Ubisoft asks players to save Notre Dame Cathedral through a virtual reality experience

The film will recreate the fire in the cathedral

Ubisoft, the developer of the saga Assassin’s Creed Y Far Cry, began the development of a Virtual Reality experience that revives the original structure of the cathedral of Our Lady in Paris. The game, developed in collaboration with the film company Pathé, will put the players in the role of a firefighter who must battle the flames that set fire to part of the building in 2019.

The video game will be a one-hour experience and will be released in conjunction with “Notre-Dame in flames”, a docudrama directed by Jean Jacques Annaud, the famous French director of “The Name of the Rose” (1986) and “Seven Years in Tibet” (1997).

“Like any escape game, it’s all about puzzles and cooperation with your teammates. The idea is to go through the cathedral to find relics and put out the fire, because you have to save Notre Dame before time runs out.” counted Deborah Papermaker, vice president of New Businesses and Strategic Alliances of Ubisoft.

Source: Variety

The VR game was created based on Annaud’s script, something that excited the Ubisoft team and proposed a challenge at the time of its adaptation. According to reports on the portal of Variety, the developer began collaborating on this project at the beginning of 2021 with the prospect of creating an entire video game, but when the release date was set for March of this year, she had to cut the experience and add it to the gallery of historical representations from of scale models of different cities.

Despite the short time to complete the experience, a large part of Ubisoft’s work was already complete: the studio had already made a 3D model of Our Lady for Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) and was also used for another Virtual Reality experience called “Notre-Dame de Paris: A Journey Through Time”, which was released to the public for free after the incident .

What are Ubisoft’s “Discovery Tours”?

The company directed by Yves Guillemot created in 2017 an educational program called “Discovery Tour”, where the players are enabled to go through the cities in which different titles of the saga of Assassin’s Creed. In this way, the developer took advantage of the hard work of cities modeled to scale and managed to create a pedagogical strategy where students, students and anyone interested can follow guided tours or explore historical spaces while learning from stories created by specialized experts.

The series of dedicated video games allow users to discover Classical Greece (modeled on the Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), Ancient Egypt (created to Assassin’s Creed: Origin) and the viking age (performed for the last Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla). On their journey, the people who participate in these virtual tours can follow predefined paths or even ask digital guides about the historical significance of buildings, landscapes and cultural objects.

The series of Discovery Tour it is simply a tour of historical spaces and they do not recreate the stories of the Assasin’s Creed saga, which enabled the program to be used as a pedagogical space and that can be accessed at a price much lower than the complete sets of Ubisoft. This experience even won the “Best Educational Game” in the G4C People’s Choice Award of the awards of Games for Change (a non-profit organization that promotes video game experiences as tools for social change).

For Pablo Toscano, Technical Director of Animation of the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the experiences of Discovery Tour arouse a special fascination in all users and helps to think about historical education from another point of view: “I think it is the fantasy of traveling through time, especially that great fantasy that we human beings have that we sometimes forget in the everyday and we think of history as something that is in a book and was not lived by human beings. This possibility that video games offer you to be able to travel in time and live the experience of being able to control a character, of feeling what an Athenian felt at that time, is very attractive”, he said in an interview in 2018.

These are the experiences in the historical eras and cities that the Discovery Tours enable:

viking age

Players can traverse the map of a historic 9th century Viking village and learn about the battles with the Anglo-Saxons. The mode also allows you to ask about the daily life of the different actors in Nordic society and the rites that built the culture.

Classical Greece

Wandering around the map Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, people can learn about the clashes between the different Greek polities of the year 431 BC, chat with characters such as Socrates and Leonidas and participate in 35 tours that will guide them through the key spaces of the region. This particular mode has 35 modes that are divided into political and philosophical, daily life, cities, art, religion, myths and also the development of cities.

Ancient Egypt

The visit is made up of 75 tours that guide users from the cities of Alexandria to Memphis and along the Nile to demonstrate the reality of Egyptian life. In addition, it includes a complete tour of the models of the Pyramids and allows reviving the rites of the Egyptian religion to conceive the theocentric construction of the politics of the ancient country.

The game is going to launch in March of this year along with the docudrama that will bear the same name: Notre-Dame on Fire.


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