In the past, I’ve typically kept real-world issues off of my blog. I’ve always envisioned Gamer Crash to be a place where we discuss and celebrate video games and the industry they come from. To that end, I never wanted to waver from that.
I have to make an exception for this post, however, because what I’m about to discuss with you is the purest example of something that crosses that very line I’ve set. I also find it massively fascinating and inspiring after the tragedy that occurred earlier this week.
So for those of you who don’t know, the Notre-Dame cathedral, a historic church and iconic landmark in Paris, France caught fire during renovations. The devastating blaze completely collapsed the cathedral’s spire, damaged the interior vault and plenty more. Not to mention the priceless artifacts, artwork, and other treasures lost or damaged. Obviously, heartbreaking stuff.
However, there may be a silver lining from an unexpected source.
When I initially heard the news, my mind wandered back to 2014 when I played Assassin’s Creed Unity for the first time. I’d always been a big fan of European history, so getting to run around in a virtual Revolutionary France was amazing, even if the game initially suffered from the weight of a bloated collectable map, microtransactions, and technical glitches that have been immortalized in memes.
I wanted to find a copy of the game again because if I was no longer going to be able to visit Notre-Dame in real life, then at the very least I’d be able to see its faithful creation in Assassin’s Creed Unity. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who realized this.
In the wake of the fire, Ubisoft has already pledged 500,000 Euro towards rebuilding the legendary cathedral and for the next week, they’re giving Unity away for free via UPlay.
What’s even more interesting is that there has been a lot of talk about using AC Unity to assist in the rebuild process. Caroline Miousse and Pascal Barriault, two artists who worked on the game, recently described the creation process. Miousse mentioned that she spent two years just working on its appearance, challenging herself to not only understand the architecture but also identify the details that stick out when thinking of the iconic location.
While Ubisoft admitted that it isn’t currently involved in the reconstruction process, but the French company would be more than willing to lend a hand any way that it could. Sure, the scale may be way off, but the amount of detail that was put into it for the game could really help along with the 3D laser maps by art historian Andrew Tallon.
While the money certainly helps, perhaps Assassin’s Creed Unity is finally ready for its redemption arc.