Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation for Vita to Star a Woman of Color

A two-page scan from Game Informer magazine with the headline Assassins Creed III Liberation. Concept art of the protagonist, a black woman in assassin gear and a tricorne hat, is on the right.

A scan from Game Informer. Aveline, the new protagonist, is on the right.

Because we really need some good news this week: via Joystiq and Nyleveia, a NeoGAF user has posted scans from the most recent issue of Game Informer that has the first details of a companion game to Assassin’s Creed III on the Playstation Vita. What’s interesting and exciting is that the protagonist of the game will be a woman of color named Aveline. It will, apparently, take place in and around New Orleans.

Assassin’s Creed fans have been asking about a female protagonist in the series for a long time now. The series is no slouch in the character design department, and Aveline looks to be no exception. It will be exciting to find out more about her, what her story is, and how she’s connected to Connor, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed III. Hopefully we will find out more this week during E3.

About Alex

Alex posts some of her sewing projects and cosplays on her Tumblr; you can also find her babbling about sewing and games and Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
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59 Responses to Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation for Vita to Star a Woman of Color

  1. Maverynthia says:

    Don’t you mean on the right for that picture?

    Kinda sad she’s on the Vita, I don’t have one and I don’t have plans to get one, but I already have a PS3 and/or PC she could have gone on. :<

  2. feministgamer says:

    This is too late for me. I’m still pretty peeved about their official statement on why there wasn’t a female assassin for AC3. “Wasn’t believable,” they said. Then they go around and make a French woman of color protag for their handheld game? I know I should be more happy than insulted (I am happy, especially the WoC part) but it just goes to show they’re so full of hot air. Not buying either game.

    • Deviija says:

      I am right there with you. I am still peeved over that horrible bit of bs and the lack of a female protagonist after so many games. Now they decide to put one on the Vita? Why the Vita? Is it that popular, even? Why not have this on the consoles and PC as a game/expansion/sequel or prequel?

      The cynical part of me is thinking they’ll just use this as a talking point to say, “Look, we made a woman protagonist for our franchise! Why are you whining for more?” And then, if this game doesn’t sell that well on the Vita, they’ll solely point out the poor sales being attributed to the protagonist being a woman of color and no one obviously wants to play that in an action game. Sigh. It feels like lose/lose all around to me.

      • Ermoss says:

        I can’t imagine that a major game company had messing with feminists foremost in its mind in its decision to include a woman of color as a protagonist in one of their best-known franchises. Their sudden reversal of position seems irritating, but since they are on the right side of the argument now I wouldn’t fault them for that.

        • Matt says:

          This. Progress in anything is shaky and multifaceted and usually a lot more disappointing than glorious.

          It’s sort of like the struggle for equality in marriage laws and seeing your parents go from “this is a ridiculous affront to a vital institution in our society” to “Since it doesn’t affect any existing marriages I guess I’m OK with it if legalizing it would shut those deviants up already”… far from true acceptance but definitely a step up from where they were before.

          (Besides, there could be other reasons for the Vita release, sort of like how Black History Month started as a week near a couple important birthdays and just happened to end up taking the shortest month of the year.)

        • feministgamer says:

          I’m a bitter old curmudgeon, so that’s my excuse. I love Aveline’s design and that fact that she exists, definitely. I don’t have a Vita, so I won’t ever get to play as her, so mumblegrumble. It’s progress for sure and I support it. I still feel the way I do. I dunno. Either I’m tired of giving gold stars to after-thoughts and half-assed apologies, or I haven’t reached the maturity level of seeing the glass half full yet. I suppose that would be nice. I certainly would like to be like that. Maybe I’ll get there some day. I don’t want to be this angry forever …

        • Deviija says:

          Oh, very. I am certainly not faulting them for doing this, or not appreciating what is being offered. It is grand Aveline is out there and that she is made at all. It is progress of a kind, and a lot depends on her content and portrayal in the game as well. It is a win that she is now a part of our gaming history and a protagonist within the series.

