The Assassin’s Creed series has been one of the most iconic and influential gaming franchises ever.
It has successfully adapted stories that emulate many gaming interests, cultures, and historical events.
The series is like nothing that has come before and will forever be the best at what it is, no wonder it has developed a cult following over the years.
The Ezio trilogy has undoubtedly been the most successful in the franchise, with each installment in the trilogy introducing a fresh take on the franchise.
Let’s talk about why the Assassin’s Creed series was so successful with the Ezio trilogy and why it’s still the best in the franchise.
But before we dive right into that, let’s first look at the origins and the makings of the Ezio Trilogy of the Assassin’s Creed Series.
Assassins Creed - How it became? - The Origin Story
In 2003, Ubisoft was working on a spin-off sequel series for the Prince of Persia series, which involved the Prince being kidnapped and needing to be rescued by his guard, an assassin.
But what they didn’t know was this would be the start of a major new franchise.
The first Assassin’s Creed was released in 2007, featuring an open world full of intriguing quests, stealth action, and brutal melee combat that would become the foundation for future entries in the series.
The Assassin's Creed series is arguably one of the most successful video game franchises to date. Producing an adventure game with a unique take on time travel and historical events can be risky, but it seems that Ubisoft got things right the first time.
After releasing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2003, Ubisoft was given permission to begin work on a new Prince of Persia title.
Initially, this was a linear PlayStation 2 adventure game that would mark the end of its independent trilogy. However, once an idea began to form between Patrice Désilets (the man responsible for taking over the Prince's mantle) and Michel Ancel (the creator of Rayman), they decided it would be best to switch directions instead revive the stealthy Assassin from their previous game.
Little did they know that what they were about to get in return would become one of today’s most popular video game franchises!
In the meantime, news of new-generation consoles was revealed. The information included their capabilities and how they planned to effectively change game formats with acrobatic gameplay. Patrice considered expanding Prince of Persia into an open-world game that would keep up with this generation of systems' advancement in graphics, sound design, etc.
During development, the game's title was "Prince of Persia: The Assassin."
One of the main characters in this version is a bodyguard to the Prince,
Altaïr of Persia.
A legendary character with heroic zeal, he has Eagle Vision capabilities that let him see enemies from a distance when there is no light around them. He can also scale walls, which is a handy skill for an assassin!
The name 'Altaïr' means "bird of prey" in Arabic, and the franchise was given an iconic emblem.
The Eagle Vision and other related powers were a great theme-related reference to the franchise.
We feel like this is still an element that has been revisited in all the games so far because Assassins, in general, have been portrayed as people who have super abilities to watch their enemies from a distance and dive headfirst into their targets, whatever dangers may lurk ahead.
The 'Scimitar' game engine, a current version known as 'Anvil,' was created to allow for this new type of open-world gameplay, allowing the team to have more fluid animations and wall climbing abilities without having to work within the limitations of older game engines.
Advanced level designers and artists were hired to fill the new world with a range of historically and architecturally significant locations as we see them in our own reality. They had to be able to keep various cultural influences in mind while making sure the visuals remained consistent throughout their adventure.
The new game engines enabled the capability to have crowds in a single frame, which had not been possible before. The game engine was finally perfected after two years of development, and the fundamentals for gameplay were finished.
Initially, when the next Prince of Persia game was in development, it was decided that Altaïr would be the Prince’s bodyguard.
However, Ubisoft decided against releasing a Prince of Persia game where the Prince was not the main protagonist.
And later, it was decided to shelve the Prince of Persia series altogether and give new life to the Assassin’s story.
The name of the currently developed game was given 'Assassins Creed,' and the franchise was given a different direction, and boy, aren't we thankful for that!
Assassin’s Creed - The Game
The first Assassin's Creed was introduced to the gaming world in 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The first game takes place when the Third Crusade is happening. Players assume the role of Altaïr, an assassin who has been disgraced and must earn back his respect by tracking down and eliminating nine men.
