GAME REVIEW: ASSASSIN'S CREED REVELATIONS

14. February 2012, 17:04 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

Assassin's Creed Revelations Packaging Like its predecessors Revelations has fantastic graphics, an interesting storyline and good game play. Unfortunately, it seems this episode, at least for the PC, was rushed out the door. On a fully patched and up to date OS, I encountered never ending problems with graphics tearing, mouse sensitivity and crashes, so much so I could play no further than a sequence into the game. Many of these problems apparently have been solved in the patches - if one can get the patches. I have tried for almost a month to download the patches without success and so I have been unable to proceed further.

According to UbiSoft support, who have patiently provided suggestions, it is a connection problem. However, even with all but the most essential services needed to run the system disabled, and no other software loaded the patch download (while it completes) continues to return a CRC error and so will not patch.

Following some advice on the Ubi forums, I uninstalled and reinstalled the game. This resulted in errors from the installer saying certain files were invalid and media was corrupt. This is the same media used to install the first time and is intact and damage free.

Attempts to re-download the patch met with the same failures as before. Additionally you cannot download the patch file separately from the program launcher and run the patch manually.

I have been using computers of one sort or another for over 35 years and have never had as much trouble with a piece of software as I have with this game. The previous three episodes were no problem at all, but whether it is a flaw with the program, the patch system or the DRM used, Revelations has been a disaster. Or maybe it’s time that these games intended for the PC were made for the platform natively, instead of being designed for a console and then ported to the PC.

While I concede that it may be a quirk in my particular setup (though even stripped down, the patch system doesn't work right) it shouldn't be this hard to install patch and play a computer game.

The game on the console (played at a friend’s place) has some quirks but seems much more stable and usable than the PC version.

In any case Revelation on the PC has been a major disappointment and waste of money since the game is unplayable as is and it seems unpatchable as well.

As with all things, especially computer software, "your mileage may vary".

(This review has been posted on Amazon.ca.)

Update: 10 March 2012.

I have finally (almost two months since it was initially installed) managed to get this game properly installed (no thanks to Ubisoft) and updated though it wasn’t easy. Here is a rundown of the steps needed to get the game running here.

  1. Uninstall currently installed game completely.
  2. Sweep hard drive and registry for all traces of Revelations related files, keys and entries. Make sure you clean out the registry as well. If you are not comfortable doing so yourself, ask a competent friend of colleague and explain what you need.
  3. Copy the install DVD to a directory on a hard drive.
  4. Run install from hard drive making note of any filenames that generate CRC errors. Click ignore to continue the install and continue making note of filenames with errors.
  5. Copy new install to a backup directory and delete the filenames on your list of those with errors.
  6. Uninstall game.
  7. Run install from DVD making note of any erroneous filenames as before.
  8. Copy any filenames from your first error list that installed cleanly this time to the backup directory.
  9. Repeat the last three steps until you have a complete set of error free files in the backup directory.
  10. Once you have a complete set of error free installed files in the backup directory, erase the content of the install directory and copy the contents of the backup directory to it.
  11. Run the game only far enough to set your General, Option and Graphics settings and then exit. Note version number here is 1.0.
  12. Download the three update files 1.01,1.02, 1.03, and save them to disk.
  13. Run the first update file (1.01) and follow the prompts. It should complete without errors. If it doesn't you will have to start over.
  14. Run the game only far enough to verify the version number (lower left corner of the screen) is now 1.01 and then exit.
  15. Repeat the above two steps for the 1.02 and 1.03 patches in order.
  16. Play the game — finally!

Once you can play you’ll find the same excellent graphics that characterized the previous incarnations, and a similar storyline and gameplay. While it was fun there really wasn’t anything new, and the game still feels a bit unpolished compared to earlier chapters. It also requires what some may view as severe security compromises to play, especially in multi-player mode (disabling antivirus and malware scanners, firewalls and NAT, enabling on routers ...). Maybe they can restore some quality, both in play and programming (the updates didn’t eliminate all the bugs) in Assassin’s Creed III, due out later this year. Frankly, after the problems I experienced with this one, I’m not sure I’ll bother with it.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: Assassin's Creed,Revelations,Ubisoft,review

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