Assassin’s Creed III Picks the Perfect Day to Pander to Americans

During this year’s E3, I was fairly impressed by Ubisoft’s presentation. So much so, I pledged to catch up on their Assassin’s Creed series. I thought Assassin’s Creed III looked quite cool… And I especially liked how the game’s half British/half Native American protagonist Connor would be taking on both British and Colonial forces (Ubisoft said as much when presenting the game)… Even though all the trailers and gameplay footage only showed Connor taking out Brits.

I was OK with that. After all, there’s only so much story Ubisoft (or any developer) can show off for a project before giving too much away. Plus I like being surprised by a game’s story here and there. Having almost finished the first Assassin’s Creed, I was happy to discover an entire secondary story–never really shown in any trailer– threading through the game.

I knew Ubisoft would eventually get around to giving us more info on AC3… And they just did– releasing not one, but two new game trailers in the last few days.

The first trailer is decent. It consists of pre-rendered footage showing the British and Colonial armies blowing each other up– all while Amazing Grace plays sorrowfully in the background. Connor doesn’t appear until the end. The trailer seems very balanced. At no time does Connor pick a side.

All’s well, until you settle in to watch the second trailer.

This one’s almost completely live action, showcasing different American Colonists and their innermost thoughts. Sadly, if I didn’t already know I was watching a video game trailer, I would swear I was watching a fucking Tea Party commercial instead. This trailer just feels too political, too much “America, Fuck Yeah!” for me… And it reeks of Ubisoft unnecessarily pandering to their American consumers.

I can see Ubi wanting to release some sort of AC3 trailer around America’s Independence Day. It’s a clever idea, especially since the revolution plays such a prominent role in the game’s storyline. But while the first trailer plays to everybody— and serves to remind us Assassin’s Creed III is coming out in October (it is a videogame commercial after all)… The second one is just superfluous and snotty. Showing the Colonists being “held down” by British rule plays well to nobody but Americans… And kissing the asses of a select consumer group is never good business.

Maybe I’m just sick and tired of seeing/hearing jingoistic American Patriotism being blatantly used/misused in a commercial context. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive because it’s an important election year here in the States. In any case, I certainly don’t want to see it used to push the agenda of certain members of our country’s lunatic fringe.

This bullshit really does get exhausting and annoying after a while.

Assassin’s Creed III will be released in October.

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2 Responses to Assassin’s Creed III Picks the Perfect Day to Pander to Americans

  1. ed2962 says:

    Very interesting and provocative! I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not really a gamer, so any comment I make, I’m aware that I’m doing so as an outsider.

    Watching the commercials I don’t think the 2nd one was too offensive or too partisan.However,the whole “live free or die” vibe was undeniable. And I personally think the boy who wouldn’t do his homework was a poor choice ( I saw that and was like, “oh, c’mon!” ).

    While I don’t feel it was overly jingoistic, I do wonder how non-Americans would feel about this ad. I tried to flip it around in my brain. If this were set say during the Bolshevik revolution, would I be like, “I don’t know this history. I can’t relate,” or would I just plug myself into it on the same level I plug into Star Wars rebels and just be like, “Take that oppressive bad guys!” I dunno…it’s hard for me to say.

    On the other hand, I TOTALLY understand your point about election year politics here in the states. Which leads me to my next question…do you feel the problem is more that the 2nd commercial was too extreme or that a lot of the imagery used in it has been (in my opinion) high jacked by some members of certain political sects and some of those members use it for mean-spirited ends?

    • J. says:

      “…a lot of the imagery used in it has been (in my opinion) high jacked by some members of certain political sects and some of those members use it for mean-spirited ends”

      This is a big reason why I don’t care for the second one. I think it is sad that a certain political sect has ruined that kind of iconographic imagery for a the rest of the country. When I watch the second commercial I am reminded of the poisonous hatred that still exists in the US. I know that it is not Ubisoft’s fault, they are a French company after all. Not everyone is going to feel the way that I do, nor should they. I may be in the minority but felt I just needed to say something about.

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