"This used to be so easy," says a wounded Ezio. He's not talking about understanding the story of Assassin's Creed, that's for sure, what with it being a narrative tapestry more confusing than Lost weaved with random episodes of a long-running soap opera. Yet the unashamedly complicated antics of Ezio, Desmond, and Altair are obviously not without their charms, and my concerns about Revelations - the third and alleged final title in Ubisoft's proposed Ezio saga - have never been with its barmy plot.
Still, the promising new Assassin's Creed: Revelations footage shown at gamescom 2011 helped restore my confidence in this year's title. Or, in simpler terms: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bombs.
I'll admit I was sceptical at first, as the new bomb mechanic seemed pernickety and more than a little unnecessary in a game with an already overflowing arsenal - why faff around with crafting explosives when the hidden blades were already so effective? Besides, hundreds of potential bomb combinations simply sounded like it was going to be a mess of crafting materials and unsightly inventory management.
In reality, though, Revelations' bombs look like a joyous addition. They are bucketed into lethal, tactical, and diversion categories, and are easily crafted out of shell, gunpowder, and effect components - you'll naturally accrue the various components as you go about your grisly business.
The new footage on show had Ezio chasing Leandros, the leader of a byzantine Templar faction, across Masyaf, after being wounded and knocked off a carriage. He scrambles up water wheels and over ornate city walls, and - after focusing solely on the hookblade at E3 - it's time for the bombs to take centre stage in dispatching the city guard.
One of the most significant additions of the bombs is that they allow for more variety in your confrontations, letting you do things like drop caltrops to easily give pursuers the slip. Or you can hook up a tripwire bomb to a downed guard and lull his unsuspecting colleagues over to investigate the booby-trapped body. The tripwire doesn't necessarily have to be fatal, either, if you're looking to take a non-lethal approach.