Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Assassin's Creed 3 'Rise' trailer and the fan reaction

If you have somehow wondered on to this obscure part of the Internet in search of Assassin's Creed 3 stuff, you have probably seen the pseudo-controversial trailer released on Independence Day by Ubisoft for their upcoming game Assassin's Creed 3. While my biggest issue with it is that a live action trailer tells me nothing about the gameplay, or even graphics itself, my complaint has seem to falling by the side for the more popular and sexy "Lies and Nationalism" crowd.

Now, as with all good topics, this one is hard to approach without sounding like a self entitled wanker, so I approach with caution. Obviously with every Internet debate there is a delay in response, so people have to act like they are better informed as they post their pointless comment on a Youtube video. However, not in a while, has a debate made me cringe as much as this one. I think the problem with Nationalism specifically is that it manages to be both A) Something very personal to some people and B) Something they don't really understand.

 'Unbias they said'

Consequently, the overlap is tremendous and when borders are ill defined, conflicts occur. This debate also seems to have a particularly annoying effect, because neither of the primary sides seem to be right, thus making the argument circular. Many don't seem to be able to see further than the reflex knee jerk reaction of 'Defend Country'.

But that isn't the problem at hand here, I'll admit I was also slightly annoyed at the trailer when it came out, and for a moment I had a crisis, thinking that it was motivated by the same ill-informed self serving Nationalism that has gripped these poor sods. But then I realised it was something more than that, not only had they gone back on their promise of Connor having enemies on both sides of the war with the overwhelming media output of Red Coat slaughtering, but they had fundamentally altered the nature of the game.

Remember how excited we were when we saw this?

Imagine if Assassin's Creed 1 had contained a 'Rise against the Crusaders', or if Assassin's Creed Revelations had a "We shall take no more" trailer against the Ottoman occupiers of Constantinople. It would have felt completely out of place. The closest either of the other protagonists got to favouring a faction was when one tried to outright kill Altair in the form of the Crusaders. It seems like they may need reminding that we are viewing all this through an Animus, removing themselves from the Revolution.

Ultimately, outside of the thematic sense, it doesn't overly matter to me. Connor can teabag a million of my virtual ancestors and I wouldn't blink as long as I felt it fitted in with the feel of the series. For all the angry Nationalists out there, it is equally possible that it was all just an Independence Day stunt that people took too seriously. Now you can all bicker about it before they release the next scrap of information on AC3, at which point we will all start again. Until then.

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