Assassin’s Creed Ezio Collection Graphics Comparisons Are Embarrassing
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2016)

$60 for three games that are supposedly remastered for the Xbox One and PS4. That’s what Ubisoft promised with Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, which consists of Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. However, the final product isn’t even an upgrade over the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, just higher saturation with high brightness and slightly higher anisotropic filtering.

Various video comparisons were released showcasing the differences between the games, one of which came from YouTuber Cycu1 that had a number of people running to Ubisoft’s defense regarding what could be perceived as downgrades. You can check out the video below.

A lot of Ubisoft fanboys were quick to defend the company, pointing to a blog post they made back on September 13th, 2016 where Mikel Reparaz, an editor at Ubisoft, mentioned that the comparison footage from back then was from two different PC versions of Assassin’s Creed II, writing…

“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”

However, there’s no excuse for the most recent comparisons that Polygon and IGN did where we see that the Xbox One version of Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection doesn’t look much better than the Xbox 360 version of the game.

While the frame-rate has been increased, and you can see an obvious resolution bump, the rest of the game looks practically the same other than the aforementioned anisotropic filtering increase. The brightened image and high saturation actually makes everything look worse than the more faded, darkened look from the Xbox 360 and PS3 version of the game.

In fact, there actually appears to be less details in the remastered version of the game when it comes to the shaders. You can see it clearly in the image below where the right side of Ezio’s collar in the remastered version has no self-shadowing at all compared to the original Xbox 360 version.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection

This was also apparent in other comparisons as well. The comparisons that IGN did show that during some of the cinematics the shaders and lighting weren’t present at all. We see that Lucy is a bright glowing blob in the remastered version of Assassin’s Creed II.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection

And even worse than that, the Xbox One version uses crushed blacks on the background to completely obscure and mask the lack of lighting. The Xbox 360 at least uses prebaked shadow rendering and keeps the lights on in the background so that you can at least make out what you’re looking at.

It’s almost as if the game was downgraded to run on lower-tier hardware, not remastered for a new generation of hardware. In fact, other than the 1080p resolution, there’s practically just a lot of downgrading going on, which you can see in effect in the video below.

Another huge thing that people noticed was that some of the NPCs look worse for wear on the Xbox One compared to the Xbox 360.

In the final comparison you can see that one of the NPCs on the Xbox One version has no rendering pass for the model shaders since they lack normal mapping. So he’s a flat looking prop as a background object.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection

Usually per-pixel or per-object shading is turned off to ease up on the processing power required to render a scene. In this case, the NPC standing in the background has his self-shadowing and lighting shaders turned off. Compare that to the Xbox 360 version where not only is there per-pixel shading but also self-shadowing for the character models, and they avoid using crushed blacks so that you can actually see the depth and range of the colors.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection

It’s an embarrassing display, no doubt. The fact that these newer remasters are coming out downgraded or side-graded compared to their original release on hardware almost a decade ago should leave people shaking their heads. The proper course to go is to get the game on PC if you really haven’t played Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood or Revelations. You’re literally ripping yourself off if you pay $60 for games that have higher resolution on the PS4 and Xbox One but objectively look worse by having turned off so many different graphics filters.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Randomjick

    Okay im on the fence with this one the game looks great but not as great as i was expecting still enjoyable for thise who missed them and wanted to play them on current gen but ubisoft coulda done much better

  • Steel Squirrel

    Sorry but most of the content in these games looks significantly better and the internet has been circulating the same stupid images and videos ad nauseam, without actually writing any articles from the standpoint of someone who has actually played the game. I’ve been playing it for a few days now and it’s a great remaster and perfect for anyone who missed the series the first time around.

    It’s funny that nobody wants to compare the screens that clearly look improved over the original. Negativity gets more hits I guess. Game “journalism” sure is pathetic these days.

    • Mr.Towel

      I haven’t seen these images that look better. Would you take the time to post them?

      I have seen some images that are ok, they’re not worse nor better, they’re just ok. If they look better or not depends more of a personal opinion, which is subjective

      For example, I have seen that draw distance has been increased, some people like that. I find it awkward as now there is little fade off on distant structures.

      Some people praised the lack of blacks, arguing that the original looked too dirty. I think that the lack of blacks makes it look too flat and dull.

    • It’s funny that nobody wants to compare the screens that clearly look improved over the original. Negativity gets more hits I guess. Game “journalism” sure is pathetic these days.

      Dude, if those images or videos exist, I haven’t seen them. Go look at all the comparisons on YouTube, they’re identical to the ones I posted here.

      Pretty soon you’ll be saying that the comparison isn’t fair due to YouTube compression.

      I understand there are people out there who fanboy about, but the facts are the facts: the remaster removed some per-object shading. That’s a fact. The remaster replaced some pre-baked shadows in the environment with crushed blacks. That’s a fact. There is a higher scale of anisotropic filtering for textures but they removed a lot of the self-shadowing. That’s a fact. They increased the resolution, draw-distance and frame-rate but completely removed the shaders from entire characters. That’s a fact.

      • I’ve been playing the actual game and it’s great. This video blows things way out of proportion. I know what I see with my own eyes and it looks great to me.

        • No one’s saying it may not look great to you, what the videos (plural, since there’s more than one comparison) show is that there have been downgrades made compared to the original.

    • durka durka

      i am also playing it on pc and they look the same.

  • Laytonaster

    Dafuq is Pepe doing in a Ubisoft game?

    • AS2:EzioColle is an almost direct port with little more than extra shaders and sharper resolution

      Other way around. It has fewer shaders, which is why he looks like pepe. The original Xbox 360 had more shaders, which is just baffling how they could manage to make a game this old look worse and have fewer graphics options on newer hardware.

      • Laytonaster

        That makes more sense seeing the comparison a second time, as the un-updated models age the game terribly and look awful.
        And that, I can agree on. I’d think that EzioColle would even have updated models or something, or some kinda extra gimmick that’d add to the game. But I’d better off trying to find the kid I pawned off my copies of the original EzioColle and try and steal back the 360 I gave to my nieces.

  • Gorgon

    Ubisoft does it again! They just won’t stop crashing their own plane.

  • Hawk Hopper

    Ubisoft always seems front and center in these toilet graphics controversies.

    They polish turds for E3 and then sell stuff like this for $60.