Assassin’s Creed passed an important milestone this month: More than 100 million copies of the centuries-spanning, conspiracy-fueled series have been sold to date, cementing its status as a massive hit. “Creating an Assassin’s Creed game is no easy task. It takes the creativity and hard work of many people in many different Ubisoft studios all over the world,” says Martin Schelling, senior producer. “To have this franchise join the ranks of those that have reached more than 100m sold is a testament to the teams that have taken on that challenge over the years.”
“This is a huge milestone for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but we believe the best is yet to come,” Etienne Allonier, brand director for Assassin’s Creed adds. “Having seen what’s gone into this year’s movie and into future Assassin’s Creed games, we think fans and newcomers alike will be excited by everything Assassin’s Creed has to offer.”
And this isn’t the only big news for Assassin’s Creed: In November, Ubisoft will release Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Back in 2009, Assassin’s Creed’s success wasn’t yet so certain, and its developers decided the series needed to undergo an unexpected shift. Its Third Crusade-era Middle Eastern setting was swapped out for the 15th-century Italian Renaissance, and the redemptive struggle of Altaïr Ibn La’Ahad made way for the cocky charm of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Fans were surprised, and the developers knew they were taking a gamble.
“We were all thinking, ‘what is wrong with us!?'” says Aymar Azaizia, head of content for the Assassin’s Creed brand. “We’d just created an amazing hero, Altaïr, that everyone loved, and we are taking the risk to get rid of him for a new guy.”
In the end, the gamble paid off in a big way: Not only is Assassin’s Creed II one of the series’ most beloved games, but it spawned a trilogy that told Ezio’s life story and, for many, remains the definitive Assassin’s Creed experience. You’ll be able to relive it all on November 15 – Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection includes Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations, as well as all of their single-player expansions. The complete trilogy will take you on a decades-spanning quest for revenge, power, and hidden secrets – here’s what to expect from each game:
Assassin’s Creed II
NOTE: The following videos were captured using the original PC releases at high settings. They are illustrative only of the games’ content and do not necessarily represent the final quality of Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection.
The game that kicked off the trilogy introduces us to Ezio as a young Florentine noble whose family is devastated by treachery. He finds a new life in the Assassin Brotherhood, and spends decades unraveling a Templar conspiracy while exploring the open, secret-filled cities of Florence, Venice, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, and Forli. Meanwhile, in 2012, a test subject named Desmond Miles escapes captivity and begins unlocking his own latent Assassin abilities by reliving Ezio’s “genetic memories.”
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Beginning where Assassin’s Creed II left off, Brotherhood sees a more confident, deadlier Ezio embarking on a new quest for revenge in Rome, where he begins taking over the city one district at a time. Like its title suggests, this game’s big addition is the Brotherhood, a squad of Assassins that you can recruit, train, and call on during missions to quietly attack your targets or help out in a fight.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Pulling back a little from Brotherhood’s grandiose conquest, Revelations tells a more personal story that ties in with the first Assassin’s Creed. Ezio, now aged but just as lethal, travels to Constantinople in search of disks containing memories recorded by Altaïr – which then the let you play as Altaïr. Introducing us to the Turkish Brotherhood, it adds new elements including ziplines and the ability to craft and use a wide variety of explosives .
The Ezio Collection puts the single-player experiences of its three games front and center, focusing entirely on Ezio’s journey. While that means the innovative hide-and-hunt multiplayer of Brotherhood and Revelations won’t be included, Azaizia is quick to point out that the most polished and fully featured version of that multiplayer is still playable in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
In addition to featuring the three games and their expansions with enhanced graphics, the collection also comes with Assassin’s Creed Embers and the three-part Assassin’s Creed Lineage, short films that dig into Ezio’s backstory and add an action-packed epilogue to the trilogy. Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection will be available on November 15 on Xbox One and PS4, giving fans a chance to catch up before the Assassin’s Creed movie – which unfolds in a different part of the world in roughly the same era – hits theaters on December 21. For more on the games included in the collection, check out our previous coverage: