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Assassin's Creed Revelations: Italian killer shows Eastern promise

Ezio proves to be just as deadly in his old age...

They say that with age comes wisdom, but in Ezio Auditore's case that hardly seems true.

Despite hitting the big five-o, he's still raising hell. In fact, Revelations sees Ezio at his most powerful, thanks to new moves - like using a hookblade to zip-line around Constantinople - and fresh kit, namely a pouch filled with grenades and smoke bombs. Wouldn't he rather just stick his feet up and sup some Ovaltine?

Revelations' E3 demo set the tone for what to expect from the game. It's more action now than stealth, and during the walkthrough we see Ezio fight and freerun his way across a harbour stuffed with galleons. While they're on fire.

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As spectacle it impresses, and no doubt there are more set-pieces hidden inside Revelations' lengthy story, but - despite the fireworks - it fails to dazzle. Why?

Assassin's Creed has always been about considered violence; the quiet followed by sudden, tactical application of the wrist-blade. Fingers crossed this first demo was designed to catch attention rather than represent the full game.

BROTHERLY LOVE
Its now outside Ezio's rather drawn-out story that the major interest lies. Desmond, for example, now has his own meta-game - which Ubisoft describe as a special puzzle section - that sees him rebuild his consciousness after the end of Brotherhood.

We also know that the Brotherhood strategy section has been expanded. Expect more varied missions, new recruitment techniques, and stacks of items to be bagged when your contracts are fulfilled.

Constantinople, too, provides new opportunities. Here you'll fight Templars for control over Assassin's Dens before you renovate the city around them. The catch? You can lose dens if you don't guard them, so you need to use allies carefully.

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Inside the city, side-quests will appear naturally and randomly, so it isn't just a case of walking to a dot on the map to help out - you need to react to what's happening around you.

And if the single-player still doesn't grab you, the asymmetric multiplayer from Brotherhood will be back (and, we assume, improved). Ezio may be getting long in the tooth, but there's plenty of bite left in the Creed.

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