was spoiled at all... any info about the story or gameplay can also be seen on the box-art....

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 9:55:45 AM

Not a single solitary story spoiler anywhere.

Try reading.

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TrophyHunter
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 11:28:16 AM

@gungrave
Did u know what a spoiler is bro???

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gungrave
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 1:39:49 AM

The AC series is like GTA to me. It takes me forever to finish the storyline, just too much running around causing trouble. Well I'm about to finally finish AC2 which leaves Brotherhood next...well I thought the story would wrap up in Revelations. Now I know this is no longer the case. Just would've rather of found that out on my own.

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Gabriel013
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 1:18:20 AM
Reply

Strangely, Revelations is the first of the series I have bought in day 1. I agree there are some areas I think have been a little rushed but overall it's just as much fun as the last games. I think we could have done with a little more of an expansion on the Desmond areas and the den defense mini games are bit flat but the core of the game is great.

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AshT
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 2:12:52 AM
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I was disappointed with Revelations and ubisoft

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 3:59:52 AM
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Sports games and fps iterations can just about maintain an annual cycle -

Open world adventures like ac require too much content for annual cycles.

The only reasons what sports franchises and fps are able to maintain an annual cycle is down to the fact that sports dont really evolve too much in the course of a year apart from rosters. cod has only managed it historically because of the number of studios they employed.

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Temjin001
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 6:19:55 AM
Reply

Yeah, I agree for sure. I'm not as much bothered by a game getting annual releases as I am the apparent rush the development undergoes. Just as long as the game is quality stuff and worthy of it's price of admission. Is Ubisoft too cheap to assign A and B teams for 2 year dev cycles? They did that for Splinter Cell during the last gen, why haven't they for AC?

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Godslim
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 6:31:31 AM
Reply

i stopped buying them after the first one....i borrowed the second off a friend and completed it but it has becom much like cod

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Underdog15
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 9:01:48 AM

um, what?

Revelations has dipped in quality, but AC2 and Brotherhood are 2 of this generation's best. And it's unique... not like CoD...

Last edited by Underdog15 on 11/28/2011 9:02:24 AM

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VampDeLeon
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 8:47:04 PM

Maybe he meant it's becoming annual like COD?

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Beamboom
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 7:07:59 AM
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Annualization sucks unless you are a sports game. Then it makes more sense since that's just polishing and tweaks required anyway - the sport and it's rules more or less stays the same so the devs can put all their focus on the details.

In every other genre annualization sucks, also cause I need a break from the storyline and universe to truly value the sequel. I sincerely hope that none of my favourites ends up like this - that would ruin it for me.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/28/2011 7:10:21 AM

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hellish_devil
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 11:04:52 AM

"need a break to value the sequel"

my thoughts exactly

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OPHIDIAN
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 8:27:50 AM
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Call of duty is not annualised though. Activision have two largely independent developers one following the MW series and the other just freelancing.

I really don't mind these annual releases.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 9:56:40 AM

How does it matter who produces them? Of course CoD is annualized; we get one CoD a year.

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 10:45:41 AM

I think what's he getting at is even those there is an annual release of the title, the studios have historically have been on a two year life cycle. I.e. the swap between Treyarch and Infinity.

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hellish_devil
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 11:07:06 AM

It's about the franchise, not the studio

Last edited by hellish_devil on 11/28/2011 11:07:15 AM

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 12:38:34 PM

got to take the comparators in context to ac.

cod has had 2 dev studios alternating, which effectively means one studio produces a title every 2 years.

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Underdog15
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 1:35:27 PM

It is absolutely annualized, but the 2 year dev cycles are worth noting. But even with that said, it's not like they ever update the engine. Everything is presented differently, but it's basically the same.

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maxpontiac
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 1:43:03 PM
Reply

I haven't played an Assassin's Creed title since the first one, but I am not surprised at all. Ubisoft did the same thing on the Hawx sequel.

With the annualization of some games, not a person here shoud be shocked. Sports games such as Madden and FPS's such as COD has gotten many to buy a game every year.

Welcome to a global economy that is struggling mixed with plain ole business practices.

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PAKINIPS
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 5:15:25 PM
Reply

I got brotherhood for less than a fiver 6 months later so its not all bad.
Also I racked up about 40 hours completing it which is about the same time I spent on fallout.
Good value for money

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Akuma07
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 6:31:41 PM
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I think revelations is Ubi trying to push the multiplayer envelope.

I wish one of these games would flop, not massively, just enough for them to realise that anualization with a game like this is a BAD idea.

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VampDeLeon
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 7:52:28 PM
Reply

I have to disagree with Revelations being just "an appease to the "annualization" gods". Playing through it, it finally answered some questions about what happened to Altair after the first game and the story with Ezio helped lead up to "Embers".

Let's be honest, the world of Assassin's Creed can be infinite since it's main theme is playing through as an ancestor as an Assassin during an earlier period of time. Since Revelations is in AC:I and AC: II world still, there shouldn't be that much of a high expectation story wise since right now it is merely closing in any mystery gaps up until they do an AC:III where it should be expected to see something grand being it will be in a new time period.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 12:49:04 AM
Reply

I think those mentioning above about the difference between the annualisation of a franchise, and the annualised output of a development studio.

All those publishers who look to COD as a shining example and then put their studios under pressure to put out a game every year need to take notice that not even the COD studios put out a game each year in their own right. They alternate.

Expecting a single studio to put out a game every year is asking for trouble.

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Lairfan
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 7:45:37 PM
Reply

No, its really not proof of this at all. Even with only being made in a year it manages to be far less glitchy than Skyrim (even with patch 1.02), and has given me a much better experience than most other games this year. I don't know why everyone hates Desmond's segments and the Den Defenses; IMO Den Defenses are fun, and Desmond's segments get more intense and better in the later ones.

And as far as the story goes, its definitely the best one so far for AC aside from AC2's.

Besides, if you remember that article you posted here a month or two ago Ben, you'll remember that next year's AC is the last annual installment for the franchise and the end of Desmond's story. So basically, they'll have more time after next year to make these games. And seeing as how the quality hasn't really dropped so far, its not really that big of a deal IMO.

Last edited by Lairfan on 11/29/2011 7:46:19 PM

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Sirius
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:12:27 AM
Reply

Yes, it is true. The game was a huge disappointment from my point of view. Nothing interesting in the story line, all missions are repetitive and adds nothing new to the previous games. The game is just a filler like brotherhood, but I found brotherhood to be much better than revelations.
I'm a huge fan of Assassin's creed, I have all the games of the franchise, and I find revelations to be the worst Assassin's creed of all.

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Sirius
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:20:11 AM
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Another thing I didn't like is that it is way too easy still. Armor and weapons are completely useless in the game. You can finish the game without buying any of the merchants stuff. The restoration of the city is useless too, no reason to waste time on that. They could have fix this with this entry really, but they didn't. I think a character like Ezio really deserved a better ending.
Bottom line: it just feels like you are playing the same game over and over again, with no new stuff, really boring.

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