The story is the bridges the gap of Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. After the destruction of Monteriggioni in the year 1500, Ezio met with Leonardo Da Vinci to gather ...
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Now living in a cozy Tuscan Villa with his wife and their two children, Ezio spends his time enjoying the company of family, old friends, and cultivating his vineyards. The life of this ... See full summary »
Roger Craig Smith
The story is a prequel to the video game Assassin's Creed II. It centers around the father of the game's main character, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Giovanni is an assassin living during the ... See full summary »
The story is the bridges the gap of Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. After the destruction of Monteriggioni in the year 1500, Ezio met with Leonardo Da Vinci to gather information about the Pope's son, Cesare Borgia. Leonardo tells Ezio of Cesare's rise to power.Written by
An engaging introduction to Cesare ahead of AC:B, but the ugly and basic animation hurts it
Set between Assassin's Creed 2 and Brotherhood, this short film sees Ezio setting his sights on Cesare Borgia and going to his friend Leonardo to get more information on this powerful man. Similar to the previous short film (Lineage, which preceded the release of AC2), this film really is just a curio that was released ahead of the game as part of marketing. The story is simple and it allows the viewer to get a feel for not only the influence of Cesare, but also the intelligence and ruthlessness of the character who will be the main villain of Brotherhood.
Running to barely 8 minutes, this means the game is more about style and atmosphere than it is having a story or a beginning, middle and end. It is also being marketed directly at video game players as few others would be interested in this. So, with both those things in mind, one has to ask the question – why make it so basic. The previous short film was a computer world with real actors – a bit like the TV show Knightmare (ask your parents), but this one is all animated. The backgrounds appear to have been lifted right from the game but the characters are animated in a style that comes over really crude and basic. I'm sure an animator can say it much better than I, but it has the look of stop-animated cardboard cut-outs being moved on a static background. It sounds harsh but it looks like a modern version of Captain Pugwash (again, ask your parents).
Keep in mind this short was made in connection with the Assassin's Creed franchise of games – a franchise that so far gets better with every game, tells a compelling story and looks beautiful while doing it. Also keep in mind that your audience for this short is used to animation of the level in the game. So why would you make it look so basic. It does have a certain style to it, but it never escapes how basic it looks and the stuttering animation just distracts from what should be a compelling introduction to Cesare. In terms of this story, it is well told using the voice actors from the game, and the depiction of his rise to power is interesting and bloody.
Overall, like the previous short film, Ascendance is a curio that will play to AC fans and few others. However it is a nice little short in terms of content as it links directly to the game and is punchy and engaging. Shame then it is so ugly and stuttering when it comes to the animation – the games looks so good and this looks so basic and ugly, it just doesn't make sense and the animation style dominates the short negatively.
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