Ezio Auditore is the fan favourite assassin from the Assassin Creed games, so getting the chance to play through those games again, on current consoles, was always going to be a treat, but how does this remaster hold up.
It is important to note right off the bat that the Ezio Collection does not complete the entire Desmond story, it is just the three games that stat Ezio, so while Assassin’s Creed 2 starts off with the escape of Desmond from the Abstergo facility, there is little context to the events that happened before then, outside of the brief overview video. Also, while Brotherhood ends great for Ezio, Desmond still has more story to be told, which is not touched upon at all, which is a shame, not because it’s a great story, but because you get 3 of 5 chapters. Of course, back to Ezio, the stories being told are pretty good, with Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood being the best of the three, stories of revenge, learning and more, with Ezio growing from an impetuous youth to a master assassin and mentor.
Of course as a remaster, the bulk of the effort goes to the visuals and the audio, which I can say here is almost worth the cost of admission. The textures all look amazing, being able to distinguish between lightly brown stone and lightly brown ground is a welcome change, but more so, the level of detail on outfits really shine, especially in some scenes in Brotherhood, now they stand out, as one might expect for where the game is set. Each game looks different, purely based on the design that the game was first assigned with, Assassins Creed 2 looks nice, but if the faces don’t provide you with nightmares then you are made of sterner stuff than most. What was fine back when the game first came out, is now very bad, purely based on how bad the original animations hold up, faces distort, while trying to convey the simplest expressions.
Brotherhood looks better, if only because the animations hold up better, but Revelations is the best looking of the three, on an animation point. Each of the games is a product of their time, which shows through now, but they are all nice looking games with the remaster. Audio wise, the games hold up, I will be honest, I can’t recall most of the audio from the original games, except for the excellent voice work of Roger Craig Smith, who kept Ezio grounded with his performance throughout the games. While Ezio is great, each of the vocal performances still hold up today. Thankfully the music has stood the test of time as well, while it won’t win any awards, the entire score, across all three games does a solid job of setting the tone for the scenes, both those of a light hearted nature and those of a darker job.
Sadly, there are a few issues with the collection, the biggest or most noticeable comes from the fact that the game loads elements randomly, there were times when guards would spawn right in front of me, triggering a chase, but it was also random citizens of the cities that did it as well. Not only would they spawn, but they would then do a mini freak out, before settling into the job the AI assigned them. The other issue with the collection is how it loads into it, when you get to the main menu, you can choose either of the games or of the two movies also included. Once you have made your game selection, the game acts like it kicks you out and then loads up the game you wanted, complete with menus there, almost like you changed a physical disc. When you leave a game to go back out to the game selection menu, it reloads the entire menu, as if it were the first time you started it up, while not a broken part, it is just weird.
Ubisoft have proven they are not immune to the remaster phase before, but the Ezio Collection is perhaps the best example of how to do something right, there are some performance issues across the games, but the quality overall is pretty well done.