Revelations in the World of Assassin’s Creed

Before we begin, please watch the trailer linked here – Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Then return for thoughts and commentary. And if you haven’t already, check out my review of Assassin’s Creed at Soontobeangel.

First of all, sorry for how long this took to post. Expect my posts around noon EST.
Second:  Stargate. Ubisoft. SPARKLE!

Now that that’s out of my system, I will say that what initially struck me about this trailer was the power of the music.  The song is “Iron” by Woodkid, which I recommend you check out on iTunes. From the first note, you know that something is about to go down and the animation was matched perfectly to the emotional ride of the song. You can particularly feel the power at 1:03, when he gets hit. It immediately launches into “attach mode” that sets you up for the empending fight. And just to be clear, I bought the song and have been listening to it for 3 weeks now, and I still have no clue what the first two lines are. 🙂

The first image is an interesting choice. It reminds me of the first shot of the Dead Island trailer, which sets a tone of “what happened here?” I like starting with a question because that makes the audience engage more with it. Also, the middlepoint being the opening is a great choice as it introduces the who and a bit of the where but still leaves that since of wondering that entices us in.

Let’s look at the first 24 seconds.  We open on a hooded man in what might be armor laying on the floor. Fans recognize the outfit of the Assassins, but to those who don’t know you can see he is armored and might be carrying weapons. Then the men come and pick him up and we get the scope of his situations. Off the bat we know who the protagonist is and that he is in trouble. One final note – the final shot (0:36) gives us the first clue to the “where” that fans might recognize as the citadel at Masyaf.

Beginning at 0:42 we start into the flashback journey to that point. I like the boat simply because it is epic (I mean not typical or common, showing he is in command) and because we first get a glimpse at Ezio. Fans recognize him, non-fans see some kick-a old guy.  Also the water animation is fantastic!  Anyway we follow him on his journey (which signals a long journey in the game, probably from where he was before). What I like about this section is it shows off their animation skills. Ezio blends into the background which can be an issue for animated works (ie – stuff that moves in old Disney films is more brightly colored).

1:02 – This is where it gets bleeping crazy! Music fits perfectly here and I am not sure whether or not it was made for this trailer. Anyway the arrow hit totally freaked me when I first saw it. His reaction again solidifying his badbleepery. But enough about that.  Let’s get to the fight.

I love how they mess with the speed of the fight – from slowmo to speeding it up, it makes the fight all the more interesting.  I also like how human it seems. His punches and hits aren’t ridiculous and some how they make his reactions seem…reactionary. Not planned but like he actually sees what is coming, thinks and then acts. Particularly look at his dodging of the first pike guy (1:18).
Again, this fight is awesome particularly because it demonstrates the smoothness, the calculation, and the skill of the Assassin Ezio. Really showcases his fighting skill.

1:46 – Third turn (second of fight).  Pulling out the hidden blades should indicate to anyone who didn’t know what they were watching exactly what this is, as it is the flagpoint of the franchise. We also get another turn immediately following the Hidden Blades one. We see a White figure with a sort of aura around it. from 1:52 -56, we see that this person is a phantom of Ezio’s mind. Another level of intrigue which makes you and I wonder what is going on, particularly when we see Ezio go down. Fans get a powerful moment when they see the hidden blade, the symbol of the Assassin’s, snapped. Then we catch up to the present.

Again, just to clarify, we start in the middle – flash back to the past – then flash back to the end of the middle section.

The final sequence is just an excellent silent face-off between Ezio and the mystery bald guy. I like the musical twists of getting super intense, the verbal cue of “…your face”, and the use of silence at the end is fantastic. If you listen to the original song, they do a great job covering the break in the trailer with the hawk scream (I hate that sound but it works here).  Excellent parallelism with Altair and Ezio at the jump point from game 1. Just a great example of a Ramp – emotional and intensity building up to the break point.

The noose goes up. Ezio throws down. It’s just awesome. And ending with him not giving up.  I am so pumped for this game!

FINAL ANALYSIS:  5/5
Great use of music and sound
Fantastic animation
Good narrative that doesn’t give anything away
Emotionally intense and stimulating
Good work Ubisoft Montreal.  I will be there waiting for it.

So there you go!  Again sorry it took so long to post.  If you haven’t already, check out my review of Assassin’s Creed on the soontobeangel blog.  Also, you can expect this format (sunday ramble, tuesday review on stba, friday AotT review) in the future.  Speaking of which, I leave you with these clues to my next post on Sunday:

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About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

3 responses to “Revelations in the World of Assassin’s Creed

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