          Just as a general clarification on my own behalf, when I said it feels like lose/lose, I meant it in the context of the latter paragraph. A part of me feels like this is all the progress we’ll be getting for a lady protagonist in this series (the Desmond Arc era, anyway). That’s not something I want to settle for. It feels like a bone being thrown and a safer bet of a less public format. I’m glad we have it at all, but it’s mixed feelings. Change and progress have to start somewhere, absolutely. It’s just a shame that in 2012 we are still apparently in this grey area where ‘progress starting’ is on a handheld, smaller game release.

          If it doesn’t sell well, I am certain they will chalk it up to the protagonist being a woman as one of the reasons for it not selling well and support the falsehood that the industry likes to throw around (especially Bobby Kotick) that women protagonists do not sell games. That is the first go-to reason for why a game doesn’t fare well. Not the mechanics, or the content, or the bugs, or the story, or anything else that may be the culprit. It’s just default ‘it failed because it was a woman protagonist.’

          It’s like the movie industry’s falsehood that that industry enjoys throwing around: women protagonists in action films do not sell. Hunger Games is an example of how, even when a huge hit with a lady protagonist is made, critics and journalists are quick to come up with other reasons why the movie succeeded so well — everything but it having a lady protagonist and her actress contributing to the success.

          • Alex says:

            Well, I have a vita, so I’m definitely getting it. I hope it does well. AC is a series with a pretty big fanbase. I wonder how well other handheld spinoffs have done?

            • feministgamer says:

              I expect a full review and analysis. :P

            • Deviija says:

              I feel like I should try to scrape together to nab the Vita AC White + Aveline bundle somehow. Just to show my support. Nevermind that I have so many gaming troubles playing with handhelds… Still, I’m debating. :)

  3. Calvar says:

    This game isn’t set in the same time as AC3 exactly. And it’s not in the same area. Presumably the story also won’t involve the main character allying with so many men, which wouldn’t make sense since most men, expecialy big important revolutionary figures, simply wouldn’t trust or respect her, ever. Also one of the problems is Desmond adjusting to experiencing being a different gender. It’s an awkward story element to handle in an already high-concept, multi-layered story. This isn’t a reversal of position. They were never opposed to having a female assassin. Maybe a bit of what they said was just to cover up this game, but they found a more plausible situation for a female assassin. And since she’s black they may explore slavery more than in AC3. They said in interviews that if they were going to focus on slavery it would have to be the major focus of the game. That may have been a coy allusion to this game.

  4. الاردن says:

    This is too late for me. I’m still pretty peeved about their official statement on why there wasn’t a female assassin for AC3. “Wasn’t believable,” they said. Then they go around and make a French woman of color protag for their handheld game? I know I should be more happy than insulted (I am happy, especially the WoC part) but it just goes to show they’re so full of hot air. Not buying either game.

  5. Alex says:

    Since Liberation is coming out the same day as the main AC3 game, it had to have been deep in development when the “not believable” comments were made by creative director Alex Hutchinson back in March. It was a bad comment, and I have no idea why he said it, but it was said while an actual game starring a female assassin was basically nearing completion. It’s not like the entire team (I assume Liberation is being made by a different team?) made a sudden about-face on the issue.

    However I totally understand feeling like this is too little too late.

  6. Alex says:

    If you go to the Nyleveia article and download the full image I used for the header, you can read some of the article. Here’s what it says under the section “The Protagonist is a Woman”:

    “Aveline is the first female lead for the series. Modeled off several distinct citizens of New Orleans in the 18th century, Aveline occupies a position of wealth and respect within the city, giving her broad influence and resources to pursue her clandestine path as an Assassin.

    “‘Aveline is an Assassin of mixed heritage. She is the daughter of a wealthy French merchant and his African placee bride,’ Capel explains. ‘Aveline is raised with privilege and love, even after her mother disappears and her father marries her step-mother. As Aveline grows she develops into a strong-willed young woman and starts to take notice of the contrasts around her–weealth and poverty, freedom and slavery–and while torn between the different values she inherited from her parents, she forms her own set of values, including a vehement anti-slavery stance.'”

  7. Ari says:

    Why oh why did they have to say a “woman wouldn’t work for this time period, men wouldn’t trust her, wouldn’t work with her, etc”? Then turn around and make a female protagonist anyway for a spin-off? Either they didn’t mean what they said, or they’re hypocrites. Either way it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. For one, we know there were women who helped fight in the Revolutionary War. It’s historical fact. Saying a female protagonist “wouldn’t work” was not only demonstrably false, but they knew it was false, as evidenced by this knew game.

