REVIEW: Returning to ‘The Ezio Collection’ on Nintendo Switch in 2022

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The Ezio Collection - But Why Tho

Assassin’s Creed is such a long-running series; its games have been through so many iterations and lifecycles across three console generations and nearly 15 years. For some fans, Assassin’s Creed is Assassin’s Creed no matter if you’re fighting Templars in Jerusalem as Altair, beating up bullies in London as Jacob and Evie, or you’re raiding Christian villages in Cent as Eivor. But for many, Assassin’s Creed’s halcyon days weren’t spent in Elesiam as Kassandra, they were spent in Italy and Constantinople as Ezio Auditore da Firenze. And now, original fans and new players alike can dive into the Ezio trilogy on Nintendo Switch with The Ezio Collection. But what’s it like returning mid-7th generation console games all these years later?

In short, mostly as satisfying as it ever was. For fans and players of the more modern Assassin’s Creed games, or even some of the games that have come out in between, the look, feel, and overall gameplay of The Ezio Collection is quite different, but still relatively simple and easy to jump into. You use multiple buttons at once to freerun instead of just one button, and combat involves chaining together reversals and instakills but it’s not a jarring return to the past by any means. It’s simply a different gameplay scheme and one that plenty of folks may even prefer to today’s ubiquitous dodge and parry mechanics. You’ll also find the maps more concise and compact, with a heavier emphasis on climbing buildings and unique structures across large maps that take place within single cities. It’s a true joy to revisit some of these easily recognizable, famous structures just as much as it is to climb all throughout the city streets themselves.

If you’re comparing the visuals to the original games, certainly The Ezio Collection makes improvements as far as fidelity go. I was actually awed by the lighting and reflections especially in Assassin’s Creed II, considering the collection is basically just an up-resing of the original 2009 game. However, if you’re comparing the Switch edition to the console editions of The Ezio Collection, you’re going to find a marked difference in the visuals, especially during cut scenes.

The character models don’t look bad necessarily, but you can literally see the polygons on their faces in the earlier games. The lighting also feels just a bit dimmer as the game’s definition shows its age. However, playing in handheld mode, the game does look a lot smoother, as if the fidelity was designed with handheld in mind over docked. I don’t mind personally, as I almost exclusively play my Switch in handheld mode, but it can be a bit distracting throughout the endless unskippable cutscenes of Assassin’s Creed II. The tradeoff of playing in handheld mode, however, is the substantial audio condensing. If you’re playing sans headphones, the dialogue may sound like it’s coming from underwater.

The good news though, is that The Ezio Collection plays as well as ever on the Switch. returning to these games over a decade later, you’ll find plenty of story to be intrigued and confounded by, collectibles to wrangle, villas and gear to upgrade, and minigames to best. It’s one of the best smatterings of content that the Assassin’s Creed franchise has to offer, minus the cumbersome multiplayer that plagued the early 2010s.

If you’re looking to replay these classics or get somebody new into the franchise and the Switch is the console at hand, it’s well worth getting your Assassin’s Creed fix here. It’s perhaps not the top choice as far as fidelity, but it’s definitely a fair and convenient choice.

Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection is available now on Nintendo Switch.


Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

If you’re looking to replay these classics or get somebody new into the franchise and the Switch is the console at hand, it’s well worth getting your Assassin’s Creed fix here. It’s perhaps not the top choice as far as fidelity, but it’s definitely a fair and convenient choice.