Ezio's is one of the saddest tales I've been told in a while. As a young nobleman, son of a banker, who is secretly a member of an order sworn to protect the world from the Templars, Ezio has little to worry about. He falls in love, have bouts with rival families of Firenze and generally has a kickass life. And then his father is uncovered as the Assassin he is, and so Ezio's father, elder brother and twelve year old little brother are hung for treason. While this is going on, Ezio's sister and mother are raped and almost murdered, leaving the mother in a state of deep shock, unable to speak for at least a decade, with only the occasional hint of recognition: whenever Ezio brings her feathers, something his little brother used to collect.
Ezio's family is hunted by the Borgia, a family who you may or may not know to be some of the most powerful people during the Renaissance, including Rodrigo Borgia, who became pope. It's Ezio's quest to retreive the McGuffin of power from the Borgia, while at the same time becoming a master Assassin. Remember that 'falling in love' I mentioned before? He fell in love with a girl named Cristina, who you visit right before the poodoo hits the fan. After you leave Firenze, she is not mentioned again. The reason for this is that Ezio happened to forget mentioning the fact that he was leaving. She blames him for this and has stopped waiting for him after ten years, and does not take kindly to him seducing her during a masquerade in Venice. It's only a few months later that she admits she always hoped he'd come back. Might seem lovely, except that, at the time of uttering, she is dying in his arms, while he's trying to take her to a doctor. He doesn't get there in time.
And we're not done. The entire series is dotted with Ezio's attempt to form connections with people most of whom who die or are traumatized in some way. There's even a character at the beginning of Brotherhood who I will not forget any time soon, simply because of the way he says things, and what he says. His wife has been killed, after being defiled by the executioner. He tells Ezio he wishes the executioner had just killed her. While he's saying it, he realizes what he just said. He wishes the executioner had just KILLED his WIFE.
This is not a game for children. Despite its superficial aura of badassery and awesomeness, it's a hard world, where sticking to your principles is going to leave you shot, stabbed, bruised and ultimately forgotten, while the monsters become famous.
It's an amazing story, it's well told, and I can't wait to see how it ends.