Ezio Auditore de Firenze (Ezio Auditore from Florence) is one of the most popular characters from this generation of games. He is the root of the success of the Assassin Creed games. The first Assassin’s Creed was popular but the series really found its own voice with the Ezio trilogy.
Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of my favorite games not only for the revolutionary way that it treated an open world but also because it told the story of someone who we all could really root for. The game begins with Ezio using his rooftop running skills to run errands for his father. It is soon apparent that there is a conspiracy afoot that your father is trying to fight against. However, before it can be fully uncovered, your father is captured for treason.
At this point Ezio does not nearly have enough abilities up his sleeves to rescue his father. He watches as his father is executed before his eyes. Ezio retreats back to his home to discover the true identify of his father; an Assassin. Ezio takes his father’s uniform and weapons in order to find revenge.
Revenge is a motive that is used really often in games and isn’t always pulled off quite well. If a character does not have his own personality than their quest begins to seem too one-dimensional. They become flat. Ezio is anything but one-dimensional, he has witty mind and a heart of gold. He fights to get revenge for his father but in the process he uncovers the Templar Order and their agenda.
Ezio comes to a point where he has to decide what he is really fighting for. He transitions from a quest based solely on revenge to the quest to bring down the Templar Order when he discovers their plots to take control. In the process of this quest he does find his revenge, but by this point every facet of his life is devoted to fighting the Templars.
Ezio spends the majority of his life leading the Assassin Order against the Templars. In his older years Ezio begins a new quest to discover the secrets of Altair, the protagonist of the original Assassin’s Creed game. Ezio travels to Constantinople to gather information. It is here that Ezio discovers the one thing that would finally give him peace in life; love.
To me, Ezio is such a compelling character because he goes through so many changes in his life that we as gamers get to witness. We see him begin as a young man known for sleeping with many women and being more or less stuck up about himself. This part of his character is burned away in the crucible of his father’s death. He realizes that revenge isn’t everything though, and Ezio transitions to a character that is bigger than us that can fight the evil for us.
Ezio Auditore de Firenze, in my opinion, is fascinating in the same way that Batman is fascinating. Batman has motives that almost al of us can relate with in some form or another yet he rises above his demons to make the world a better place. That is an ideal that is extremely appealing and being able to experience that vicariously through a video game character is one of the reasons I love gaming.
I still think there needs to be an Assassin’s Creed and Red Alert mash-up where Einstein brings Ezio to world war 2 to fight the Nazis. Now there is a video game idea that’s pretty much golden.