Assassin’s Creed III Won’t Ignore Slavery
It’s something that we have in common with the US and many other parts of the world: a history of slavery. We can all agree that it’s the fault of the British that the concept of slavery existed in the first place so there’s a reason to bomb that puny island but I digress. Assassin’s Creed III will take place in the colonial era of the United States and certainly long before Honest Abe and his anti-slavery notions.
So, mere days after telling us that we’ll see the more boisterous, philanderers side of Ben Franklin in AC III, Ubisoft is laying down some more history on us with the announcement that the game will also deal with the issue of slavery to some degree.
Assassin’s Creed 3writer Matt Rurnerhas told OPM UK: “It’s something we’ve been very aware of. Everybody had slaves at that point; the first groups who rallied around emancipation didn’t come around until 1787 – largely driven by Benjamin Franklin funnily enough. That was very much after our game and slavery was maintained in culture.”
Of course, the story is supposed to revolve around the period manifestation of Templars vs Assassins but Ubisoft doesn’t want to take the easy route and avoid the issue of slavery altogether. Instead, they look to be tackling it head-on.
“We feel that kind of a subject deserves a certain amount attention because it’s so serious and it needs to be treated with utmost respect,” said Rurnerhas. “We’re definitely not going to shy away from it in terms of not showing it.
“We’re going to focus on telling it like it was, we’re going to show what was there and what people did in that time but we want to be careful with how that’s covered and how much of it is there. It’s an important topic. We won’t be afraid to show that it’s there but we’re not going make it the focus of our game.”
So our new protagonist Connor is not only a half-English half-Native American but he also has powerful friends such as Ben Franklin and he’s tied to the slaves somehow. And the you have Desmond Miles who is podgy looks like Adam Sandler and who’s greatest achievement is being the descendant of all these cool assassins.
Seriously though, Ubisoft loves their historical accuracy when it comes to AC, specifically in recreating the atmosphere and feel of the era. Perhaps colonial USA wouldn’t be the same without a focus on slavery but Ubisoft has definitely chosen to cover the issue and make it a part of the game. Is this a rehash of BioWare’s decision to make Shepard canonically gay or is Ubisoft doing something truly worthwhile and meaningful here?