Assassin's Creed Devs Don't Hate the British

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Assassin's Creed Devs Don't Hate the British

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The American Revolution was a "British civil war."

A bit over 200 years ago, the fledgling Thirteen Colonies of America declared their independence from the British Empire and fought a war to prove it. (Spoiler alert: They won.) Assassin's Creed III takes place during that American Revolution, and protagonist Connor is on the side of the Minutemen and Sons of Liberty, which means he's going to be killing more than his fair share of British soldiers who thought that wearing bright red uniforms to one of history's first modern guerrilla wars was a good idea. (Spoiler alert: It wasn't.)

Despite that, though, AC3 writer Corey May swears that Ubisoft Montreal doesn't have any latent anti-British or overwhelmingly pro-American sentiment behind its next climby-stalky-stabby game. The story is "not meant to be [British] loyalists versus [American] patriots," he said.

"It's assassins versus Templars. There's a revolution going on and Connor will experience all facets of it. It's not as simple as Templars backing the crown and assassins backing the patriots, it's really two factions at war against the backdrop of another war. I have nothing against the Brits."

What's more, says May, is that the actual historical backdrop was rarely so cut and dry as "Americans vs. British." "It occurs against the backdrop of the Revolutionary war. Everyone back then was a Brit, this was not Americans against British - this was a British civil war."

That said, Connor is fighting on the Patriot side, and the E3 demo featured him captaining a warship for some naval combat against British forces. Are all those sailors Templars? Probably not. On the other hand, given that Connor is partially Native American, he might not have all that much loyalty or fondness for the colonists that oppressed and murdered that side of his family.

But hey, it's kind of understandable in a way. After all, Ubisoft itself is French, and they did have that whole Hundred Years' War thing a while back. And Ubisoft Montreal is French Canadian! I'm just saying, maybe there's some latent historical resentment going on.

In all seriousness, this is actually an interesting thought. We have a great many readers from the various parts of Great Britain - do you feel that Assassin's Creed III is unfairly targeting you? Is it going to be odd playing a character who stalks and kills your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers?

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

Source: CVG

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John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

Matthew94:

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

John Funk:

Matthew94:

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

Just because you wouldn't pay your bloody taxes!

We will keep the tea to ourselves then.

John Funk:

Matthew94:

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

Seeing it explored as a British civil war would be interesting.

The first protests form the colonies were very reasonable but the Tory government and liberal oposition (same guys who are in now actually) refused to listen, always wanted to see that as a jumping off point for alt history what if they had given representation.

They all seem to be voice acted to resemble Disney villains so the inherent hilarity afforded by such a design choice far outweighs the apparent justice I should feel given that I'm Irish bred and born.

Uh sorry to burst your bubble there Funk, but the Revolution was NOT a guerrilla war NOR would it have been one of the first.

Daystar Clarion:

John Funk:

Matthew94:

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

All I hear is "Waa-waa-waa-waa Why can't WE have an assassin?!"

Daystar Clarion:

John Funk:

Matthew94:

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

And here I thought you guys did want it back. You know that whole...incident in 1812. Then you guys realized it just wasn't worth it with the whole Napoleon thing.

John Funk:
To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

We're always the bad guys. Ever since I heard the Helghast soldiers sounding like British squaddies I've become resigned to us being the bad guys, except in James Bond movies I suppose.

At least with AC they're justified (for once) in giving the villains british accents.

I hope so, all the trailers so far have shown only brits getting a native hair cut and scenes in which the word freedom is used while the American flag is raised which does have me worried that it will be us=good brits=bad. Although Ubisoft generally do good research on each Assassins Creed game so I imagine that my worries will be proved wrong once we know more of the story elements; I trust the French Canadians won't be sore losers. Otherwise I might just go round killing minutemen in the game out of protest :P

I'm calling now that the story will involve a twist where both the colonists and British are ultimately controlled by the templars who are involved in a internal struggle for power and decide to use the Assassins as a pawn to give one side the edge over the other. You heard it here first.

Ordinarily, I would see this as nothing different as killing the English crusaders in Assassin's Creed 1. In the country for dickish reasons because Britain, as everyone knows, is the bad guy of the world because we did so many bad things in the past. That's why we make the best movie villains, because British people are naturally evil. I have accepted that once my face hair sorts itself out I will be twirling my moustache as I feed another servant to my pet piranhas.

