Ubisoft's New VR Game Lets You Save Notre-Dame From Fire

An upcoming virtual reality game from Ubisoft will immerse players in the tragic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral fire. The iconic Catholic cathedral suffered a fire in April 2019, causing the landmark's spire to collapse and dealing extensive damage to its roof. Assassin's Creed: Unity's detailed Notre-Dame recreation was extremely authentic, with developer Ubisoft donating money and sharing their research to help with the cathedral's reconstruction.

Largely completed in 1260, the Notre-Dame cathedral has survived an intense history to become an unmistakable French landmark. The gothic architectural masterpiece was damaged extensively during the French Revolution, but it remained in service for the 1804 coronation of Napoleon. The cathedral has also become an important staple of popular culture, particularly due to Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and its 1996 animated Disney adaptation. Notre-Dame's grandeur has inspired many fan-made recreations by gamers, with the 2019 fire only adding to the popularity of tributes. One Valheim player's massive Notre-Dame cathedral build paid homage to the landmark, with the structure's size and detail dropping the game to only 12 frames per second.

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As reported by Variety, an upcoming virtual reality game from Ubisoft will let players experience Notre-Dame's devastating fire. Based on an upcoming docudrama by Jean-Jacques Annaud, both sharing the title Notre-Dame on Fire, the one-hour experience will cast players as a Parisian fire fighter during the 2019 tragedy. Within a VR escape game, players will cooperate with teammates to solving puzzles, find relics and fight the fire against a ticking clock. While Ubisoft's Notre-Dame on Fire was developed using Annaud's docudrama script, the VR title will be an original adaptation. Ubisoft has not specified which virtual reality platforms Notre-Dame on Fire will release on, but both the film and game will release in March 2022.

Notre-Dame on Fire will not be Ubisoft's first recreation of Paris' magnificent cathedral, and it will not be the company's first virtual reality project either. In 2021 Ubisoft released Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity, a location-based virtual reality game that puts gamers face-to-face with Far Cry 3's iconic villain Vaas. The intense immersive experience, available at Zero Latency VR facilities, allows up to eight players to enter the Rook Islands and fight off hordes of vicious pirates. While the experience was not available for commercial VR headsets, the project demonstrates Ubisoft's interest in the immersive technology.

As a gaming company with strong French origins, Ubisoft has done much to support Paris' Notre-Dame repair efforts. The studio's recreation of the cathedral for Assassin's Creed Unity helped gamers visit the landmark post-fire, and now Notre-Dame on Fire will create an immersive version of the event itself. Honoring the fire brigade and others who responded to the emergency, the virtual reality experience promises to be an authentic love letter to Notre-Dame.

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Notre-Dame on Fire will release in March 2022.

Source: Variety



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