    Ugh, this is just like The Last Guardian. Why oh why did they have to say “girls don’t have the upper body strength to climb things” (because ten-year-old boys are jacked powerhouses! also, no female rock climbers exist!) and some drivel about “programming the skirt would be too hard” (as if they couldn’t just give her pants)? Why couldn’t they just say “we wanted to make it a boy”? Well, fair enough. A little disappointing, but not terrible. You’re inspired for what you’re inspired for, as a creator.

    …But now I’m not going to be able to play this, or The Last Guardian, without thinking about that. The whole experience will be tainted, and soured. Not sure I’m even going to bother, especially with TLG, to be honest. A shame, I loved Shadows of the Colossus. But not enough to support blatant misogyny.

    • Sascha says:

      You don’t have to worry, The Last Guardian is pretty much a dead project.

    • Alex says:

      As I said above, they didn’t “turn around” and do anything because a. this game is being made by an entirely different team, and b. those comments were made in March, and since the game is coming out this fall alongside AC3, it would have had to have been in a pretty advanced state of development by then.

      There’s no doubt that those comments made by the AC3 creative director were sexist and stupid, but they have basically nothing to do with this game.

      • Sascha says:

        He made a classic PR mistake of trying to explain a complicated and multi-faceted decision with an understandable sound bite.

        Should have just said something like ‘We didn’t feel it was the best fit for this game. Definitely an option in the future though. Next question?’

        • Alex says:

          I have no idea what his motives were or if he actually believes what he said. I can only assume that he’s not just lying. There’s no reason to believe he wasn’t saying what he actually thought. But I do agree in both this case and the case of Last Guardian that the devs in question should have just said something along the lines of “We didn’t feel it was a good fit” instead of spouting their sexist and/or ill-informed opinions and that would have been just fine.

          • Sascha says:

            Fair enough.

            I guess my point is, the rationale he put forward for the decision was sexist.

            The decision to go with a male lead instead of a female is not, in of itself, sexist.

            • Alex says:

              The decision to go with a male lead instead of a female is not, in of itself, sexist.

              Good thing no one was arguing that.

            • Sascha says:

              Indeed, good thing.

              Although this whole ‘oh it should have been in the main games instead of a side story on the vita’ whining comes irritatingly close.

            • Alex says:

              And you’re coming irritatingly close to violating the comments policy, Sascha.

              Referring to other commenters’ criticisms as “whining” is SERIOUSLY inappropriate. Having a WOC protagonist in a side story game is a pretty big step forward, but it is a step nonetheless. No one is required to fawn over Ubisoft for doing less than what should be standard. No one should be shamed for expecting more from the game industry–it’s why we’re all here.

              If you’re going to comment here, you need to respect the reactions of the other commenters.

            • Sascha says:

              Fair enough. I’ll refrain from such criticism in the future.

              I guess I don’t see how completely altering the character template for a mainline series is ‘what should be standard’.

              Should respectful representation of women and PoC in games be standard? Absolutely. But even when we get to that place, I wouldn’t expect a developer to do it ‘just cause’ in the middle of a franchise if they feel it conflicts with the vision for that particular story arc or series.

            • Sascha says:

              Even if it were on a more popular platform, I would still probably expect a series to finish up it’s core arc before embarking on a completely new story, with a new character template.

              I’m always a fan of context influencing design.

              Would people feel less insulted if the game were a PS3/Xbox 360 side-story that was downloadable?

            • Sascha says:

              And to be clear, I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed.

              If Assassin’s Creed had been a franchise with female leads for the first five games, and then in the final game of the core story-arc they decided ‘hey, we’re switching to a male lead for the final act’, it would be just as jarring to me.

  8. Sif says:

    “Why oh why did they have to say a “woman wouldn’t work for this time period, men wouldn’t trust her, wouldn’t work with her, etc”? Then turn around and make a female protagonist anyway for a spin-off?”

    Use of the word “they” in your post and the post of other people here is telling. My understanding is that it was one person who said that. Was it multiple people on the team who said this? An executive producer? A random dev? Was it said by someone on a different development team than this Vita game?

    “Either they didn’t mean what they said, or they’re hypocrites.”

