Veronica Mars actress Kristen Bell has just given an interview to IGN TV in which she talks about her voice role in forthcoming next-gen adventure, Assassin’s Creed. The game was thought to be a historical slice n’ dicer, revolving around an assassin who gets caught up in a Holy Land conspiracy. But it turns out (as, in fact, the developer has always hinted) that this may only be part of the story.
When asked about the game she replies…
“It’s sort of based on the research that’s sort of happening now, about the fact that your genes might be able to hold memory. And you could argue semantics and say it’s instinct, but how does a baby bird know to eat a worm, as opposed to a cockroach, if its parents don’t show it? And it’s about this science company trying to, Matrix-style, go into people’s brains and find out an ancestor who used to be an assassin, and sort of locate who that person is. It’s very, very cool, and I’ve seen all the graphics for it.
Theories pointing in this direction have been floating around since E3. Rolling demos of the game have shown anomalies like visual glitches, suggesting that we’re watching video footage (well, we are watching video, but I mean video within video…), and also a few seconds of a thoroughly modern setting where the words “access your genetic memory” can be seen.
This is interesting stuff. Rarely do videogame developers care so much about story that they dripfeed information in this way. Indeed, most of the time we wouldn’t care, as the narrative surprises just aren’t that interesting when divorced from the gameplay. But this is quite a neat, cinematic idea.
I hope this is a sign of things to come from next-gen development. We have been waiting a decade for developers to start thinking ‘look, it’s pointless boasting about graphics as everything looks amazing now. So let’s just some up with a startling idea instead’. Maybe the time has come.