The 2016 Assassin’s Creed film is not good. However, it does have a really cool take on the series’s memory-reliving technology called the Animus. Even Patrice Désilets, the creative lead on the first three Assassin’s Creed games before leaving Ubisoft in 2010, liked it.
In an interview conducted by YouTuber Loomer, Désilets reveals that he watched the movie on an airplane. While that might be the best way to see it, it’s hard to say for sure. I watched it in a massive theater and seemed to enjoy it about as much as he did. “As a movie itself,” he remarked, “I felt like there were some portions that were good, but it was a bit messy.”
Désilets was effusively positive about the film’s treatment of the Animus, though. “There’s one thing that I was kind of like, ‘Ah, I wish I had thought of that,’ was their Animus. The Animus where you can actually, you know, go in space and 3D world like [complicated hand motion]. This portion I really liked.”
In the Assassin’s Creed games, the Animus is a mechanism that allows a person to experience the memories of their ancestors that lie dormant in within their DNA. While each game makes this more complicated, the idea of living the memories of some long-ago person and discovering their relationship to the Assassins or the Templars is what these games are all about.
However, the Animus is super unexciting. In the first game, it was a little technobed that protagonist Desmond laid down inside. In later games, it became a kind of VR headset thing. In the film Assassin’s Creed, though, it is a massive armature that mimics the movements of the memories that are being relived, flinging the person doing the reliving around in the sky while they do all kinds of sick assassination tricks. It’s impressive, cool, and a lot more exciting than a technobed.
Since we know that the film is canonical in the video game franchise due to some emails in Origins, I am waiting for the moment where I can see a character get jacked into one of these giant flinging apparatuses. I bet Désilets is too.