Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fact or Fiction: Montreal-Made 'Assassin's Creed III' Delivers Entertainment

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Fact or Fiction: Montreal-Made 'Assassin's Creed III' Delivers Entertainment

Article excerpt

Creating the world of 'Assassin's Creed III'


TORONTO - Ubisoft Montreal left almost no stone unturned in attempting to create a video game set in the 18th century around the American Revolutionary War.

Artists were dispatched to the northeast U.S., centuries-old drawings were pored over, a historian was hired and a string of consultants were brought on board -- from a Mohawk expert to a mixed martial arts fighter/coach assigned to oversee fight moves.

Philippe Ducharme, associate producer of "Assassin's Creed III," says it was all done "to make sure whatever we were pushing forward in the story of the game -- in the characters, the images, the different architecture, anything that was in there -- was actually coherent with the historical period that we were portraying."

The work paid off in rave reviews of the game -- the latest instalment of a made-in-Montreal franchise that has sold 40 million copies since its launch in 2007.

"Hugely seductive," said

"A beautiful and exciting experience that you'll remember for years to come," enthused

But "Assassin's Creed III" also drew a recent negative editorial from the Globe and Mail, saying it distorts history.

"To suggest indigenous peoples rallied to the side of the colonists in their fight for freedom grotesquely twists the facts," the editorial says.

Ubisoft declined comment on the criticism. But others had plenty to say, with most noting it was a video game and not a documentary.

"I once saw a hedgehog take 23 minutes to cross a street. Sega Genesis, EXPLAIN THYSELF," tweeted one wag.

The "Assassin's Creed" series may be set in historical backdrops but it is framed by fantasy, including the enabling plot device of the "Animus," a device that allows a modern-day protagonist to experience his ancestral memories.

Ubisoft historian Maxime Durand, while also declining comment on the Globe editorial, said in an interview that history was blended with entertainment.

"While the team working in this game has been very serious in its historical approach, the main goal has been, and will keep being, the entertainment of millions of gamers," Durand, hired to help with the game, said in an interview with video game web site Dork Shelf (

"Assassin's Creed III" is the fifth main title in the franchise, following "Assassin's Creed," "Assassin's Creed II," "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" and "Assassin's Creed: Revelations. …

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