Being a story driven franchise, Assassin's Creed has had to rely heavily on the development of its characters to make its world both believable and interesting. We already know that both Ezio and Altair will be making appearances in Assassin's Creed Revelations, but there hasn't been a lot of information regarding which characters are going to be making returns and what new faces we're going to see in the game until now.
In another update in its series on Assassins' Creed Revelations features, Game Informer has released detailed info on our returning protagonists, Ezio and Altair, and what role they will play in the coming game, as well as a number of new characters who will be central to the story. We've added their new info to our previous findings and research, but for even more info on some of the multiplayer characters, head to GI.
Ezio makes a return in the third and final chapter of his own personal story (think of it as Assassin's Creed 2: Part 3). When revelations starts, Ezio will have aged quite a bit (read: he's over 50) and is in search of a purpose now that he has attained the rank of Master Assassin in the brotherhood. Ezio still hasn't fathered his own son, and his desire to start a family is also something that has begun to weigh on his mind. In his search, he turns to his ancestors for guidance, in particular Altair.
Altair's story on the other hand, is shrouded in much more mystery. We know that after the events of the first Assassin's Creed, Altair became the Grand Master of the Assassin Order and wrote the codex. In Revelations, Altair will be making a return through playable game sections instead of Desmond reliving his memories through the Animus. During Ezio's journey he will be able to find items that allow him to experience Altair's memories for himself.
These memories will likely fill in some of the gaps regarding Altair's life after the events of Assassin's Creed, and could potentially act as a link providing clues to Ezio in his present, or even clues to Desmond about his.
Along with the return of both series protagonists will be new characters who will drive the story of Assassin's Creed Revelations. In traditional Assassin's Creed fashion, characters encountered in Constantinople will be drawn from history and some of their historical conflicts will factor into the story. Below is a list of a few of the most important new characters that gamers will meet during Ezio's last adventure.
Historically, Manuel Palaeologos was the nephew of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine IX Palaeologos, who was killed during the fall of Constantinople to the invading Ottomans in 1453. Eventually his family moved to Rome where his father Thomas Palaeologos was recognized as the Byzantine Emperor. Manuel's father passed away in 1465 and the claim to the throne passed on down to his elder brother, Andreas Paleaologos. Andreas would later sell his claim to the Byzantine throne to Charles VIII of France.
Later in his life, Manuel would return to Constantinople where he made a deal with then Sultan, Bayezid II, for his claim to the throne in exchange for a comfortable pension. The rights of course, weren't his to sell as they'd already been sold to Charles VIII.
In Assassin's Creed Revelations, Manuel is tied to Byzantine remnants lingering on in Constantinople. To complicate matters, he's also developed ties to the Templar Order. Ubisoft hinted that a major plot point in the game will revolve around Manuel deciding if his loyalties lie with the Templar Order first or with the Byzantines.
Interestingly, both Bayezid II and Manuel died in 1512. In terms of Assassin's Creed Revelations, it could mean that their deaths could be the major plot point at the end the game. For example, if Bayezid II was killed by Templar forces and Manuel was responsible, Ezio could take it upon himself to stop Manuel.
Sofia will play Ezio's love interest in Revelations, replacing the hurt of being shot down by Catarina Sforza in Brotherhood. Sofia's character is completely original and her only tie to history is the painting 'Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman' by Albrecht Durer which is pictured below.
Ezio meets Sofia when he walks into her bookstore in Constantinople, finding himself a rarity in the giant city in that Sofia is also an immigrant from Italy. Sofia came to Constantinople to help spread learning and knowledge to the people of the great city and the bookstore she opened stemmed from that philosophy. The two become close, but Ezio isn't able to tell her about his Assassin's Order and his bloodshed laden past.
In our coverage of the teaser trailers that came out from the Assassin's Creed Facebook page, we mentioned that there was evidence to suggest that Suleiman the Magnificent would have a role to play in the game and that the conflict for succession to Bayezid II's throne could be a major plot point. Now it's official.
Born in 1494, Suleiman will be 17 by the time that Ezio meets him in 1511. Suleiman's family life is an extremely complicated one with both his father, Selim, and his uncle, Ahmet, arguing over their claim to succeed the throne. Suleiman's grandfather, Bayezid II, selected Ahmet, his eldest son, to succeed the throne, but Selim does not agree with this decision. As the escalating conflict seems like it may lead to military war, Suleiman meets Ezio, a man who he looks up to because of his leadership qualities and interesting ideas about the world.
Yusuf is the Master Assassin of the brotherhood's group in Constantinople. During Ezio's time in Constantinople they become close friends, and even friendly rivals. Yusuf is the one to introduce Ezio to the Hookblade, a new weapon making its appearance in Assassin's Creed Revelations which will allow him to grapple across the city and pull enemies towards him in battle.
While Yusuf's role in the story isn't clear, he could be taking the dual role of replacing both Mario, as an elite assassin in the Order and close friend, as well as Leonardo DaVinci, as a bearer of new technology.
While these new characters bring depth to the single player campaign, multiplayer is also going to be seeing itself fleshed out even more in Revelations. Characters used in the multiplayer maps will have their own backstories.
For example, The Guardian is the estranged cousin of the first Sultan of the Sennar Sultunate and was driven from his home by his own family. When he ended up in Alexandria, he encountered the Templars and liking their views joined their cause. Calling himself the Guardian of Truth, he is determined to make the Templar belief that peace can be attained through order and stability a reality.
Below are three images which depict Ezio, Manuel Palaeologos, and The Gaurdian respectively, courtesy of Game Informer.
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How do you feel about the Assassin's Creed portrayal of history through the eyes of Ezio?
Assassin's Creed Revelations is going to bring history to the present in November, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3.
Source: Game Informer