Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection is a bundle of three action-adventure games - Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed Revelations. You play as an assassin named Ezio Auditore, starting from his adolescence through to his older years, spanning his life as he travels from Florence, to Rome, to Constantinople.
Pro Intuitive stealth gameplay
The stealth mechanics feel natural and fluid in how strategic they are.
While tracking your targets, you blend in with each city's citizens or climb up to the tops of buildings to perch there and avoid getting spotted by the templar or their guards. You can either wait for the perfect opportunity to strike with a hidden blade up your sleeve that silently assassinates your target, or you can go all-out and have a sword duel with them if you'd rather take a more aggressive approach. After they're dead, you make your escape and become incognito again.
Everything goes together nicely in a way that feels satisfying.
Pro Impressive cities to explore with buildings to climb freely
The Italian locations of Florence, Forli, Tuscany, Venice, and Rome, as well as the Ottoman Empire city of Constantinople are beautifully done. The levels are massive for their time, with well-designed areas from the era such as towers, open plazas, and religious buildings. You can climb anything, anywhere, and run along the rooftops as much as you want. Scaling the tallest places gives you an amazing bird's eye view of the city and the mountain ranges beyond, along with a vantage point to plan out how to assassinate your targets. The realistic architecture makes the games feel like true period pieces.
Pro Excellent soundtrack
The soundtracks in all three games are top notch. They are a blend of religious motifs with modern sci-fi synths, making the tracks unique. The echoing choruses and unsettling backtracks give a sense that you're on a tense, but mysterious mission to assassinate templars. There's a measured thoughtfulness and caution that you pick up on as well, almost like the songs themselves mimic you as you stalk your targets while you blend in with the crowd. It's such a cool experimental sound that the composer, Jesper Kyd, manages to pull off well, keeping you engrossed as you play and listen.
Pro Interesting story of Assassins versus Templars
The stories in all three games are full of intriguing ideologies and philosophies. They're familiar tales of liberty and freedom on the Assassin side and law and order on the Templar side, but they still feel fresh. Playing as Ezio, it's up to you to assassinate certain templar targets who oppress the masses and horde power for themselves. As you take them down, you learn about their views on controlling the populace, encouraging you to question if the assassins are truly on the right path. Thankfully, the games don't tell you what to think, leaving you to draw your own conclusions.
Con Weak final boss with cheap gimmicks (Assassin's Creed Brotherhood)
The final boss isn't very compelling. Thematically, for the story, it makes sense for this battle to be the last one, but it's just not interesting from a gameplay perspective. There's something ridiculous about the antagonist that makes it hard to take the fight seriously in the first place, diluting the meaning behind the battle. The way you fight this particular villain isn't that fun, either, because of the gimmicks that the boss uses. The whole thing is really a lost opportunity.
Con Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Revelations feel like more of the same of Assassin's Creed II
If you play Assassin's Creed II, then you may find that Brotherhood and Revelations are too similar. The assets are completely reused, with the only major difference being that Brotherhood is set in Rome and Revelations is in Constantinople. There are a few new mechanics like getting to create and manage your own brotherhood of assassins in Brotherhood, but it's not all that intriguing outside of how overpowered they can be when you call on them to help you in a fight. It feels too much like they tread on familiar ground in Ubisoft's push to annualize the franchise, which began here with these games.
Con Repetitive main missions (Assassin's Creed II)
Ezio's mission to kill a list of templars lacks flavor and variety. The gameplay boils down to the same formula of picking a new target, going to the city where they're located, finding out information on them, and then assassinating the templar. While it's cool that you get to explore new places and interact with a variety of characters along the way, it's easy to see behind this veneer to the boring and repetitive nature of the missions. It's one of those things that can kill your enjoyment of the game.
Con Generic premise of a revenge story (Assassin's Creed II)
The revenge story has been done to death, and Assassin's Creed II doesn't really add anything new here. From the beginning of the plot, you see some of the major cliches that often pop up in these types of tales. And while Ezio's cause is just, it's hard to care on an emotional level about his mission to kill Italy's high-level templars. But if you're not one to care too much about stories in games, then you probably won't even notice that anything's off.
Con Lazy ports branded as "remasters"
This collection is hardly a true remaster of the three games; it's more of a port in a single bundle. All they did was touch up the textures a bit and improve the resolution, but it was really the bare minimum that they could have done. It was especially worse when the game was new and sitting at full retail price, because it really didn't justify the cost. The current trend of remastering games has had its low points, and this is easily one of the most notable ones.
Con No multiplayer (Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Revelations)
The innovative multiplayer featured in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Revelations isn't available here. It's a shame, because the games of hide and seek with the Assassin's Creed hidden blade kills and crowd stealth mechanics were a lot of fun, and added a lot of longevity to these titles. If you're looking to play some more matches or start getting into them, you'll have to access the multiplayer through the original games instead.