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Historical Accuracy in Assassin's Creed

by: Gustavo Lequerica-Calvo ; edited by: M.S. Smith ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Everyone knows that most of the video game based on historical events, are not really based on the events at 100% but rather they are an interpretation of the developers to make the game appellative to the public because not many people are willing to play a step by step recreation of an event.

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    Reality and Ficition

    Is well known that much of the videogames are the vision of what the developers have in their mind, and is known as every artistic interpretation there will be a freedom taken by the author to adjust his vision to achieve his goals; Assassin’s Creed is not an exception to the rule, even if we know this game is set on the Crusades we can see some artistic liberties taken by the authors to give to the players a good video game, filled with adventure and great replay value.

    But, what is true and false in Assassin’s Creed?, well we can see one truth or at least a partial one about the game and that is set in the Middle East and in the time of the Crusades, but even what is mentioned is true, but only at a certain degree, because the settings has been transformed so they can fit with the story background. The story background is even more bizarre because it’s defy actual data that happened in the Crusades period, to put in order the ideas, let’s start with the protagonist Altair. Sure, he was based on several conceptions of the assassins of the period, it was some kind of twisted the actual historical information of the assassins that even some of them were ordered to kill Crusaders most of them actually were send to assassinate high rank Muslims that had more political power with the community. Even if it’s interesting to think that Altair it could be based on an actual assassin is only a character created for the video game.

    Other interesting information that is relevant to say it’s that Altair victim’s even if they were based on actual figures as the creators of the game say, most of them didn’t die by murder, i.e. William V, Marques of Montferrat or Garnier de Nablus whose cause of deaths hasn’t been specified by the historian, but it was a liberty taken by the developers so there could be some historical relevance in the game dynamics.

    Probably the most accurate event during the videogame is the timeline that is set during the Third Crusade where the European Kings tried to re-conquer the Holy Land from Salah al-Din Yusuf Ayyub, but even if the power struggle is shown on a lighter level, where the kings trying to unify the power of this hot spot, it is more shown on a more extraordinary level than it really happened but is comprehensible within the game itself.