Home Gaming Assassin’s Creed: Unity comes under French attack

Assassin’s Creed: Unity comes under French attack

2 min read

ACU Robespierre

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has come under a lot of criticism, mostly for glitches and bugs. However, its latest critique isn’t about the quality of the game, but its presentation of the revolutionaries, and it’s coming from a major French politician.

Former French minister, Jean-Luc Mélenchon who is also the leader of the Left Party (and came fourth in the presidential race in 2012), has spoken out against Ubisoft’s interpretation of Unity’s period in history. According to Mélenchon, the game feeds on the anti-republican sentiment that fuels far-right extremists of today. In a “lengthly tirade” with France Inter radio (translated by The Telegraph), the French politician calls Unity propaganda against the people:

It is propaganda against the people, the people who are (portrayed as) barbarians, bloodthirsty savages. […] In 1789 there were the poor aristocrats, and they are presented as fine upstanding people.

[…] And the man who was our liberator at a certain moment of the Revolution – because the Revolution lasted a long time – Robespierre, is presented as a monster.

He even goes so far as to say that Unity “presents an image of hatred of the Revolution, hatred of the people, hatred of the republic which is rampant in the far-right milieux (of today).”

Robespierre is a controversial figure in general. While he is seen as one of the fathers of modern democracy, opposing the death penalty and slavery while advocating equal rights and universal suffrage, those are not the traits for which he is best known. Following the fall of the monarchy in France, there was still war and civil war, requiring a stable government. Despite not seeking a position of power, Robespierre was elected to the Committee of General Security and began to manage the country’s internal police. This period became known as the Reign of Terror, primarily due to Robespierre’s ideal of a virtuous terror – be believed that terror was necessary during revolution to ensure virtue, to reveal the true enemies within. While Mélenchon may choose to focus on the positive aspects of Robespierre, this isn’t by any means a universal view.

I’m glad that Ubisoft’s game is getting this kind of attention. Robespierre is a controversial figure, and even if a French politician doesn’t agree with his depiction, it means that the game and the period in history will get more attention. It just goes to show that the recreation of the period is accurate enough in other ways to be seen as history instead of pure entertainment and is a credit to Ubisoft’s designers.

Last Updated: November 18, 2014


  1. ToshZA

    November 18, 2014 at 10:09

    Perhaps the frame skips made this politician miss parts of the story


  2. Hammersteyn

    November 18, 2014 at 10:14

    • Brady miaau

      November 18, 2014 at 10:43



  3. Quo Vadis?

    November 18, 2014 at 10:40

    Uh, Robbespierre was not a kind and gentle hearted man full of virtue. He had the guillotine installed, chopped peoples heads off at a whim, even those he just suspected of opposing the regime. He isn’t just portrayed as a monster, he was a monster! This brings me to another point – this is fiction. A fictitious character in a non fiction historical event. It is artistic lib, and so what is the big boo hoo all about then? No one even alluded that this would be historically accurate, nor replace historical accuracy/ validity? Politicians and their soap boxes… oi vey!


    • Brady miaau

      November 18, 2014 at 10:41

      Um, OK. more eloquent than mine? typed at the same time too.


      • Quo Vadis?

        November 18, 2014 at 10:46

        I guess it is fastest fingers first then 🙂 much the same thought went into both, I agree hahahaha


    • Sudarshan Ramani

      November 18, 2014 at 13:36

      Robespierre didn’t have the guillotine installed. That was done without him and he personally intervened several times to stop people from being executed. He probably saved more people from the guillotine than the Scarlet Pimpernel in his books.

      I am afraid that a lot of the popular ideas of Robespierre and the Terror for that matter are patently false as history and entertainment.


      • Brady miaau

        November 18, 2014 at 15:23

        Yes, it would seem that my remembering high school history was not so good. But, on researching a bit, it seems that he (Robespierre) has been unfairly made scapegoat for some actions that he actually fought against.


  4. Brady miaau

    November 18, 2014 at 10:40

    Robespierre. It is tricky.

    From reading history books, I feel that a game portraying him as a bit of a monster would not be that far off. He was ruthless in achieving the aims set out for the French revolution and the people who were in the way of those aims would yell “MONSTER”. It is just not the whole story, of course. It never is.


  5. Matthew Holliday

    November 18, 2014 at 10:52

    heh, “propaganda” he says.
    i love it when unrelated people get involved, i wonder if he’s played the game, or if he’s just rolling with it.
    how would we have sounded if we’d complained about the way we were portrayed as south africans in far cry 2 and 3.
    dumb. ass.


    • Hammersteyn

      November 18, 2014 at 10:54

      I heard he’s still struggling with Uplay


  6. Sir Rants A Lot is a DADDY

    November 18, 2014 at 11:17

    Bull. You can’t portray anything at such low frame rates.

    Waaaait! I get it!

    Because it looked like a slide show they thought these were slides being showed off as “real”

    Looks like that cinimatic feel REALLY paid off!


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      November 18, 2014 at 11:40

      It’s a documentary 😉


  7. MakeItLegal

    November 18, 2014 at 11:29

    guys , the setting can be unreal sometimes , ya sure the game is not perfect , but climbing notra dame and seeing the detail , mind blowing


  8. vicky john

    November 18, 2014 at 13:21

    I said in the last post that i have always faith on Ubi..
    Yeah, Ubi always give their best with bugs and glitches..


  9. Xcalibersa

    November 18, 2014 at 13:56

    So how is the review going??


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