We'll admit that when Ubisoft finally confirmed that Assassin's Creed: Revelations was another Ezio story (albeit his last) we were a little bit disappointed.
We'd come to terms with the fact this wasn't going to be the leap through time we'd hoped for, nor was it going to bring the brand new assassin we're more than ready for but, with all the Altair being thrown around by Ubi's strange videos, we thought we'd at least get a break from the Italian.
But then we saw an aged Ezio clinging to a tower in Turkey's Constantinople and all of a sudden we were a little bit happier. This could be an interesting take afterall, especially since the ghost of Altair seems to be roaming the halls as well.
Here are a few things that we'd like to see in Assassin's Creed: Revelations that we think will make it a satisfying end to Ezio:
ACHES 'N' PAINS
First of all let's talk about the fact that our once youthful, womanising, warrior is now sporting a bit of grey and a wrinkle or two on the old noggin. Personally, we think Ezio is looking as badass as ever, so two thumbs up from a stylistic point of view, but we want to see this impact the gameplay as well.
Much like Solid Snake kept feeling the burn when crouching in Metal Gear Solid 4, we think it would add an extra dimension of jeopardy to see Ezio's stamina and strength diminished due to age.
We want more than a bit of back pain every now and then though; perhaps Revelations no longer allows players to clutch onto ledges for infinity, perhaps Ezio gets out of breath when sprinting, perhaps he has a few problems in the bedroom. Actually, we don't ever want to see Ezio have problems in the bedroom.
We're not sure how likely this is and we remain a bit cautious; it would have to be very carefully balanced so as to add to the challenge rather than just take away the free-running fun at the core of Assassin's Creed.
What sparked the idea? That hook-like device on Ezio's wrist in the first Revelations screenshot. Our first thought was that it was something to help him climb, which struck us as odd because the Ezio we know has never had trouble with a bit of wall scaling. Then it dawned on us; maybe this time he does.
GO GO GADGET...KNIFE
Perhaps we're wrong to dismiss the old dog just yet, for all we know that could handle on Ezio's wrist could just be his latest offensive weapon, which leads us on to other gadgets and gizmos we'd like to see in Revelations.
If the pensioner is being let down by his body, for example, it'd cool if that new device was some sort of limited use, rudimentary grappling hook, working much like the quick lifts in AC: Brotherhood but with some discretion as to how it can be used.
Frankly our biggest gadget prayers were answered with the inclusion of smoke bombs in Assassin's Creed II, but another neat inclusion would be a range of traps that Ezio could lay to take out patrolling guards, especially if he isn't too quick on his feet these days.
Basically after devices like the pistol, the smoke bomb and the glider, we want to see Ezio get his hands on a whole range on new bleeding edge toys.
We know what you're going to say and we're just as cautious about chucking online features into games that don't really need anything beyond their amazing single-player experience, but Brotherhood's multiplayer was so tastefully done that we want Ubisoft to take a shot at another big hitting online feature.