No French accents in Assassin’s Creed Unity

2 min read

Allo allo crabtree

Back in the days of Assassin’s Creed II, I loved the moment when Ezio met his Uncle with the glorious phrase “Issa me! Mario!” However, Ubisoft is seeking to make a more serious title, which means no over the top accents that can’t be explained. I guess you won’t have to listen carefully if they say things only once.

Over on the Ubisoft blog, Creative Director Alex Amancio explained why there won’t be French accents:

The idea is that the Animus is translating everything into the language you’re playing in. That’s why, since you’re an Anglophone, you’re hearing all the dialogue and cinematics in English. It would really make no sense for there to be a French accent because that would mean that this French character is trying to address you in accented English. Everyone in the game is not trying to speak English for your benefit.

Okay, so that explains why they don’t sound French, but then why does everyone sound British? Well, Ubisoft took a line from Hollywood’s playbook – British accents have a more period feel than American ones do; they give that feeling that you’re in the past, or at least a foreign place.

Of course, hardcore Francophiles can also opt to enable the French language with English subtitles. Even if you stick with the English version of the game, crowd NPCs will all be speaking French, increasing the sense of time and place. I guess the Animus doesn’t need to translate that part for players – those characters don’t really matter.

Read  The representational shake-up in Assassin’s Creed Origins

I like this approach to language, and I’m honestly glad they aren’t using American accents in the game. Using language specific accents in games seems weird these days, unless the character is actually speaking English as a second language as explained in the story. Yet another sign that players are more mature than we used to be.

Last Updated: September 10, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Duffman! Formerly_known as_the

    I liked how Sleeping Dogs did language. Jumping to their native language when some characters got angry was really funny and made it somehow feel natural.

  • Admiral Chief Assassin


  • Admiral Chief Assassin


    • Eric

      Listen carefully! I shall say zis only once!

      • Admiral Chief Assassin


      • Dalmeth

        Za Inglish are dropping their buuums on the Germans!

  • Admiral Chief Assassin

    I liked the explanation in AC2 where they say that the animus doesn’t always translate as it should

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    How dare you call me more mature? Widiculous!

    • ToshZA

      That just reminded me of Kripkey (sp?) from Big Bang Theory.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Who? :/

        • Dalmeth

          Sheldon’s nemesis. The dude with the speech impediment.

  • Hammersteyn

    America saved France twice, that’s why they don’t have to listen to silly French accents.

    • Reptilis

      we don’t need your silly comments.

      • Hammersteyn


        • Sgt. M

          we we

        • Alien Emperor Trevor


          • Hammersteyn


  • Admiral Chief Assassin

    I really like how they swore in AC2, I learned a lot of Italian swear terms, such an education tool!

    • Mal

      Pretty sure it will be like that in Unity, too (or at least I hope it is). If I don’t hear a merde or trou de cul I will be very sad! 😀

  • ToshZA

    Yeah the accents in AC2 added to the charm of the world. Honestly, a game set in France without the French or at least accents doesn’t make me happy at all. This’ll feel like a British game that happens somewhere that looks like France, but is just Britain.

    Sound design is one of the more important parts of any piece of entertainment. Accents, while possibly not 100% accurate, really do add to the atmosphere of it all. I’d prefer a complete, engrossing, ENTERTAINMENT, experience thanks. Not your serious “too lazy to hire people who do good French accents” experience.

  • J_Joestar

    despite not speaking a lick of French, that all French option sounds the most appealing.

  • woz

    Good Moaning

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