Review: Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection
Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced that it is putting its prized Assassin’s Creed franchise to sleep, breaking a the yearly releases since 2009’s Assassin’s Creed II, but it didn’t mean that this would apply to remastered. And so, after the spin-off Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy (reviewed on the site), the French publisher decided this time to pay tribute to the one assassin considered as the most charismatic one in the series: Ezio Auditore with Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection. Was it a way to reconcile the fans with the franchise, who are eagerly waiting for the next major chapter?
Compiling Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and all of their respective single-player add-on content, and ditching the multiplayer DLCs and mode. Focusing solely on the solo campaign, the Canadian studio reminds us of the strength of the series, namely the historical setting in which each of the three Ezio adventures takes place. Even if I personally loved the French Revolution of Assassin’s Creed Unity (being half-French, I tend to be biased), the Italian Renaissance is probably my favorite era in the saga. Thanks to Assassin’s Creed II, which fixed much of the issues of the original game, Ubisoft has sharpened its vision of the open-world, which probably helped them build the foundation for modern titles like The Division or even Watch Dogs 2 (and its predecessor). Later on with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Ubisoft transformed the series with a hint of maturity, richer gameplay mechanics and refined AI, in preparation for Ezio’s final chapter full of emotion and new settings in Constantinople.
To be a complete take on the Ezio legacy, Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection also includes Assassin’s Creed Lineage which takes place before the events of Assassin’s Creed II, an mini-series that tells the story of his father Giovanni. And to end the story, Assassin’s Creed Embers is an animated film acting as the final epilogue to Ezio’s story. Practical for newcomers, this compilation will be a perfect way to visit this franchise if never played previously on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but what about the fans of the series?
Naturally, the main interest of this release is to also act as a remaster, and offer graphical improvements to make it worth the investment on current generation consoles such as the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Sadly, the touch-ups are rather uneven, and if the majority of textures have gained a certain finesse and consistency, the lighting is better controlled, certain defects of the time have not been erased; Almost as if the Ubisoft developers haven’t gone through a pixel-by-pixel redesign – as it was the case for GTA V or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered for example. Some characters have been turned into freaks, with body parts morphed with the scenery, hair floating on skulls, turning some cutscenes into a porridge of pixels, which thankfully doesn’t happen that often.
I also took my time re-watching the short films (Embers and Lineage), mostly because I kind of forgotten about them, but I was quite surprise that this was not enhanced to a Blu-ray quality, and there’s no controls on the media player. For its price ($60), I think its a fair bundle for newcomers of the series, especially considering it’s 3 full games and two short films, which will easily take 100-120 hours to finish (more if you want to fully complete it), but for fans It’s almost pointless, and Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection deserved a little more consideration on the technical level.
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code of the game provided by Ubisoft Middle East. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, and the original games were released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 an
d PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Includes the best episode of the series
• Ezio Auditore
• The soundtrack
• Better textures and lighting effects
• Still too many visual imperfections
• Would've like each remaster to be sold separately