Story over Gameplay – Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection Impressions
Assassin’s Creed II and it’s subsequent games Brotherhood and Revelations are widely considered some of the best in the series, and for my own personal rankings I would say that is pretty accurate, easily falling into my top 5 Assassin’s Creed titles and spinoffs. But the more I played through Assassin’s Creed II, the more I realized we play this for the story, not the gameplay. It’s also a very good example of how far we have come in video game development. Let’s dive into the Ezio collection!
A copy of this game was provided by Ubisoft Canada for the purpose of this review.
These impressions are based on how the game runs on the Nintendo Switch, and is less about the story and things like that. For the most part, it’s a fairly typical Assassin’s Creed experience – climb to height and unlock the map, assassinate targets, complete quests, upgrade gear, and all that good stuff. Some of the better climbing mechanics introduced in newer Assassin’s Creed games are not here, so I found myself jumping awkwardly from very high up, leading to multiple deaths that feel unfair. The free run keeps you moving in a straight line, and while grappling up buildings takes more work and more skill, it’s the unfair moments because of stupid mechanics that are incredibly frustrating.
That being said, making changes to this old game was never going to happen, at least not on that grand scale, so while having the knowledge of newer titles, it’s understandable why this game is how it is, and after some time, I became OK with it. So what is added for the Switch version? Basically just touch controllers for the menus, which is pretty cool in handheld, but a useless addition for those who play docked. Cool addition, but nothing that makes the Switch version more enticing than other versions.
The game runs at 30 frames per second, and that does hold up pretty well. It’s also how the game was released on other platforms back in 2016, so the Switch version hasn’t been downgraded for performance reasons. Graphically, this looks like a dated game, and there isn’t much that can be done about that without a complete overhaul. Since hte game launched at 39.99 USD, it’s not shocking that more wasn’t done to improve the games visuals.
There is a ton of pop-in, and I cannot remember if this was an issue on the Xbox 360 – where I originally played – or not. It is pretty jarring, and can break the immersive world that Assassin’s Creed is suppose to create for you. Still, after a while I was just taken aback that I was playing this on Switch, and for me that is a big win.
And there is a good amount of value here – not only are you getting three complete games, but you are getting all the DLC and two short films as well. For 39.99 USD or 49.99 CAD, that is quite a bit of content. If you’ve never played Assassin’s Creed 2 and it’s spinoff titles before, now is the time to jump in. If you have and want to relive the experience, this will do it for you too. It’s rough around the edges and I would have liked more from a remaster, but it is still one of the best Assassin’s Creed experiences of all time.