In conjunction with ever improving tech, Ubisoft continues to bring historical periods to life with unerring accuracy in its games. But has its latest development opened a door to educational discovery that we never knew was there?
As gaming technologies become more intricate and advanced, so too do the digital worlds created by the industry’s top studios. Raising the bar for immersive entertainment is unequivocally the priority for the next generation of consoles, but as with the likes of with AR and VR, we’re beginning to see how this tech could soon have real world application that extends far beyond simple leisure. On this front, Ubisoft could become a trailblazer for something big in the near future.
Even the most ardent Assassin’s Creed fan would concede that the series’ in-game mechanics aren’t perfect, but you’d have to be a real miser to dismiss the meticulous approach Ubisoft takes to world building. From 400 BC Athens and Ancient Egypt, to Paris gripped by the French Revolution and Victorian era London, Ubisoft has accurately realised whole civilisations throughout history – each with a painstaking level of detail. Just for reference, Unity’s iteration of the famous Notre Dame cathedral was so accurately recreated that government officials considered using the digital model to restore the landmark after fires decimated the roof in 2019.
While a record 14 studios are hard at work sculpting Valhalla for next gen consoles, Ubisoft has re-released two ‘Discovery Tours’ based on the worlds of Odyssey and Origins for us housebound folk during the pandemic. These free downloads are educational offshoots of both games, in which the player can roam freely within vast historical sites of Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Unlike the standard games, players can trigger audio and visual prompts much like a virtual museum without being interrupted by combat sequences or quest lines. It’s kinesthetic learning at its finest.
Now this may be a little fanatical, but given VR’s recent evolution from gimmicky gaming accessory to discovery tool employed by the likes of NASA, I believe it’s possible that we may be looking at the next vehicle of specialist education with playable content like Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tours and Minecraft: Education Edition. For those that prefer hands on learning, or struggle to grasp concepts from generic textbooks, this could be a real gamechanger (npi).