The first Assassin's Creed became the foundation of gameplay for the rest of this series. It is a great starting point because the game provides you with a vast world in which to have adventures. The story is set in an open-world environment, and it allows gamers to wander around various regions such as Damascus and Jerusalem.
One great thing about Assassin's Creed is that it allows you to be like a pro parkour artist! You can climb towers and jump from them into haystacks waiting below.
Another essential feature is stealth, which allows you to sneak up on guards and take them out silently with your hidden blades - for example, if you're trying to be more discreet or avoid alerting other guards where you might otherwise attract unnecessary attention.
When Assassin’s Creed came out in 2007, it was one of the most creative stealth action games in years and instantly became a big hit. The game was so popular at launch that it sold more than 8 million copies in its first five months. Although many critics loved the game and praised both its ambitious concept and immersive story, some were not as impressed with the title's repetitive gameplay.
The game also won many awards, and it still continues to be one of the fan-favorite assassin's creed games.
The guiding principle of Assassin Brotherhood is that "nothing is true; everything is permitted." This means you should realize the foundations of society are fragile and take responsibility for caring for your civilization from the yolk of Tyranny and the forces that control us.
Assassin’s Creed 2 - The beginning of the Ezio Trilogy
In 2009, the game Assassin's Creed II was released. The game takes place during Renaissance Italy from 1476 to 1499.
The game features a sprawling open world with multiple Italian cities.
The NPCs featured in the game are Italian civilians who bring their regional culture with them.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze is the main protagonist in Assassin's Creed 2, who seeks revenge against those responsible for the death of his father and brothers.
Ubisoft wanted to improve the Assassin’s Creed series, so they tripled their development team's size and produced this sequel.
The Ubisoft team used an updated Scimitar engine to help improve the graphics and add special effects, such as the ability to swim and a combat system that allowed you to use multiple assassinating techniques while tackling more formidable foes.
More weapons were also available in the game, including maces, axes, and daggers. Players can purchase artwork or upgrade Ezio's clothing and armor during their adventure!
One of the improvements in Assassin's Creed II was that there were more missions, and it had a richer story. It also included secret missions and an explanation of how they connected to modern society.
Assassins Creed II was very well received. It is considered one of the best games in its genre and earned terrific critical acclaim. It sold over 9 million copies in the first quarter after its release.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood - The best of the Ezio Trilogy
In 2010, the sequel to Assassin's Creed II was released: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze continues his story with a new city and new adventures in Rome.
Ezio focuses on destroying Templar's control over Rome and making the city safe for its citizens again by building the Assassin’s Brotherhood in the city.
Desmond Miles, the protagonist, playing the current events in the game, has a parallel mission to achieve.
He uses his ancestor Ezio Auditore's memories to find a way to avert an apocalypse in 2012.
The combat system was very much improved in this game.
Ezio could be played faster, and if enemies were struck first, we would be able to end a fight before it even began.
Also, Ezio can not only strike at his enemy first, but he can now throw heavy weapons, including spears and swords, right at them!
One new feature introduced in this game is the ability to recruit members and send them on missions that you would otherwise need to complete yourself, like assassinating a Templar target.
The game also introduces multiplayer for the first time in the series.
In this multiplayer mode, you play PVP in a group. A target would be assigned to you whom you need to take out.
Likewise, you would be pursued for elimination, which you would need to evade.
People loved Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. The new setting of Rome, the improved gameplay and multiplayer elements, and a more compelling story, were well-received by players.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations - The Conclusion of the Ezio Trilogy
In 2011, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was released. It was the third and final game in the Ezio Trilogy series.
The previous two games were set in Italy, but this time we explore Constantinople, present-day Turkey - an area not only historically rich with life but also geographically awe-inspiring!
Like both of its predecessors, Revelations has a primary storyline to follow or side missions to choose from.