    Or they discussed the matter and decided they were wrong and a woman could be a protagonist after all. Or the person speaking was misinformed. Or they didn’t want to give away the female lead but fumbled that answer in an attempt to misdirect people from their project.

    Wanting a larger role than a Vita game for AC’s first female protagonist is fair, but there’s assumptions about its development being made in a vacuum here.

    • feministgamer says:

      Here’s a copy of the article with exactly who said it and what he said: http://www.gamespot.com/news/assassins-creed-iii-female-hero-would-be-a-pain-says-developer-6368577

      It’s a disgusting set of quotes, but yes, from one individual – the one with the power over AC3 and is apparently an authorized spokesman. Probably very separate from the the Liberation dev team, though. I’m not buying AC3 because of his comments, but I simply CAN’T buy Liberation because it’s on Vita and only Vita. So I won’t even have the opportunity to throw my money at it to prove that women and people of color deserve to be main characters. I feel boxed in here.

      Right now, all we have are assumptions since this news is just from scans that were leaked. I think I’ll be able to fully celebrate Aveline once some press releases come out about her from her developers.

      • Sascha says:

        If the decision was made not to include a female, it definitely came down to more than one person. It would have been agreed upon by most of the team (writing, design, etc) that it wasn’t the best fit for the game.

        What’s wrong with the quotes? I’m Canadian and never paid much attention in history class. Can you direct me to some links about women on the front lines or in important positions during the revolutionary war?

        As for it being on the Vita, we don’t know the circumstance. Sony may have backed a dump-truck full o f money to Ubisoft because they DESPERATELY need games to sell their portable.

        • feministgamer says:

          The majority of the game is to not draw attention to yourself and avoid fights – not to fight in the front lines of battle or draw up the Constitution. If you want to go off of the logic that women don’t have anything to do with an entire time period, then they’d be the perfect assassins because they’re so unsuspecting, and that’s exactly what happened: women were spies.

          http://www.revolutionary-war.net/revolutionary-war-women.html
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_the_American_Revolution

          • Sascha says:

            I read the links. And now I’m on the same page as the AC team.

            Lets be honest. Assassin’s Creed isn’t exactly Splinter Cell.

            Discretion isn’t a huge part of the series. Most of the game is free-running, killing, extended fight sequences, chasing down targets, and running away until you’re free and clear. Subtlety? Not so much.

            There is some stealth, when you’re escaping dudes and hiding, or using crowds to blend in on the approach. But I guess I can see where the devs are coming from in the latter… it would be a little weird to say nobody notices a woman moving through a military camp during the revolutionary war, even as part of a group.

            Let them finish up the main series with another dude, and then start another string of games with multicultural and female leads.

            • Alex says:

              We already know from past games in the series that there were women in the Assassin group from the very beginning. There is absolutely no reason they couldn’t have a female protagonist. Whoever is in charge just didn’t want to (yet).

            • feministgamer says:

              You do realize that there have been female assassins in the series, right?

              Not going to argue this anymore, so my last point is this: his comments were offensive because he’s only fooling people who want to fool themselves (those who don’t want a woman character). His comments were nothing but BS trying to cover up the face that he didn’t want to do a female assassin. And you’re forgetting that this very article is about a female assassin that they created in the Revolutionary War almost immediately after they said that it would be against all common sense and would ruin gameplay.

            • Sascha says:

              There are female members of The Assassin’s, but their roles and the actions they took typically weren’t on the front lines. At least not in any of the games, likely because of the place women had in society during the Crusades and the Italian Renaissance.

              Lots of using their positions to get close to Templars (marry them and have them killed), or running brothels to collect intel and kill men post-coitus. Not to say a woman couldn’t handle it, just that she’d likely stand out more if she was pulling an Altair or Ezio through the streets of Jerusalem or Venice.

              As for this female Assassin, this is a completely difference context. The fact that it happens in the same general era doesn’t mean it’s the Revolutionary War. She’s nowhere near a warzone, and her conflict, it seems, has more to do with the entrenched power structure and corrupt power-brokers than any invading armies or whatnot.

              Finally, say all he said was a bald-face lie to cover the fact that he wanted a male lead. His game, his call. The lying part is insulting, but the choice to go male is his call, just as any author has the choice over the component parts of their work.

