This newest CGI trailer (what’s the flipping point, amirite?) for the incoming Assassin’s Creed Unity shows off playable protagonist Arno make the city of Paris and her bestest guards his bitches as he races to save a pretty young, non-playable woman from a nasty case of decapitation.
Elise, theoretically Ubisoft’s answer to accusations of sudden sexism in the series, is a Fiery Templar wannabe that Arno will probably slowly teach the ways of the world and assorted assassination as he gradually wins her over to his cause or something. I could be way off the mark here. But equally, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m right on the money.
Either way, I highly doubt Elise will be an unbiased view into Templar society and we gamers will, for once, get to see them not as a clandestine band of cartoonish ne’er-do-wells but as a society dedicated to civilisations betterment. Coz detailed as Assassin’s Creed’s open worlds are, the narrative is only ever black and white.
Assassin’s Creed Unity courted controversy recently with the removal of any form of female avatar from the game. Since Brotherhood back in 2010, players could choose a female in the multiplayer mode. 2012’s Assassin’s Creed: Liberation even had a Frenchwoman, Aveline, as its protagonist. But despite the fact Assassin’s Creed Unity does boast co-operative play, female avatars are out the window. Figuratively, I should point out, given how violent this series is.
While players will always appear as Arno to themselves, to their co-op partners, they’ll be reskinned to look like an NPC, much like Watch Dogs’ online suite. None of the aforementioned reskins are female. Because Ubisoft couldn’t be arsed basically.
"It's double the animations, it's double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets… Especially because we have customisable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work.”
Director Alex Amancio speaking to Polygon.
A surprising oversight by Ubisoft, who have one of the best track records for feminism in games. And Elise reveal isn’t exactly a salve for that wound. On the plus though, Ubisoft still seem to be in love with Woodkid. And who could blame them. Check out that new track. It’s a grown up beat.
Assassin’s Creed Unity will drop (with twin wrist mounted spring loaded blades) for PC, PS4, and Xbone on October 28th.