Rather than waxing lyrical as to why Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation is a more-than-worthy addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, following in the stabby footsteps of Ezio and Altair who came before him, let’s just talk about the fact that the inclusion of a female assassin in Ubisoft’s leading series is really cool, shall we?
As a woman, I’m absolutely delighted that finally, a leading game character of a leading game franchise is a badass woman, showing everyone that we are just as capable of carrying a game franchise as our male cohorts. On the other hand, as a critic of video games, I feel that Ubisoft’s decision to make the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation a woman is just as fantastic because it means that the conversation on women in games doesn’t have to be dominated by talk of the entirely ridiculous (and completely unrealistic) cup size that lady adventurer Lara Croft has been sporting for the past few Tomb Raider titles. No, instead we can all rejoice in the fact that a top video game developer has finally realised that a woman with a vengeance is just as lethal as a man with a vengeance and boy, oh boy, will she vent that anger.
And I know that plenty of people have criticised Ubisoft for the decision to star Aveline as the lead in Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation because it’s a handheld title on a console (the PlayStation Vita) that has yet to come into its own and frankly, I think that’s wrong. While I don’t think Aveline is a representation of me or any of the brilliant ladies I know, I think this because Aveline is fearless and brave and we are (for the most part) awkward and cowardly. But despite this, it’s terrific that Ubisoft understand that there is a woman out there (less inept than I) who is capable of embodying the role of a stone cold killer, regardless of the stage that she’s killing on. The fact that she’s in the spotlight at all is a huge step forward for the industry.
In turn, people have also been heckling Ubi for Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation because ‘women can’t be assassins, the protagonist should be a man!’, well, I tell those people to shush. This isn’t a case of ‘women deserve to star as the lead!’ (okay, it sort of is) but it’s a case for thought out and engaging protagonists too. Ubisoft cannot regress to the shaven-head, muscleman, hunky athletic archetype that so many male leads fall into, instead they have to really think about the character that Aveline is because this woman just wouldn’t fit that meathead soldier role – not down to her womanhood, just for the fact that it wouldn’t make any sense.
Just like Dead Space did for IPs, hopefully Aveline will lead the way for better written characters, eschewing stereotypes and pre-conceived ideals that the marketing teams of publishing houses think we want and will rather use their smarts to lovingly carve more characters that we will actually care a toss about after the credits roll.
And with that, I present to you the Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation E3 reveal trailer.
The Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation release date is October 30th. – Click here to pre-order it.
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