However, Conor isn't a colonist, nor totally British. He's a Native American. He's someone who lived originally here and his people and way of living were destroyed by the colonists, through disease, cheating, pillaging and raping. This was not a good guys versus bad guys war, this was a bad guys vs even badder guys war. All I ask is that Conor at least spends 5 minutes looking at the side he is fighting on and says "Jesus christ guys, what the fuck?" and maybe assassinates one.

Really, yes, that's what I want. I want Conor to kill at least one blue coat. Just one, then I'll be happy. You kill a single man in a blue coat (who is not in disguise, no cheating) and then I will be totally satisfied. I don't care if the mainstream media in America may see it as controversial that you kill one of the people who fought for independence in their great country, I want you to have the balls to say "They weren't all that good" and dirty your blade with someone tangibly responsible. Do it and I will never ever make any jokes about the connection of the French and cowardice.

I mean it.

Calumon: Please do, he won't be quiet otherwise. >.<

DVS BSTrD:
Uh sorry to burst your bubble there Funk, but the Revolution was NOT a guerrilla war NOR would it have been one of the first.

Daystar Clarion:

John Funk:

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

All I hear is "Waa-waa-waa-waa Why can't WE have an assassin?!"

The big battles, Yorktown, Saratoga, Lexington and Concord to start, sure. But there was a lot of guerrilla action in between that totally cribbed tactics from the French & Indian War (or Seven Years' War, depending who you're talking to). It was a strange sort of war fought both on major battlefields and guerrilla style.

Also, it makes for a good joke. :)

Some quotes from Television Tropes.com:

"Seeing which way the tide seemed to be turning, the king of Spain also declared war on Britain, and the Dutch - the second-biggest commercial power after Britain - started to bankroll the French and the British-American rebels. The colonies were now the least of Britain's problems; they were now practically at war with every major power except Austria, Russia and China, which had no navies with which to threaten Britain's dominant fleet."

"The transformation of a reluctant civil war into a world war with the foremost foreign powers of the day threatened Britain's holdings in the Caribbean and India. Britain itself was threatened, with the (Catholic) Irish making rumbles about siding with Britain's (Catholic) enemies again. All this led to a change in strategy. Having failed to achieve decisive victory in the northern colonies, in 1778 the Army shifted its efforts to the South, where there were more Loyalists (colonists still loyal to the Crown) and revolutionary fervor was weaker."

"This decisive defeat marked the collapse of Parliament's will to prosecute the war, and the end of major combat operations in North America. After further fighting between the French, Spanish, and British at sea, at Gibraltar, and elsewhere around the world, the Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the war and established the United States of America as an independent nation. A twentieth of the population of the former colonies, some hundred thousand people, emigrated to remain under the patronage of George III. Most loyalists emigrated to Canada, a milestone in the history of that nation which effectively secured it for the Empire by reducing the potentially rebellious French majority to a minority.

It would be a mistake, however, to think that the fledgling nation was now an incontrovertible fact. The United States of America were - 'were' and not 'was' because the constitution as known today had yet to be drafted and the federal government was very weak - under-populated, poor, debt-ridden and exhausted from a civil war which had practically torn them in half. They had no real army to speak of and no naval forces whatsoever. It remained to be seen if the secessionist colonies could form a strong and coherent state of their own or whether they would return to the Crown, by mutual agreement or by force. If there was one lesson history taught about republics, it was that they inevitably failed, and the state of the republic in the following decades would seem to confirm this assertion. Ironically, the Republic's survival was ultimately due to the actions of some hundred powerful oligarchs acting against the wishes of the majority of the people. Together they conspired to write and have ratified by the states a constitution, one that bound the states under a central government, to keep the fledgling nation afloat. Out of this clandestine agreement came the Constitution and, later on, the Bill of Rights as Americans know it today - the point of the bill being to undercut popular opposition to their attempt to subvert the power of the states to which most people who remained owed their allegiance. It would be another half-century, and a war that nobody really wanted before people could say with confidence that the new nation would be around to stay, in one form or another. "

Just wanted to debunk some of the overly romantic shit I see in the trailers. I think I am getting too old for videogames.

We're always the bad guys or the super elite fighting force, we're keeping a stiff upper lip about it all.

