Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s playable female lead was planned before Unity gender outcry

Developer Ubisoft Quebec has denied the longstanding accusations that it added in a playable female protagonist to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in response to the controversy surrounding Unity.

Unity was last year criticised for not giving players the option of using a female character in the game’s four-person multiplayer. The furore wasn’t helped by Ubisoft’s mixed messages on the subject. Was it due to workload or was it a creative decision?

Ubisoft eventually promised more diversity in its future titles. Then, a year later, Evie was revealed as Syndicate’s co-lead.

What I’d say is that they’ve both been part of the experience from the very beginning,” creative director Marc-Alexis Cote told GameSpot was asked if the decision was a reactionary choie. Cynics will be cynics, and it’s unfortunate, but we’ve been so focused on build this game the way we want with those two characters. It’s not done to pay lip-service, it’s done to build a great game.

When we were building this experience we asked ourselves ‘how can we make it feel new, how can we make it feel fresh, how do we avoid telling the same story?’ That’s where we came up with the idea of having two protagonists, which evolved into having twin protagonists, and a brother/sister relationship that we’ve never explored. That started two and a half years ago.

Level design director Hugo Giard added: A long time ago. Cote and I always shared the same vision when it comes to that. When I play Mass Effect, I always had FemShep, it’s just something that I find more compelling. He’s right, cynics will be cynics, I don’t know if there’s anything we could tell them that’d change their minds, but it’s always been what we wanted to push forward. Nothing changed when that stuff happened.

Seriously, if we had changed our vision last year when the controversy broke, Evie would feel completely shoe-horned, you would be able to sense it. But because we planned it for so long, everything about her flows perfectly in the story with Jacob. You would know if it didn’t.”

About MCV Staff

Check Also

The January issue of MCV/DEVELOP is online now! Inside: Bonsai Collective, DEVELOP/JOBS, Private Division, A Little to the Left and more!

There’s a new issue of MCV/DEVELOP out now – and you can read it here for free