Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection does a wonderful job of reminding me how great the three-game arc of Ezio Auditore’s life story was on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, while also reminding me just how much the series has evolved and improved over the past seven years. But while the frame rate and load times in the Xbox One and PS4 compilation are a big improvement over last-gen’s original games, there are some baffling lighting and texture degradations throughout the trilogy.
Experiencing Ezio’s life from literal birth to death is still every bit as exciting and emotional as it was back in 2009. Watching him grow from a brash rogue to a contemplative elder remains fantastic, and aside from the dynamic between Syndicate’s siblings, my favorite story in the AC series. But playing through Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations highlights just how much the series’ gameplay has improved over the years. The horizontal and downward parkour of Black Flag and Unity made moving through their respective worlds a joy, which is something I can’t say about the ample moments where I found Ezio unintentionally clinging to surfaces around Italy. While I feel like I was able to forgive these hiccups back in 2009, it’s tough to stomach them in a post-Syndicate world.