Although the Assassin’s Creed franchise is probably best known for it’s free-running, free-stabbing, free-roaming gameplay, it’s also possible to learn quite a lot about world history through the storylines and the extensive glossary entries on each place and person encountered. The games have featured prominent historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Robert de SablÃ© and Rodrigo Borgia, and the protagonists have been present at a great number of major historical events (particularly so in the case of Connor Kenway, who was like an 18th century Forrest Gump).
The Assassin’s Creed glossaries contain some fiction along with the facts, but overall they’re a helpful resource when it comes to getting the right context for the story and the characters in it. For gamers who may not be familiar with the events of the French Revolution, Ubisoft has released a new cinematic story trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Unity to set the stage for Arno Dorian and his fellow Assassins to enter and make their mark.
The trailer provides a brief and simplified account of the events leading up to the Reign of Terror, covering the 1789 Storming of the Bastille, the executions of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and the subsequent period of violence that led to tens of thousands of beheadings at the guillotine. History nerds may bristle a little at the misattribution of “Let them eat cake” to Marie Antoinette, though it’s possible that this part of the narration is designed to represent the average revolutionary’s perception of the monarchy rather than an unbiased historical viewpoint.
Speaking of manipulating history, the story trailer also strongly suggests that once again the Templars will be behind the nasty twists and turns that the French Revolution took, and that the Assassins will show up to “fight and kill for liberty” (they may have to get in line to do that). There are certainly plenty of interesting opportunities for the game to examine historical figures like Maximilien de Robespierre, and to weigh them against the Assassin Brotherhood’s unique moral code.
Although this is a cool little teaser for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, it doesn’t actually seem to contain any in-game footage. In order to see that, you should check out the gameplay trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Unity released this week, which is narrated by Arno himself in a rather incongruous British accent.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity will be released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One in late 2014.