Assassin’s Creed is one of those series that has started to feel like an abusive parent. Despite how much the series has fallen from grace, I still find myself clinging to a splinter of hope that it will get better. But despite the pitfalls, Ezio is a great character. He’s intelligent, cunning, and great with the ladies. That is why Ubisoft decided to stretch out his character for three games, and release The Ezio Collection for the Xbox One, which contains Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations.
Chances are you know the story. In the first game, Ezio’s family gets killed and he seeks revenge, meeting a few historical figures along the way like Leonardo da Vinci. This all wraps around the discovery of the apple of eden, which both the Templars and assassins want to get their hands on.
By Brotherhood, Ezio is a bonified hero and seeks to spread his influence and rebuild the assassin order in Rome while chasing down the Borgias. The game starts out with Ezio returning to his Uncle’s hometown. Soon after, a guy named Cesare invades town, kills Ezio’s uncle, and basically acts as a cookie cutter villain the entire game. There is also a side romance involved, but it is largely arbitrary and is only really there so Ezio can rescue the damsel in distress.
In Revelations, Ezio is a legend, but must once again trot around in a new town setting up shop with a new assassin order. The story revolves around Altair’s old library that contains ancient knowledge. Once again, the Templars and assassins are trying to find the keys to this door.
The only new aspect of Revelations is that the story tries to tie together Ezio’s epilogue with Altair’s. And in fairness, I actually liked this. But it is an obvious coverup. Ezio has nothing interesting or new about them, so a story was crafted for Altair to make the game have an overall arc.
As for Desmond well… his story goes off the rails hard. He hardly sees and character development at all despite being around for four games.
The gameplay between all three games is basically the same. Stalk Templars from rooftops, crowds of people, and haystacks to ensure their throats get the recommended dose of steel. So rather than talk about what’s the same, I’ll just talk about what changed.
Assassin’s creed 2 offered the double blade, and an improved combat system over the first game. You use some throwaway creations of Leonardo once for story missions. Blending with crowds was added as well as courtesans, thieves and other distractions. There was also a gun crafted for Ezio.
Brotherhood introduced recruiting assassins and sending them on missions. It added a little depth to the game, and served as a nice tactic during missions. Select an enemy, and press LB to have two of your assassin’s leap in and do the killing for you.
There was also a few new tools introduced like parachutes, smoke bombs, and a crossbow. Other than these trinkets, the meat of the game is the same.
Revelations is just Brotherhood remastered. Build up your assassins guild. Except for a hook blade that allows Ezio to climb faster and the ability to craft bombs, little is changed.
Graphics and Sound
Now is when I tell you that the games are gloriously remastered and glitch free. That’s what I wish I could tell you. If the games have been remastered in any way I certainly couldn’t tell. It’s the same graphics and glitches you probably dealt with the first time around. Guards will phase into buildings, faces will glitch, and combat with allies will still be an unmitigated disaster.
In short, nothing has gotten better.
Nothing to say here, it’s the same controls you’ll be used to if you’ve played any Assassins Creed game. Use RT and A to run and jump and X to assassinate someone. Nothing has changed here.
As for difficulty, Brotherhood is the easiest of the three. Between a crossbow and hidden blades that can be used in combat for every situation, your sword and dagger will become obsolete. And that’s not to mention your assassin recruits you can call in to do Ezio’s job for him.
Revelations is the most difficult when it comes to combat. The hidden blades aren’t nearly as effective as before since certain enemies can’t be killed instantaneously, and executing chain kills isn’t as easy either. Although with a full range of death-dealing weaponry, killing guards still won’t be a problem.
Assassins Creed 2 is probably somewhere inbetween, and the difficulty curve is more gradual than the other two games. Ezio starts out small, and will eventually gain new trinkets along the way.
Believe it or not, I have to give credit to Assassin’s Creed for its replayability. I’ve always loved the fact that you could go back and replay any previous memories. And there is enough to do in the games that getting bored won’t happen. I’ve played all three games on the Xbox 360, but have already sunk 20 hours into the Ezio collection.