The game includes a wide variety of new features, most notably the Hookblade. The Hookblade allows Ezio to scale buildings with much greater ease, allowing him to run across the city faster than before. It can also be utilized in combat and even function as an escape maneuver where a button must be pressed at just the right moment to secure safe passage over a wall or gap.
In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, we also were introduced to some exciting new types of bombs that could be made at the blacksmith.
A stun bomb and a smoke bomb are used to evade enemies.
A grenade-type explosive bomb is used to create damage.
The multiplayer mode was expanded with additional maps, characters, and game modes.
The game was equally as popular with gamers as it was with critics. Still, it didn’t hold onto the world’s interest similarly to its predecessors, who found themselves gradually tired of the Ezio storyline.
In total, 8 million copies of the game were sold in the first year.
Why is the Ezio Trilogy still the best?
Desmond had a face and a cause
The modern-day storytelling between Assassin's Creed, AC 2, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations was far and away some of the best we've ever seen!
Who can forget characters like Corey May, Patrice Desoly, and Darby McDevitt played a significant role in crafting uniquely likable characters to surround and support our main character, Desmond?
The character Desmond Miles was a unique thing for the initial games till Assassins Creed 3; having a face and a story that connected to the modern reality made the story and the missions so immersive.
To think that our actions in the game affect the storyline of the history and also our present made things much more interesting than the faceless animus player storylines that were introduced in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag onwards.
From that game onwards, we don’t have a face, no dialogues to say; we are just a mute character who does the tasks needed to be done to beat the game.
This took away a lot of immersion from the game.
Interesting Story and Game Design
The way these developers were able to create dynamic relationships between the characters within these games, even when those interactions happen in a minor section of each game, is incredible and amazingly impressive.
They created immensely detailed lore around the "first civilization," which was done while creating stories for their protagonists inside that same Animus device.
This to and from between timelines was done so flawlessly and perfectly that nothing of this sort is ever replicated by any other entries in later Assassins Creed installments.
In the story of Ezio auditory, a boy, a man, a mentor, we see him literally from birth to death.
We are first introduced to an arrogant silver spoon-fed banker's son
who deep down is dedicated and loving, especially to his family, so when we see said family brutally murdered, we see him become besotted with revenge he goes after those responsible over time, meeting different mentors who guide him through life passing on fragments of wisdom over the span of two decades.
Coming to the main storyline in the Ezio Trilogy.
We play through the story of Ezio from birth to death.
In Assassin's Creed 2, we see him as this arrogant spoilt son of a banker who slowly grows and learns to be grounded, and his relationship with his family is heartwarming.
We see his family being brutally murdered at the hands and schemes of the Templar order against whom Ezio swears revenge and dedicates his life to bringing down the order.
Throughout his quest till his death, Ezio meets different mentors who teach him about aspects of life and combat.
These mentors become Ezio's new family, and the relationships he builds with them are why the music titled "Ezio's Family" is the most significant piece of music in the series.
Now this music has officially become the theme music of Assassin's Creed.
There are many arguments about which game in the series has the best gameplay. Why?
Because play styles vary from person to person and depend on their preferences.
Some might say that the parkour in AC Unity is the best. Some say Combat in 'AC Odyssey' or 'Valhalla' is the best.
Some say sound design and level design is best in 'AC Origins.'
Stealth is best done in 'AC Syndicate.' Indeed.
AC Black Flag has the best story, no doubt.
Each of the games in the series has a few factors that really stand out, I agree.
But none reach or exceed what AC Ezio Trilogy does with every system working together.
The way Ezio does his assassination, navigation through crowds and hidden areas, interacts with NPCs throughout multiple locations, etc., all these intertwine into an interconnected experience - creating a far superior gameplay experience.
This is something we would find unique with the Ezio Trilogy. Even though the later games were really good at a thing. If you consider the gameplay a whole package, the Ezio Trilogy wins every time.