UBISOFT is releasing Assassin’s Creed Unity for free “in solidarité” with everyone affected by the fire that devastated Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral.
The French publisher is also giving €500,000 (£433,000) “to help with the restoration and reconstruction”.
Assassin’s Creed Unity is set in Paris at the time of the French Revolution, and it features an “extraordinary recreation” of the cathedral that took almost two years to build.
The game will be free because Ubisoft wants “to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how.
“Video games can enable us to explore places in ways we never could have otherwise imagined. We hope, with this small gesture, we can provide everyone an opportunity to appreciate our virtual homage to this monumental piece of architecture.”
The offer is open now and will be available on Ubisoft’s web site until April 25 at 8 a.m.
Rumours that the game’s recreation was accurate enough to be useful in the restoration work are unfounded, however.
The studio behind Assassin’s Creed Unity has said that game’s recreation was an “artistic vision” of the cathedral rather than a scientific recreation, according to The Guardian, built to 90 per cent scale.
Many details are completely accurate — such as the basic structure, the texture of the brickwork and details such as the paintings hanging inside — but it is not a faithful 1:1 recreation.
It also features a number of liberties that were taken — the cathedral in-game features the now-iconic spires, for instance, even though they were not added until after the game was set.
“The aim is not to be 100 percent historically accurate,” the game’s art director Mohamed Gambouz told The Verge around the time the game came out, but “to convey a believable setting, a believable city. And sometimes we even go for the perception people have, even if it’s not 100 percent accurate.”
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