Ascension of the Jackdaw

So, Assassin’s Creed 4. You’re a pirate. It’s kinda awesome, though I’ve mostly so far only watched Ben play it rather than playing it myself. But like all games, there are glitches.

This one was amazing.

Yes, the choral music was added as a joke.

I love glitches like these in games because they illustrate a topic I always find interesting: emergent behaviour. These actions were not specifically programmed, but came out of something askew being input in some variable in all the existing equations that under normal circumstances worked perfectly sanely. It’s like how Newtonian physics works in most cases, until you get into cases near light-speed or around black holes, where you need special relativity because something wacky happens to the calculations. This was something very wacky happening to the calculations despite all the calculations working perfectly elsewhere.

The whole damn universe is a set of emergent properties for a very simple and very fundamental ruleset that probably is itself a result of some other extradimensional brane-collision or fold in the fabric of the multiverse. Time itself is an emergent property of the existence of our universe. Physics and chemistry and life, all emergent. This sort of complexity emerging from simpler rulesets is exactly why people are so frequently inclined to assume Goddidit.
Continue reading “Ascension of the Jackdaw”

Ascension of the Jackdaw

Nothing is true, everything is permitted — except a female Assassin

One of the really cool things about the Assassin’s Creed series is how many liberties it takes with the historical source materials, in order to build a vast conspiracy theory of Templars vs Assassins. The story goes about assigning historical figures throughout the ages to one or the other faction, putting them into direct conflict for artifacts of a precursor civilization from which, it seems, every religion in history drew inspiration. The entire franchise is history-inspired fiction. Assassin’s Creed 3 is due to be set in the American Revolution.

And yet when Kotaku asked creative director Alex Hutchinson whether AC3 could feature a female assassin, considering the story from 1 through the Ezio trilogy that makes up 2 is absolutely chock full of killer ladies, he suggested that the story of the American Revolution is a story about dudes.

“It’s always up in the air,” the new game’s creative director, Alex Hutchinson, said, “I think lots of people want it, [but] in this period it’s been a bit of a pain. The history of the American Revolution is the history of men. … There are a few people, like John Adams’ wife, [Abigail]—they tried very hard in the TV series to not make it look like a bunch of dudes, but it really is a bunch of dudes. It felt like, if you had all these men in every scene and you’re secretly, stealthily in crowds of dudes [as a female assassin], it starts to feel kind of wrong. People would stop believing it.”

Continue reading “Nothing is true, everything is permitted — except a female Assassin”

Nothing is true, everything is permitted — except a female Assassin

A Literal Take on Assassin’s Creed: Revelation trailer

If you haven’t played them, the Assassin’s Creed games are like conspiracy theory fanfiction for atheists. They take significant liberties with most mono- and polytheistic religions and build a what-if scenario where they’re all technically correct, but all the events recorded have a wholly different explanation — specifically, technology left by an ancient precursor civilization.

That, and they’re about all sorts of epic ass-kicking through historic venues, and some of the best parkour in any video game to date.

The original trailer for Revelations made me at first say “ah, come on, a THIRD Ezio game?” But I warmed up to it rather quickly, between the fact that it’ll take place in Constantinople, and the promise that it’ll provide some actual closure before what promises to be the actual end of the series in Assassin’s Creed 3. Brotherhood left everything way too open for my liking.

And then, this “literal” interpretation of the trailer came along and completely sealed it for me.

I will love this game so hard.

(The literal version of Brotherhood’s spot is pretty good too.)

A Literal Take on Assassin’s Creed: Revelation trailer