Resentment?

The American civil was was actually our plot to separate ourselves from those obnoxious Yanks and royally screw over the French while we were at it. It was a great success, even if it did get a little out of hand.

I'm actually looking forward to this game, regardless of the perspective it takes. It's quite a novel setting, especially for video-games, and we haven't been over-saturated with that time period in other media either. Or at least, I haven't.


Anyway, I really hope that Ubisoft doesn't demonise the British like they have every other 'bad guy' peoples in past games.

The biggest difference in this game and the previous Creed titles is that Britain and America still exists, unlike the fractured city-states of Italy or Constantinople and the Ottoman Empire as portrayed in Revalations, meaning that demonization could be more of an issue.

As with everything, there were a lot of shades of grey.

But what is more important than the British or American characters is there needs to be a large group of French characters, as they played a huge part in the build up to the war, during and after, with the French Revolution almost directly attributable to the War of Independence.

John Funk:
To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

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Don't mind at all, it's only natural to fear your superiors somewhat, which makes the British being the bad guys in nigh on everything an inevitability.

Resentment? Nah. What was being asked was totally reasonable and people agreed with it... Cept the government at the time. Typical Tories.

Eh, I guess I'm okay with him being on "Our" side, I'm just kind of hoping that it's not "The Patriot" with white hoods. I guess I was expecting Connor to be more neutral in the conflict, sort of like how Altair was during the crusades. Yeah, he mostly killed the Crusaders, but he got in more than a few Saracens too as I recall, because there were Templars on both sides. Maybe I've just been playing too much of the Witcher, where Geralt doesn't give a fuck which side wins their little wars.

Also just as an aside, wasn't George Washington a Templar in the Assassin's Creed Lore? In 2 wasn't there a glyph showing him with a Piece of Eden crossing the Delaware?

Daystar Clarion:

John Funk:

Matthew94:

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

If you had wanted to try, then it would have ended up more like Canada, where you're in charge on paper, and that's about it.

Unlike America, we British do not try to ignore the parts of our past that show how bad we were. We had the largest Empire in history and we got most of it by walking into other peoples countries,shoting anyone who looked at us funny and beat the crap out of the rest until they understood that they were now our bitches.

The majority of Brits who play the game will likly not give a crap. I just hope that it is portrayed fairly. Yes we did some bad things at that time but so did the French and the colonials were not exactly inocent.

Besides it does not matter that the Americans won the war because the world was, and still is, run by the Drood family and they are English so suck it!

PS: If anyone gets the reference above then you can have 10000000000000 internets.

Matthew94:

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

This. We only backed down from the war because:
1. We never expected it to last more than a year or so; and

2. We had to save resources on a impending war with closer nations, such as the French, Dutch and Spanish - which ended up happening so lucky us.

The colonists wouldn't have stood a chance against the entire might of the British military. We owned a third of the known world at the time. But I'm glad we didn't win, I sort-of like the USA (When your not all being patriotic, fundamental-Christian or just downright stupid). :D

I still laugh at Pizza being a vegetable because of the tomato purée, though tomato's a fruit and purée is rarely even organic.



Back OT: I'm a little annoyed that Connor isn't killing Templars on both sides, but meh - it doesn't hurt to be the bad guys every once in a while. The Russians bit the bullet for a while as the main antagonists, so why not step it up a notch to the best nation on the planet?

vxicepickxv:

Daystar Clarion:

John Funk:

See? Latent historical resentment. I knew it!

If we really wanted to keep America, we would have :D

Wasn't worth the loses though.

If you had wanted to try, then it would have ended up more like Canada, where you're in charge on paper, and that's about it.

Hey now, the Governor General still reports to the Queen!

And... you know... allies and such...

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

Whats that? I can't hear you over the sound of my puppy fueled death ray making its hourly shot at cute endangered species.

Well, the feeling's not mutual, I definetly hate you, Ubisoft.

I think the problem most people have is there hasn't really been any "Templars vs Assassins" imagery in the trailers or gameplay vids. It mostly has been a lot, almost entire British armies, being wiped out by one lone American patriot while the words "freedom", "liberty", "justice" are being spoken over it.

I guess hindsight is a funny thing though seeing as most people now moan about the US being too corrupt, too greedy or censoring too much.

