Last year, Ubisoft was heavily criticized for not including a female playable character in Assassin’s Creed Unity, despite the game offering four-player co-op with customizable assassins. Fans argued that there was no real reason not to allow female characters, and many didn’t buy Ubisoft’s explanation that the female characters were “too difficult” to animate.
Evidently hoping to avoid the same controversy this year, or simply trying to earn some goodwill after the glitch-filled AC Unity, a new rumor suggests that Ubisoft may be changing its ways with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (formerly known by the subtitle Victory).
It’s been reported that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will feature a female playable protagonist as well as the previously rumored male main character. The male’s name is apparently Jacob, and the female character will be his sister Evie.
Whether or not this is true will be revealed very soon. In fact, gamers won’t even need to wait until E3 for confirmation, as Ubisoft plans on pulling the curtain back on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate tomorrow during a full reveal event at 9am Pacfic Time. It is likely that the existence or lack thereof of a female playable character in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be confirmed during the reveal.
It will be interesting to see exactly how much of the game will feature Evie, if she’s indeed in the game. Will players be able to switch between the two characters at the press of a button, similar to the dual play mode in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight? Or will the story dictate which character is playable at any given time? There are a lot of questions remaining that have yet to be answered, and there’s still a chance that this rumor turns out to be nothing more than just that, a rumor.
Considering the debacle from last year, it would probably be in Ubisoft’s best interest to include a playable female character in some form. While it was understandable thatthe story doesn’t include a playable female character due to narrative reasons, not including the option to play as a female character in a potential four-player co-op mode upset many, as it seemed like an unnecessary omission. If the four-player co-op mode does return, there should at least be the option to play as a female character in that, even if a female character, such as the rumored Evie, isn’t playable in the campaign.
To Ubisoft’s credit, past Assassin’s Creed titles have indeed included female playable protagonists. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation on the PS Vita is one example, as well as the recently released spinoff game, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China. However, if this new rumor turns out to be legitimate, this will mark the first time that a main series Assassin’s Creed game has featured a female character as a playable main protagonist.
The representation of females in the gaming industry has been a hot button subject for a while now, with game developers being called out for not including female playable characters in their games. Developers have apparently heard these complaints, because even if this particular rumor turns out to be untrue, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is allowing players to control a female character in the campaign for the first time in the history of that particular franchise.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate has no release date and no confirmed platforms as of yet, but expect it to hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One at the very least. The game is scheduled to have a full reveal tomorrow, May 12th.