Ned Wynert: Assassin’s Creed‘s First Transgender Character
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will have the franchise’s first transgender character, and his name is Ned Wynert. According to creative director Marc-Alexis Côté, his gender won’t be a plot point for anything; he’ll primarily be serving as a quest-giver. The character simply just… is trans. Having a character’s trans status treated as just a matter of fact is a notable move. They simply are what they are, and that’s how it is.
The Assassin’s Creed games have always opened with a title card expressing the following: “This game was developed by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs.” With the introduction of the brand new transgender character, that statement has been expanded to read: “Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities.”
One of the more recent examples of a trans man in a video game, Krem (Dragon Age Inquisition), was incredibly well received and stands as an example of how to handle trans characters in video games.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate feels like a bit of a reaction to the incredible panning received by its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Unity. Much of the backlash was a result of comments by developers and animators stating that it was “too difficult” to add female playable characters. Syndicate addresses that, offering players the opportunity to play as Evie Frye, twin sister to Jacob, one of the game’s main characters.
It’ll be interesting to see how Ned’s character play out. And to be quite honest: this, plus the ability to play as Evie, may have just gotten me back on board to check out this next AC game.
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