But history should remain where it belongs, which is in the past. I don't really mind killing my own random computer generated non-living unfeeling fellow geographical representative avatars countrymen, as long as its done tastefully and not rated PG (Patriotic Garbage).

They keep saying "Oh, the British aren't depicted as the bad guys" but I really don't see any of that coming through in their trailers, so far the headcount of the Assassin is about a billion English redcoats and not a single Revolutionary. Someone else said maybe it's a plotpoint-y twist. Hmm, that would be interesting.

I dont mind. My Mums side is Hungarian and my dads side didnt go to the colonys as fr as I know.

John Funk:
To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

How very dare you! Fisty cuffs! I demand satisfaction!

John Funk:
In all seriousness, this is actually an interesting thought. We have a great many readers from the various parts of Great Britain - do you feel that Assassin's Creed III is unfairly targeting you? Is it going to be odd playing a character who stalks and kills your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers?

Nope. I think "too soon" is not something that can apply to a war that happened in the 1700's. I don't much care, really. It'd be like a whole bunch of people still whining they lost a rebellion and still waving the flag their side used... *looks at the American Deep South* oh...

I'm utterly detached from the whole Revolutionary War in every possible way. Frankly I'm glad America won it. You're your own problem now.

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

To be even more fair, both sides were kind of dicks in equal measure. Sure we were arseholes but the kicker is that the Americans were arseholes too. There's a Cracked article about this somewhere I cannot be arsed to find and link to, but it basically points out that the "oppressive taxes" issue really wasn't that much of an issue, since most colonists barely paid them anyway and the crown didn't really give much of a shit to begin with.

Plus because we were an ocean away and the guy in charge to reporting shit to us loved us to begin with and wasn't exactly in touch with what the everyday colonists were feeling about the whole situation, we didn't even really know people were pissed off over taxes they weren't even paying. Plus you guys dragged us into a war we had no fucking reason to be fighting and then threw a bitch-fit when we suggested you maybe shoulder some of the cost of said war.

So really, let's call it a wash and move on. People are still trying to convince the Americans that they weren't the lone patriotic heroes during World War 2 that liberated Europe by themselves, do we really still need to be arguing about the very first war you guys ever fought?

To cut a long story short: I don't give a fuck about murdering virtual old-timey British people. Though I do have some reservations about getting blood and bullet-holes in those fabulous coats.

Bvenged:
The Russians bit the bullet for a while as the main antagonists, so why not step it up a notch to the best nation on the planet?

A while? They're still doing that. And will be until America gets into it's next proper war (those little bullet-filled excursions into developing nations don't count) so it can find someone fresh to demonise for the sake of flag-waving bullshit and patriotic hooting.

wierd, no one asks if russians or muslims are beeing portrait fairly on call of dutys, battlefields and others, they be pretty much: "look, foreigner! kill him!"

but when the villans are white westerners then suddely everybody grows a conscience

Matthew94:

John Funk:

To be fair, though, you were kind of the bad guys.

And you needed the french to win.

We'd rather lose than ally with them.

World War one and two say otherwise.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't think for a minute anyone thought the guys on the dev team thought "y'know what?" "what?" "Fuck the british!" "yeaaaaaaaaah!".

whats more important here is when do i get my Assassins Creed: Rise of the Shogunate?

As a Brit. I feel tampted to apologise for the apparent squeemishness (not to mention hypocricy) of my other countrymen at this point. The CoD: Modern Warfare franchise (the most popular gaming franchise of the generation) features 2 British chaps as the series main good-guys, cutting down wave after wave of one-dimensional Russians, Arabs, and even at one point Americans... and no-one bats an eye.

But then this one game appears that has the gall to show some British imperialists getting slit up and suddenly we all start losing our shit. Really guys? I mean really? That's not even mentioning the accusations of this being because the US audience is too hung up on nationalism, which in this context makes my irony detectors explode under the pressure.

I get that the War of Independence was more complicated than good colonists versus evil imperials. All wars are more complicated than that, and if Ubisoft go against what they're saying here and dilute the issue for the sake of appealing to the US audience I will be a little disappointed sure. But, if that happens (which I think is unlikely given their track record so far) I will resolve to deal with it and not act like a baby because this happened one bloody time! You think this is unfair representation before the game has even come out? Go ask a Russian or Iranian how they feel right now.

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