            • Sascha says:

              Or were you guys talking about the nameless/faceless recruits that Ezio trained as a gameplay mechanic in Brotherhood and Revelations?

        • Sif says:

          “If the decision was made not to include a female, it definitely came down to more than one person. It would have been agreed upon by most of the team (writing, design, etc) that it wasn’t the best fit for the game.”

          What makes you think that? A small group of leads or a single executive can decide a game’s story. Writers in the game industry don’t have complete creative control anymore than they do in television or movies.

          The namby pamby excuse over why they didn’t have a female lead is terrible but the idea that this was a decision they polled all their creative staff on makes little sense.

          • Sascha says:

            I’m not saying they polled the entire staff of 400 people to make the game. But ever since Patrice left to start his own project at THQ, this series has basically had a rotating door of producers and project leads.

            Ultimately somebody makes a final call, but its usually at the end of more than a few meetins, lots of white-board writing, votes and whatnot. If the notion of a female lead was seriously considered at any point, it wouldn’t have been one person calling the shot and letting everybody else know via email memo.

  9. Calvar says:

    His comments were NOT at all sexist. If you look at them in the context of the original article, they make much more sense. It was just quoted with inflammatory headlines by places like Kotaku because they knew that people like the ones who are freaking out in these comments would have a ton of fun with it.

    I hate the all-too-common practice of assuming that any PR person meant the worst possible thing any time they say anything. As said before, they were aiming for a native assassin who interacted with plenty of the important historical figures of the American Revolution. These figures would have paid no attention to a Native woman. Period.

    The protagonist of Liberation is described as being a wealthy woman, not of native descent. The chances of whatever men she allies with or runs into taking her seriously are way higher.

    It is not misogynistic to attempt to be faithful to the misogynism of the time period you’re telling a story in. Also, the idea that every single person on the creative team was polled on this is ridiculous. A few people make the final judgement call. That’s how it works.

    Assassin’s Creed is not a sexist game. Their depictions of females have been accurate to the time period, and in some cases atypical of the norm. This creative director has done a billion interviews by this time about the game. Literally. Do you think that he’s going to phrase everything perfectly every single time? He may have come across as rude or dismissive to you, or not given adequate explanation, but seriously, just give him a chance. He’s not a monster. Most of the people responding in outrage are being more insensitive and terrible than you could ever pretend his remarks were.

    • Alex says:

      No one is saying ACreed is a sexist game or series. Personally, I think the games have done really well in terms of diversity (AC1 starred a man of color and the main character in the near future setting is a man of color as well) as well as having interesting female characters (especially in AC2; disclaimer here that I have only played AC1 and AC2, not the other Ezio games or the handheld spinoffs).

      No one is calling Hutchinson a monster, either. Basically everyone says sexist things because we live in a sexist culture. This is Feminism 101.

      What people ARE saying is that the original comments by Hutchinson back in March ARE sexist. No one is making a judgement on his character or on the games. Just on those statements. And they ARE sexist. Because there WERE women of importance during the American Revolutionary war. The past is a “history of men” because MEN WRITE HISTORY, AND MEN ARE SEXIST. See the links feministgamer posted above. The AC team seems to really care about history and research, and one would think that research would turn up important and/or interesting women who could make a suitable protagonist for an AC game. It’s a bit of a shame it took an alternate studio working on a spinoff to figure that out, but I will definitely take it. However I can’t blame other people if they are disappointed or cynical.

      • Sascha says:

        This isn’t the first time the AC team has relegated cool ideas to a portable though. Altair had his entire life fleshed out with DS, PSP and even iphone games, and fans of him like me never really got the chance to see the development of his character. *single tear*

  10. Okay, everyone else here is brushing this off, but as a Black woman who has been gaming for at least 15 years, this makes me seriously want to cry tears of joy.

    This is a visibly BLACK WOMAN with BRAIDS as a main protagonist of a major video game series.

    I seriously want to hold on to this moment right now and never let go, because I know something like this will NEVER happen again.

    And yes I say never because seriously, when has the industry taken calls for adding POC seriously???

    Not to mention that a recent report denoted video games as the WORST offenders for diversity…..

