It’s a-him! Ezio!
The tepid response to the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed was a wake-up call for Ubisoft. The dull characters, world and unbearably repetitive missions undermined the actual fun of social stealth and daring assassinations. In an almost miraculous move, the sequel managed to fix all these issues, resulting in the creation of gaming’s third (Wario and Waluigi notwithstanding) most iconic Italian hero.
Ezio Auditore was a breath of fresh air for the series, though his immediate popularity is responsible for Ubisoft pumping out annual instalments, iterative sequels that have damaged the long-term reputation of the series to this day. Now Ezio is making his way to the Switch, so how do his trio of stabby parkour games hold up?
Creed Clearwater Revival
For fans of the newer entries jumping back to the Ezio trilogy will be quite a system shock. Rather than expansive land masses full of cookie-cutter content, these are much more concise adventures. For a long period, the series had forgotten it was about assassinations and the strength of these games is building up despicable villains to dispatch in interesting set-pieces.
As such each game has its strengths and weaknesses. 2 is probably the best mix of fun missions and various cities to explore. Brotherhood sticks to one city, Rome but probably has the most polished gameplay out of the lot with slick combat. Revelations is the weakest link with one, less interesting city in Constantinople as well as rubbish grenades and tower defence mechanics. However it also has a sexy older Ezio with a beard and a romance heavy plot, so pick your poison folks! The one constant throughout the trilogy is how rubbish the modern-day storyline is, Desmond Miles, being one of the least charismatic characters in modern gaming.
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection – Ani-must buy?
Technically there are issues here. Despite the Switch already hosting 3. Black Flag, Rogue and the awful Liberation, these older titles have more issues. Occasionally the resolution can drop to comical levels, meaning the presentation is hardly the Renaissance masterpiece you would hope for. Cut-scenes have a bad habit of fluctuating in visual quality. Leonardo Da Vinci can suddenly become Leonardo Di Craprio. On the plus side, textures are generally much improved over their original releases which ironically helps modernise these ancient cities.
So the Ezio Collection is something of a mixed bag. The games are still as good as they ever were and the inclusion of all single-player DLC means you have Ezio’s complete story on a handheld. Hilariously the package includes some short films which are as good as you may expect. While it may be the wonkiest Switch collection the series has to offer, the value of these three titles cannot be denied. Series fans will enjoy returning to some of the best entries and for newcomers, it may be the leap of faith they’ve been looking for.