An End Befitting A Hero
One of my favourite characters on the PS3 has been the enigmatic assassin Ezio Auditore. The games he has featured in have felt like more than just the run-of-the mill titles you come to expect from a game today. For me there is a definite feel of a bigger, deeper story arc happening and more like an interactive film aspect than just a usual `hack and slash’. I think that one good reason for this is how you interact and grow with Ezio. You begin as a young fresh faced lad thrown into more than you are ready for and have to learn and adapt. Both you and Ezio develop at a similar rate, learning new skills and working your way through the path laid out for you. Unlike other games, something happened with the assassin’s creed titles that doesn’t usually happen; I grew to have an affinity with Ezio, and I felt a sense of achievement when we worked out a puzzle or defeated an insurmountable force of enemy troops. It felt like more than just playing a game or completing a level; there was more of a personal attatchment to the storyline and the character. The fact that Ezio is an assassin and he killed and murdered to get through life, fell away and became almost accepted as a job or a destiny that was being fulfilled. I started thinking to myself and rationalising the actions we performed as something we had to do.
With each ending, I felt an anxious wait for the next installment to see what happened and to continue to work with Ezio and bring peace to his life. This came to the forefront in his final title, Assassins Creed Revelations. Ezio became older and felt a bit slower but he was still totally proficient and able. He felt wiser and more profound and, strangely, so did I as I worked with him. Things that we learnt to do in earlier titles became second nature as we became veterens through the challenges and the tasks we undertook and our quest to find the illusive Masief Keys.
Going into this title, I wondered how it might end. I had heard that Ezio’s story would come to an end here and I was curious to see what would happen. Being an assassin, I almost expected a grizzly death at the hands of some secret foe or clandestine force. I was glad to see I was wrong.
Early on in the game you come across someone who stands out from the crowd; you can almost feel from the moment you see them that something is different with this one. That’s exactly how you should feel as you are meant to feel. Although you are taking this journey alongside Ezio, you should be picking up on important characters in his life. The person in question is the dear Sofia.
Right from that first encounter you know something important is going to happen with her. Ezio looks at her differently and acts differently just like anyone would when they meet someone that is going to change their lives. As the story continues and the relationship between them develops, both myself and Ezio began to realise what Sofia will do to Ezio and how things might turn out. Could it be the unheard of `happy ending’?
The turning point in the story I felt is when Ezio has all the Masief Keys. Icould just finish what he needed to do right then, but on hearing that Sofia, who he has now grown deeply fond of, has been kidnapped, Ezio doesn’t hesitate and charges to her rescue. A truly heroic rescue does ensue and, like all the great films, the man gets his girl. As I played along, I felt the urgency to save her. In other games where you have to get to point a in a certain time, it never has the same desperation as that. I think that because you go on such a journey with Ezio and experience each episode alongside him, you become so encapsulated with the story that you can’t help yourself.
The last few scenes where Ezio takes Sofia to the Altair library, finds Altair himself and, knowing what he now has in the shape of Sofia, ultimately gives up his life as an assassin, takes off his wrist blade and metaphoricaly walks off into the sunshine. This shows how much the character came to mean to everyone who worked on the game as well as the players including myself. It was great to see that Ezio gets to have something in his life other than a hidden blade and a trail of blood. His quest done, his life calm, his story ended happily.
I felt great pride in the ending of assassins creed Revelations as I felt that the character of Ezio Auditore was respected enough not to be pushed through countless sequels and pushed to the point of no one caring for him. I believe everything was done just the way it should have been and ended where it needed to in just the right way. Too many games characters get mutilated by bad storylines or never-ending sequels and I feel happy that Ezio won’t become one of them. I’m happy to have played these games and experience a story arc such as Ezio’s, but feel more privileged to have been part of something that had, obviously, been carefully looked at and worked on by developers, who felt the same. A true games character that became more than just a group of pixels, Ezio became a truly fleshed out hero and rightly earned his ending.
~Long live Ezio Auditore~
Jedi Junkie (Graham Coe)
Photos courtesy of Google images