Dishonest Portrayals of Factions
While the series as a whole focuses on the fight between Assassins and Templars, this game takes a different direction in portraying the enemy as affiliated with neither of these factions. In the game the British soldiers are portrayed as bullies who will destroy and kill on mere suspicion of Patriotic sympathies. Taking a look at side-by-side images of British Infantry uniforms from an in game depiction (left) and real-life rendering (right). In the game, dark colors (mainly dark red and black) cover the body, a mask and low hat obscure the face, and a rifle and sword complete the menacing look. Compare it to the bright colors presented in the historical watercolor painting of Revolutionary war-era British infantry dress. Bright red, white pants, a long rifle and a more regal look make these soldiers appear favorable in comparison to the way Ubisoft has presented them.
Dr. Sheidley reminds us that “British soldiers are presented as the villains. But for most 18th-century Bostonians, the line was not so clearly drawn.” Many soldiers were active in the new communities where they were quartered, offering trade and services.
Left: In game model for British soldiers. Right: watercolor painting by Lt. Charles M. Lefferts 1880-1926
The vilification of the British has two consequences: firstly to intentionally dehumanize them in the game to make them easier to kill, but secondly, it dehumanizes them in the real world, imprinting players with an anti-British bias whenever they view sources on the Revolutionary War period.