Shortly after the release of Assassin’s Creed II way back in November of 2009, fans of the action-adventure series grew fond of newly introduced protagonist Ezio Auditore de Firenze and his journey towards becoming a master assassin during the Italian Renaissance era. This intriguing storyline continued in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, all the while firmly cementing Ezio as the most iconic character in the entire franchise.
After making a conscientious decision not the release a new Assassin’s Creed game this year, Ubisoft opted to deliver a remastered collection of Ezio’s complete adventure for both new and old fans alike. The end result is Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, a great package filled with some of the best stories and moments that this series has to offer. Here are a few more reasons why this package may or may not be worth your hard earned money.
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection includes both Assassin’s Creed: Lineage and Assassin’s Creed: Embers short films along with remastered versions of Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations with all previously released downloadable content included. Lineage is a live-action prequel to Assassin’s Creed II and focuses primarily on Ezio’s late father Giovanni Auditore. From that moment forward, the rest of this package chronicles Ezio’s life from his birth in Assassin’s Creed II to his sudden, yet heartfelt death in Assassin’s Creed: Embers. This collection is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and retails for $59.99.
Perhaps I might be biased in saying this but Assassin’s Creed II is in my personal opinion the best game in the series. After the mixed reception of the first game, Ubisoft Montreal, and Lead Director Patrice Désilets went back to the drawing board to create a truly invigorating and generation-defining experience. Brotherhood and Revelations are equally good in their own ways but all multiplayer aspects have been removed from these remasters to keep the single-player campaign the key focal point. This particular strategy isn’t anything new as Naughty Dog treated their Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection the same way last year and I doubt many will complain about these features not being present here.
Getting back to the overall presentation and graphical improvements of these titles, all three games are presented in 1080p and run at 30fps. The updated graphics emphasize lighting, vibrant colors and shadows but are essentially the exact same character models with a fresh coat of paint. Some sequences look significantly improved while others are only ever so slightly touched up. Screen tearing is a little less impactful this time around but some of the other issues that plagued the previous games are still apparent throughout. None of these things take away from the overall experience, but at the very least it’s worth noting so that fans know that they shouldn’t expect absolute perfection from these remasters. Lastly, there is no official word on if this collection will receive PS4 Pro supported features but my guess is that can change if players request them.
When it comes to gameplay and performance, all three games run a lot smoother than they have in the past. While the game doesn’t run at 60fps, movement and animations are still effective without compromising anything. Players who already own these games on PC obviously have the best advantage in terms of resolution and frame rate, but as I stated before these titles work perfectly fine as is on the current consoles. Ubisoft stated a long time ago that their aim was to keep console parity intact on both PS4 and Xbox One titles moving forward so none of this should come as a surprise to the consumers.
If there is one particular area about this collection that I found annoying, it’s the simple fact that audio and video issues were often hit and miss. This wasn’t so much an issue for the games, but it certainly was problematic in both short films. There was a severe sync issue between audio and video at certain parts of these presentations and while they eventually were smoothed out, the fact that these hiccups existed definitely made me less inclined to continue watching both shorts. I reckon this won’t be an issue for those who don’t care about the videos, but it’s worth pointing out just so you all have a fair overview of what to expect from the package.
Speaking of the overall value of this collection, I would say that the amount of content offered is decent but the price is certainly debatable. Charging consumers $60 dollars for a collection of last gen games certainly seems expensive and releasing this same package along Watch Dogs 2 on the exact same day is also puzzling on so many levels. One would think the focus should be solely on Watch Dogs and making people choose between picking up either game as opposed to both doesn’t seem beneficial for either title. Had this package been priced around $50 or $40 dollars then I would definitely say that it’s a steal, but since it isn’t I’m left wondering just how many people will pick this game up now or wait for an inevitable price drop.
With all that said, Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection is a great package and definitely a series of games that any new fan to the series should experience. With so many other titles out now and forthcoming, it may be hard to justify buying this on day one but at the very least I would say pick it up once the price drops if it still peeks your interest.
This review was based on a digital review copy of Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection for the Xbox One provided by Ubisoft.