  11. Laurentius says:

    It’s really shame it’s only on Vita because this game actually looks quite interesting with both protagonists and setting, completely in opposition to boring, overused, overplayed theme of main game. Seriously of all possible cultural and historical places they could explore they went with American Colonies and American Revolution, it’s like they read my mind of what would be the worst possible theme and setting for a new AC game and bingo!, that’s what goes.

    • Sascha says:

      Because there have been so many third-person action/adventure games set in that time period before?

      If so, I’ve certainly never played them. I love that the AC series has the balls to take us to places and times that no other games do.

  12. Alex says:

    I guess I don’t see how completely altering the character template for a mainline series is ‘what should be standard’.

    Sascha, what should be standard is a game industry where protagonists and playable characters aren’t 95% white males. “[Game] will star a woman of color” shouldn’t be headline-worthy, but in this industry it is. And that is a problem.

    Further, there’s nothing that is male-specific about the protagonists of the AC games. The only requirement is that they are ancestors of Desmond. Believe it or not, Desmond has female ancestors. It wouldn’t change the entire main series to have a female protagonist. And furthermore, this is something that fans of the series have been asking for for a long time.

    • Deviija says:

      I just wanted to chime in and support the latter statement especially. There is nothing in this series that requires the protagonist to be a dude, there is absolutely nothing male-specific. Even the arguments about the eras in which the games are set in still have lady assassins in them, any of which could have been a protagonist to the game (aka an ancestor of Desmond) rather than Altair or Ezio. Nothing would’ve needed to change if, say, Claudia was Desmond’s ancestor instead of Ezio. It would and could still play out the very same way (and with less creepy stalker hijinks, like Ezio with Christina).

      The main thing to remember about games, regardless of society, era, world, and history, is that they are about *exceptional* people doing *exceptional* things. Every protagonist we play is an exceptional person living in exceptional circumstances and doing exceptional things. Just because an era doesn’t have women recorded as being on the battlefield in a 1:1 ratio as men, or that a society is patriarchal, or that history shows women weren’t usually doing x, y, and z, doesn’t mean a story featuring a lady protagonist in these worlds/histories/eras could not happen. Protagonists are exceptional people by definition of the very stories in which they are a part of. Women make up 50 percent of that exceptional pool of people to draw from. Using artificial constructs of self-limiting beliefs in order to limit your possibilities is not a good excuse, imo.

  13. Ariel says:

    I’ll probably buy this game just to get them to consider putting more female protagonists in their games. If they get enough sales AC4 might be looking a bit better. I’ve been more angry at my pals for being so quick to dismiss her being a women of color in the “wrong time period and setting” but they’re will and able to suspend their disbelief for a magic assassin man with the power of a napkin cowl wearing god.

    • JV says:

      “I’ve been more angry at my pals for being so quick to dismiss her being a women of color in the ‘wrong time period and setting'”

      In that case, you might be interested to know that the time period and setting actually make a great deal of sense for introducing the series’ first WOC protagonist.

      Several months ago I helped a friend edit her extremely detailed and well-researched dissertation about Creole culture around the Gulf of Mexico in the 18th-19th centuries, particularly in Louisiana/New Orleans (which is where she did the bulk of her research). An entire chapter of it was devoted to WOC and how they wielded much greater economic and political power than was standard in the rest of the Americas at the time. This resulted from several factors unique to the area, including the presence of a larger population of free WOC, laws and traditions that lent themselves to greater economic opportunities and social mobility for free WOC than was the norm as well as the availability of education that would have been inaccessible to them elsewhere, a higher rate of and greater tolerance for interracial marriages between white men and WOC, the rise of prominent voodoo priestesses such as Marie Laveau who wielded great influence in the region, and many others that I’m sure I’m forgetting.

      As far as western historic settings go, I’d be hard-pressed to think of one before the 20th century in which WOC had as much independence, as many opportunities, and as much influence as New Orleans in the early 1800s.

  14. Alex says:

    Liberation got an official announcement at the Sony press conference this evening. IGN has the trailer: http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/06/04/assassins-creed-3-liberation-debut-trailer-e3-2012

    Also, it’s going to be bundled with the new white Vita, and the box has a huge picture of Aveline on it, and it’s awesome and everything is full of awesome: http://www.joystiq.com/2012/06/04/assassins-creed-3-liberation-confirmed-for-vita-launches-octo/

    So fucking awesome.

