May 5, 2019
'Assassin's Creed Unity' Might Help With Notre Dame Cathedral's Reconstruction

Over $1 billion has been raised to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which lost its spire and roof to a devastating fire last month. France's president Emmanual Macron wants to rebuild the French Gothic landmark before the Olympic Games in 2024 — as The Inquisitr reported — but experts are urging for the deadline to be called off to ensure that it gets the attention it deserves. Crux Now reports that the video game Assassin's Creed Unity might help in its restoration effort — regardless of the 2024 deadline.

The Assassin's Creed series follows a centuries-long struggle between two rival organizations: the Templars, who are named after the Catholic military order, and the Assassins. While the Templars seek to bring peace to the world through absolute control, the Assassins believe that "nothing is true, everything is permitted." Given that players are meant to sympathize with the latter, the series has been criticized by some for a perceived anti-Christian sentiment.

Regardless, Unity received praise for its accurate depiction of 1700s Paris, in particular, for the detail of its representation of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Caroline Miousse, assistant art director at Ubisoft Montreal, spent two years working modeling the cathedral. Speaking of her work, she said that "you really need to be sure that you're recreating (Notre Dame) as accurately as possible because it's so well known."

As of now, the game's developer, Ubisoft, has donated over $500,000 to the restoration of the cathedral and has given the restoration team its virtual rendition of Notre Dame, as well as the research from Unity.

Destructoid reports that the Notre Dame Cathedral was a priority during the development of the action-adventure game, and the goal was to create it 1:1 to make it as true to the real deal as possible. For Miousse, this meant putting the cathedral together brick by brick — a challenge she says she enjoyed.

After visiting the cathedral in person following the completion of her model, Miousse said that it validated her two years of hard work in a single instant.
"It felt really good; it was an achievement. It confirmed to me that what I made was right."
"Videogames are all about getting emotion out of the player. I think the experience that I had in mind for the player was the emotion that I was feeling at the time," she added.

Of course, the model wasn't exactly the same — some of the cathedral's art didn't make it in, as it's protected under copyright. In addition, Miousse added the original spire that was removed in 1786, even though the game takes place in 1789, during the French Revolution.