Initial release date: November 15, 2016
Nintendo Switch release date: February 17, 2022
Series: Assassin's Creed
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal, Virtuos
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genres: Adventure game, Fighting game, Platform game
"Review Copy Provided By Ubisoft"
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has released a few of their older titles on the Nintendo Switch with the likes of AC III Remastered, AC IV & AC: Rogue as part of the Rebel Collection, and AC Odyssey which currently is a Japan only cloud accessible game for the Switch. While the entries have been releasing on the Switch in a rather random order, we have not gotten the set of games that put the series in the mainstream until now featuring one of the series most loved characters in Ezio Auditore with Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection which contains AC II, AC: Brotherhood, and AC: Revelations. The Ezio Collection being as popular as it is, was eventually going to head to the Switch and today we’re here to talk about how it is on Nintendo’s modular console and if it’s worth your time.
The Collection consists of Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations along with the short films that accompany them. The short films added unfortunately do not have any additional media player like functionality as the minute you touch any button will result in the films returning you to the main menu. This is something that could and should be fixed with a patch. AC II is roughly a 7 gig download by itself and when you decide to download the other titles, the total file size will ramp up to around 35 gigs or so which will make having a larger micro sd card a must here. Each game comes with the entirety of their single-player DLCs and players can also login to their Ubisoft Connect accounts to access the uPlay awards that were originally available in the original releases which can grant players additional armors, items, and weapons.
The Ezio Collection runs at a surprisingly smooth and consistent 30 frames per second in both docked and handheld modes regardless of what all is going on in the game from bustling cities with crowds to combat in the field; nothing makes this collection of games drop performance at all which is almost unheard of for a game ported to the Nintendo Switch. Now there is a trade off in effect to make sure that it maintains that level of smoothness and that’s in the graphical dips that occur with NPCs (often the minor ones) that has them switching to low-detail models which can be a bit jarring when you put them next to Ezio or any of the main cast of characters.
While each of the games themselves maintain that silky smooth 30fps, the cutscenes are another discussion entirely as they fluctuate in what fps is being used as they seem to have a variable framerate which may or may not be done to offset the in-game framerate.
When it comes to playing the game, there are some nifty Switch exclusive features such as an optimized HUD, touch screen functionality (only for the menus), and even HD Rumble. While all of these are indeed great additions to these timeless classics, I would’ve preferred they found a way to work back in the multiplayer components of Brotherhood and Revelations as both of those games benefited from having multiplayer and it’s sad to see that no longer an option.
There is also a strange occurrence where there is occasional input lag in all of the games at times no matter if I’m playing handheld or docked with a Pro Controller. This is again something I think could be patched out and should be as this is honestly one of the most well optimized ports to the console from any 3rd party publisher and is still a ton of fun and just a generally enjoyable experience stepping back into the shoes of Ezio especially on the go!
Is the Switch port of The Ezio Collection the definitive way to play these classics? That’s a 50/50 answer as on one hand no if you have access to playing them on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S, or PC given how much better of an overall experience it is on those platforms from a performance standpoint and not being locked to 30fps. If, on the other hand, your only console is the Nintendo Switch OR it is your preferred console and you don’t mind the minor performance issues and graphical downgrades and want to be able to play these games portably, then Yes you should get this on the Nintendo Switch. All in all, The Ezio Collection is still some of the best games from both a gameplay and narrative standpoint, and even if AC II may not have aged as well as the others, as a whole, this is a solid package that should be in any gamers collection.