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News video games 17 June 2024, 01:04

author: Jacob Blazewicz

'DEI Kills Art.' AC: Shadows Dev Addressed Elon Musk's Taunt and Identified Yasuke as 'Very Mysterious Historical Figure'

Marc-Alexis Côté addressed criticism of Yasuke as a main character, including an unflattering post by Elon Musk.

Source: Ubisoft.

11 minutes and 47 seconds - this is how much time in Assassin's Creed Shadows is expected to be enough to convince players of the validity of casting Yasuke in the lead role. Marc-Alexis Côté, the developer of the new "Assassin," revealed such unusual information in a long-awaited response to Elon Musk's post about one of the game's characters - Yasuke.

Hateful Elon Musk

The developer gave interviews, which were published on the Brazilian channel Flow Games and on the GameFile service. Côté revealed a lot of information about AC: Shadows, but he also referred to Elon Musk's statements. He added to the fire in his typical style, which was on the verge of turning into a blaze even without his intervention. The owner of Tesla and X stated in a post that the DEI ("Diversity, Equality, Inclusivity") ideology is "killing art."

Côté confessed to having "a lot of three-word replies" to Musk's post in mind and felt tempted to reopen an account on X and publish them. However, he gave up on this because - as he stated - "attacking someone like Elon... I will not convince people about our point of view as a team." The mindfulness training app also played a part in helping.

That tweet generated emotions, that...the first thing I wanted to do was go back on X - that I had deleted - and just tweet back. And I just took a step back. I have a mindfulness app on my phone. And I did a bit of mindfulness to try to explore the emotions that this tweet created.

Mysterious samurai

The issue of Yasuke has been stirring up strong emotions from the beginning. Even if someone pointed out arguments that could suggest that the former Portuguese slave from Africa was indeed a samurai, it's not surprising that the choice of an African-origin character as one of the protagonists of a game about Japan irritated some players (and not only that).

However, Côté points out that Yasuke is a "very mysterious historical figure" about whom we actually don't know much - and these are the threads the devs want to see in Assassin's Creed. Besides, people should check out Shadows themselves before passing judgment. In this context, the Frenchman mentioned "11 minutes and 47 seconds" - only after such time spent with the game will it be time for "discussions."

It may be surprising that the developer gave such an exact time. This may suggest either an extremely linear opening sequence, or even a (non)interactive cutscene. Perhaps this has to do with the theme of revenge, which is said to be key to the story of both main characters in AC: Shadows. Côté clearly believes that his team managed to build "the best Assassin's Creed" ever.

I was reviewing the game very recently, and I was like, 'The answer is there!' I just hope and wish that people can keep an open mind about this [AC: Shadows] and see the game for what it is. It's an Assassin's Creed game, and I believe the best one we've ever built.

Differences and Infinite Animus

Apart from this historical issue, Côté also brought up further distinctions between the game's characters Yasuke and Naoe. The latter will apparently be able to blend in with the crowd, as was possible in many other installments of the Assassin's Creed series.

On the other hand, Yasuke won't be as skilled in acrobatics as the nimble kunoichi, despite being familiar with parkour acrobatics and stealth (via GameRant). So we probably won't see him running on Japanese roofs, at least not very gracefully.

The Frenchman also verified what we have long been aware of: that the game will be initiated from the Animus, a machine within the world of Assassin's Creed, enabling contemporary characters to relive the experiences of their ancestors. We will learn more details at a later time, but it seems that Ubisoft has changed the name from AC: Infinity to "Animus Hub."

The dev also mentioned the possibility of altering the seasons in the open world of Assassin's Creed: Shadow. We assume that this refers to an option that becomes available after finishing the main plot of the game, as the passage of seasons and plot progress have been confirmed.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).