Assassin’s Creed Shadows has brought back the dual protagonist system, allowing players to embody two characters with different playstyles. One of these characters, Yasuke, is a mysterious historical figure who was the first African to be officially recorded in Japan. Despite the intriguing nature of Yasuke’s story, his inclusion in the game sparked controversy online. Some critics accused Ubisoft of pushing a “wokeness” agenda, while others expressed racist sentiments towards having a Black protagonist in a game set in Japan.

Elon Musk also joined the conversation by criticizing the game’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), claiming that it hinders artistic expression. The executive producer of Assassin’s Creed Shadows, Marc-Alexis Côté, dismissed Musk’s comments, emphasizing that Yasuke’s character is rooted in the history of the franchise and not a result of any policy or quota. Côté encouraged players to experience the game firsthand before forming opinions based on preconceived notions.

Despite the backlash, the development team stands by their decision to include Yasuke in the game, believing it adds depth to the narrative and showcases a different perspective of the Sengoku period in Japan. The game’s setting during the Azuchi-Momoyama period offers a unique backdrop for exploring historical events through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters.

While some players may be hesitant about Ubisoft’s open-world design, the historical context and inclusion of Yasuke present an opportunity to delve into a lesser-known aspect of Japanese history. As the game unfolds, players will have the chance to engage with Yasuke’s story and witness how it intertwines with the larger political and social dynamics of the time period.

In conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Shadows aims to challenge traditional narratives and offer a fresh perspective on historical events through diverse representation. By encouraging players to approach the game with an open mind, the development team hopes to foster meaningful discussions about representation, inclusion, and the power of storytelling in video games. As players embark on their journey with Yasuke, they may discover a new appreciation for the complexities of history and the importance of embracing diverse voices in gaming.