    • Deviija says:

      It is very awesome. Very nice looking tech, too.

      (Oh, just don’t look at the comments on the articles. As expected, many of them are stupid and offensive.)

  15. Omar Little says:

    On one hand, I don’t own a Vita and I’m pissed that I have to buy one to play this game.

    On the other hand, for all their troubles, I’ve been pleased so far at the AC series has made an attempt to at least portray nonWestern European peoples as something other than an antagonist “Other” (Arabs with the odd Persian influence in AC and Ottoman Turks in Revelations). This could be good. Good enough that I’m considering getting a freaking Vita solely for this game. Is that a terrible mistake?

    I’m also cautiously optimistic about the exploration of Connor’s Mohawk heritage in the main game. The best thing Indigenous peoples in North America have gotten so far was the protagonist from Prey, and I recall him being a wreck.

    • Alex says:

      Also Turok, not exactly better =/

      As for the Vita, the hardware is great. It’s very nice to use. There are just basically no games right now, but by the time the Liberation bundle drops things will be better, with Gravity Rush and Persona 4 and AC. If you don’t have a PSP, there are also PSP and PSone games you can download from PSN. Personally I am really happy with my Vita even though so far I have only really played Hot Shots Golf and P3P.

  16. Omar Little says:

    Heh. I forgot about Turok. Actually I forgot Turok was anything, which was maybe for the best.

    Honestly, I don’t have high or unrealistic hopes. All I ask for is recognition of the Mohawk/other Iroquois people as an existing civilization with customs, culture, and a history and maybe a three-dimensional portrayal of their existence. Not as antagonists or “Noble Savages” or helpless victims, but just as, y’know, people. The Iroquois had a hand in shaping the early United States after all.

    Wait, maybe that is a tall order.

    • Deviija says:

      For a game in this industry, it might be. Oh no, cynicism alert! But I really do hope they do some great things and do show actual culture, depth, history, and civilization in their portrayals of indigenous peoples. That would be really wonderful, and I’d be so happy.

  17. Chewi says:

    I’m weirdly happiest that WOC cosplayers will finally have a new character to costume AND she’s fully dressed! *Sobs with joy* I just don’t know if it will be worth it to get a Vita since this is the first game I’ve had any interest in. :/

  18. Rakaziel says:

    Yay! Pirate Assassins! And a nice costume, too, now she just needs character.

  19. tahrey says:

    Heh… It’s Clara from Monkey Island in a less neon-lime outfit :-)

    Why yes I have been playing a pile of 17~22 year old games recently, what of it.

    …wait, when we had similar characters in one of the biggest selling games of 1990 (albeit non-player, but allowing you to see the action from another perspective than just that of Guybrush would have required a lot of rewriting and recoding and an extra floppy), who was was beautifully *normal* – as was Mojo the voodoo priestess at that – just with dark skin, an XX genotype and exceptional skill with a blade (or african magic)… how have things descended so that this is now news?

    :-( at the state of world, etc.
    can we get a rewind?

    • Omar Little says:

      Early LucasArts adventure game reference wins the prize!

      (By the way – somebody fucking remake Grim Fandango already PLEASE).

      Anyhow, your stroll down memory lane makes me happy but I have a theory that attempts to answer your question above. It all has to do with marketing. Not only who made games, and who they were made for. PC gaming in the 80s-90s was so much more of a niche audience and a small-scale scene. Sure, the quality of product was wildly hit and miss, but you didn’t have huge, risk-adverse publishers dominating the business with paranoid marketers trying to play the Hollywood Studio game and trying to design game content by committee.

      Sure, it wasn’t all a bed of roses and there were horrible things, and even back then you had EA gobbling up studios like some kind of evil Katamari but the lack of structure allowed more adventerous studios develop games that were more tailored to an individual creative team’s vision. That and you had creative teams that grew up with different influences. All in all, quite a bit different than an industry where the main event is a new Michael-Bay inspired “Bro of Duty” game cranked out of a factory every year.

      Yeah, I’m being judgemental. :P

      Also, as a side note, did you notice how some of the biggest names in adventure game design at the time were women?

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