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Assassin’s Creed III

Critical Distance is proud to present this Critical Compilation of Ubisoft’s Assassin Creed III, curated by Gilles Roy. A history scholar with game design training at Montreal’s INIS, Gilles is also co-editor at Play the Past. You can follow him on Twitter @gillesroy.

In releasing the remastered edition of Assassin’s Creed III (AC3) in March 2019, interactive entertainment giant Ubisoft also delisted the original installment of the game from digital distribution platforms and services such as Steam and Uplay.

Perhaps it made commercial sense for Ubisoft to do this; such a move also prevented new players from

Kill Screen archive

This is currently pretty rough, but the hope is that this archive captures most of the in-depth writing done on Killscreen over its history up to 2017. We’d value any offers of help breaking this list down, e.g. by year, and even adding extra data such as author names and correct titles.

This page was created in early 2017 after institutional and infrastructural instability created some concern among games critics over Kill Screen’s future, as its archives became inaccessible for an extended period of time. The aim is to provide a backup if and when Kill Screen goes

Aaron Trammell | Keywords in Play, Episode 12

…culture, right? I’m Black and so, thinking about this and its relationship to like characterization of people who play in Africa, right, who, in some instances in this early scholarship, are seen as barbaric is troubling, offensive, really problematic in some ways. I think that’s the first move to think about, is think about, like, what is this play scholarship doing? And then how is that play scholarship that’s happening is really moment interpolating and/or racializing people as it does that. Now, I want to put a brief caveat here, because there’s a really fascinating article, I think that get…

Emilie Reed | Keywords in Play Podcast, Episode 2

…around and select different things. And also an important part of how it’s displayed is this environment of like replicating the living room that the character stays in, in the story as well. So you’re, you know, when I saw it installed there was like a couch, you were playing with a remote control that was kind of like on this old-style tv. So yeah, that’s, that’s a very interesting early project that was kind of like almost called a videogame in a way.

Darshana: And there’s a sense that there was a lot different at stake, in Leeson…

August 22nd

…it the what-not-to-do lessons offered by Metroid: Other M or the complicated, messy, frustrating, but gradually positive-trending relationship between Mass Effect and queer representation.

  • ‘Metroid Dread’ owes a massive debt to a game Nintendo wants you to forget | Inverse Chris Compendio considers the design lessons Metroid has inadvertently learned from the legacy of its least-loved installment.
  • Intimate Space: The State of Queerness in Mass Effect | Fanbyte Kenneth Shepard embarks upon a longform historical overview of the role and state of queerness in Mass Effect, the influence of its fandom, and its lasting legacy on the

Final Fantasy VII

…game that did it all remains elusive. Said question rings as loud as ever in the wake of Square Enix’s first installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake, the mere existence of which recapitulates both itself and the game from whence it sprung to the inquiries of the multifarious Final Fantasy fandom: Why Final Fantasy VII? Why is this the franchise entry that gets the big-budget makeover first? Remake thus became, rather than a mere mechanical and aesthetic reupholstery of familiar narrative beats, a sort of litigation of its predecessor’s hotly debated place in the canon.

Tetsuya Nomura, Kazushige…

September Roundup: Globetrotting

Instagram filter”: contextualizing the colonial tourist fantasies of 100 Rabbits

Robert What kicks us off this roundup with a damning analysis of the “travel as inspiration” ethos found in the promotional videos for 100 Rabbits, a “floating studio” hoping to document game-making projects as they travel. Robert summarizes his criticism of the project as:

It’s virtually impossible to be lost in today’s hyper-wired universe of digital information. The network of global capital lies everywhere and is increasingly able to instantly find and ‘locate’ (contextualize) anyone on its vast data control grid. Or perhaps it could be more

January 31st

…is a natural direction to take for a piece of interactive fiction that revolves around instant messenger conversation. But there are so many other ways of addressing intimacy and relationships between two people.”

In another take on the power of non-romantic love, Sloane Cee shared a postmortem of a debut project that offers a compassionate approach to a trans coming out story.

As always, some developers’ attempts at representation leave much to be desired. Andrea Ritsu played Atari’s Pridefest and found no mention of LGBTQ rights whatsoever: Pride is portrayed instead as a celebration of rainbow-coloured…

November 5th

…games critics, with the exception of Julie Muncy, for not addressing cultural appropriation in Mario games.

  • ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ Review: Nintendo’s Surreal, Candy-Colored Triumph | WIRED Julie Muncy highlights the disconnected mashup of cultural symbols, alongside the absurdist extension of a playful internal logic, to explain the artful ridiculousness of this title.
  • “Mario gains an eerie power: anything that is made to wear Mario’s cap becomes Mario. Throw it on a dinosaur’s head, for instance, and that dino is instantly fused with Mario—and you, the player, find yourself playing as a dinosaur. Take control of goombas,…

    December 16th

    …Rivas get together to discuss Canadian-produced Assassin’s Creed 3‘s take on the American Revolution.

    Meanwhile, on his own blog, Jordan Rivas relates how Call of Duty reminds him of a Katy Perry song.


    We catch up with John Brindle again back over on Nightmare Mode, where Brindle outlines a pretty compelling critique of gamer elitism:

    [Jim Rossignol wrote that] we shouldn’t worry about what non-gamers think of games, because “in this instance,” he wrote, “we are the highly educated elite.”

    It’s a good point. It arouses in me the instant desire to defend…