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Polygon: The Assassin’s Creed 2 remaster got weird

LordOfLore

Banned
Sep 1, 2015
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Yeah, I agree.

On Nov. 15, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It encompasses the trilogy of games about Ezio Auditore da Firenze, which are widely considered the strongest portion of the long-running Assassin’s Creed series.

We took a spin in Assassin’s Creed 2 and compared it to the backward compatible Assassin’s Creed 2 that was originally released on the Xbox 360. We played both versions on the Xbox One.

Right off the bat you’ll notice that something ... happened. There are some definite improvements in the remastered version. The draw distance is clearer, it has better anti-aliasing and colors are more vibrant. The stonework on the buildings is also more defined.

But whatever attention was paid to rendering the beautiful buildings of Florence seems to have been wasted on the characters’ faces. Ezio’s tan skin has been lightened to blotchy pink, in what looks like an effort to add texture. All the main characters suffer a little from patchy skin and popping eyes. But the biggest victim is this guy right here:



What happened to him? His outfit has even changed between the original (top) and the remaster (below). He applied a nice shade of plum lipstick and did some work on his brows. And those eyes!

The faces aren’t the only thing that changed. Ezio now climbs like a freaking spider monkey:



This is not sped up.

In playing the remaster, it felt like I was getting stuck on buildings more often. When I reached the top of a building, Ezio would refuse to climb up onto the roof.

It’s not all bad. Check out 2:16 to see a beautiful Italian sunrise. The roof tiles and stonework look great — these are definite improvements.

But I don’t think anyone could say that the character models have been improved, and somehow the gameplay has become clumsier. Replaying the original Assassin’s Creed 2 on the Xbox One emphasizes how much it is a product of its time. Still, it’s a classic. The strange new animation choices and character updates of the remaster take away some of the charm from a much-loved game.
Video.
 
Jan 29, 2007
4,299
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Contrast is completely off, textures haven't been tweaked properly, atmosphere post-process is not present, etc.

Arkham remaster all over again.

It looks like they're hiring teams to port and 'remaster' those games but they never use the original game as reference to help them make the game look and feel like the original.

Shame.
 

Nesses

Member
Jun 15, 2015
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Think I'm going to skip and hope they come to BC. I think AC2 is the only one at the moment.
 

Rodney McKay

Member
Jun 13, 2009
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Haha, they just sped up the climbing animation to make it faster.

Reminds me of what Obsidian did in KOTOR 2. In the first game there's a section where you are in a bulky space suit, but you're (understandably) really slow. At the beginning of KOTOR 2 you have to walk around in the same suit, but to speed things up they just fast-forwarded the animation instead of redo-ing it.
 

Fuchsdh

Member
Jan 14, 2012
19,575
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460
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Contrast is completely off, textures haven't been tweaked properly, atmosphere post-process is not present, etc.

Arkham remaster all over again.

It looks like they're hiring teams to port and 'remaster' those games but they never use the original game as reference to help them make the game look and feel like the original.

Shame.
Yep. The problem is that the companies they get aren't as invested in the game as a whole as the players are. Just like BioShock The Collection, there's a lot of improvements but they come at the cost of the mood and style the original was going for in a lot of respects (like the drastically reduced water effects in BS1). Hell even Saber and 343 made some pretty bad missteps with Combat Evolved Anniversary that they luckily fixed for Halo 2's redo, but even there aside from a few graphical glitches inherited from the PC version you could still experience the original without any of these sorts of significant issues.
 

Auctopus

Member
Apr 6, 2014
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The later parts in the video where he's running round rooftops look legitimately great!

But Christ, the climbing.
 

RoKKeR

Member
Oct 17, 2012
23,406
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Um, what the fuck!?!

That character model, that gif... I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
 

StoneFox

Member
Oct 8, 2014
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I got the "spider monkey" climbing in the original occasionally. I'm thinking it was a bug that was not fully patched out.