How an Assassin's Creed III Demo Photobombed History

Since 2007, Ubisoft has painstakingly begun to dismantle history at its glowing weak spot: speculative details. In working on three games spanning the era of Middle Eastern religious warfare (known as The Crusades) and five games covering Europe’s resurgence in art, thinking, and political incest (known as The Renaissance), the Assassin’s Creed series’ developers have been meticulous about their re-imagined histories, and have taken full advantage of the still-malleable casts of historical reliefs marred by isolated accounts, suspect accounts, or the quagmire of accounts in the oral tradition. Like so many of Ezio’s loyal blacksmiths, these game designers bend blades to their cause, crafting instruments of serial homicide to empower the player on a virtual bloodletting in history’s sandbox. They are at once intensely respectful of the past they explore and inherently exploitative.

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