Assassin's Creed Unity's Hero Is Not An Action Movie "Grizzled Badass"

"We wanted him to feel like an actual person," Ubisoft writer says about Arno.

Ahead of Assassin's Creed Unity's release this October, Ubisoft has published a blog post giving fans a good idea about who the game's hero, Arno, is and what some of his motivations are. The information below comes from Assassin's Creed Unity single-player scriptwriter Travis Stout, who is in charge of the the game's overarching story; he writes all of the dialogue for the single-player missions, and handles character development and major story points.

First, Stout addressed Arno's name, which some fans have confused with "Arnaud" if they never saw it spelled. He confirmed that Arno is in fact spelled A-R-N-O and said that, though this name is less common than Arnaud, "it comes back to Arno's family history."

"His family is a very old one and they've been Assassins for a very long time so we wanted to give him a slightly more antiquated name," Stout said, pointing out that the name Arno has French/Germanic roots. "Also, the phonetic spelling makes it easier to pronounce."

Regarding his personality and character traits, Stout said Arno is a complicated, multifaceted man who is seeking to right wrongs and blaze his own trail.

"He is a very driven young man. He is haunted by mistakes in his past or perceived mistakes, that he feels he must atone for," Stout said. "He is very devoted to the Assassin Order as an ideal but, at the same time, he is not as impressed with the weight of the long mystical tradition and ancient rhetoric as some of the other Assassins. He likes to think for himself and make his own decisions. He isn't the type of person who will believe something just because someone tells it to him."

Stout also points out that Arno is a "very well-educated young man" who comes from a noble household, with access to tutors and volumes of books. "He has a habit of quoting the classics and tends to use humor to deflect when he is emotionally vulnerable, like a lot of people do I think," Stout said. "We very much wanted him to not be the sort of grizzled badass spouting one-liners that you see in a lot of action movies. We wanted him to feel like an actual person."

Assassin's Creed Unity launches October 28 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Though Ubisoft has yet to make a formal announcement, the publisher has strongly suggested that a new Assassin's Creed game for last-generation consoles is also in the works, presumably to be released this fall.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

99 comments
es496
es496

It would make a change if he wasn't just another generic action hero. I've seen silent game protagonists who had more personality than some.

endorbr
endorbr

So Ezio... but French.

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Great, a french Aiden Pearce. Just what we needed.

diesil
diesil

Literally described him as French Ezio he even has the ponytail

dannydopamine8
dannydopamine8

Im suprised i havent heard anyone talk about or mention risen3 which is coming out in just a few days

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

So basically, he's the standard, cliche modern video game hero, rather than the standard, cliche 80's action movie hero.

When the protagonist is a coward (or even just shows a normal, human level of terror in the face of death), you can brag about doing something unusual with your protagonist.

Klyern
Klyern

So many games and yet they still dont explain even half of why the assassins were so huge before modern times and are so few nowadays.


They should just say "because Chuck Norris is a templar", that would explain the endangered species (assassins).

And please dont remind me of the eye in the sky. That explanation is bullshit.

advocacy
advocacy

I don't like playing grizzly bears.

hyperbolel
hyperbolel

Arno doesn't normally drink beer, but when he does he prefers not to drink Dos Equis.

Arno is the most uninteresting Assassin in the world.

Arno says "No multistory base jumping into a haystack for me, I just turn into street pizza like everyone else.

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

i still can't watch that 2nd trailer without swearing that some of it is shot in live action and melded into the CG stuff. 


no way the graphics look THAT incredible.....just no way

Pewbert
Pewbert

Can't be any worse than Connor - the most boring voice I've ever heard in a video game.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

When I think of Paris, the last thing coming to mind is "Grizzled Badass." Corsica, maybe, because of Napoleon. Dude could conquer stuff and appreciated water slides.

never-named
never-named

The personalities of the protagonists in the main-line AC games have so far fallen into two distinct camps: "Joyless and somber" or "brash and carefree." Judging by the writer's words, I get the impression this new guy will fall into the former category.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

"A CBS Interactive representative tells us that more than two people remain on GameSpot's U.S. editorial team, and that  Eddie Makuch, a member of GameSpot's news team, is still with the company"

Damn it, we were so close.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

still sounds very typical type of character to me. i think all characters have become typical in games. its just a matter of being believable/relate-able

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

Hey I can relate.  I'm very well educated and use humor to deflect things when I'm emotionally vulnerable.


Which is why I come on here and joke so much.... so very much..... 


****whimper****

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Oh, and another thing that's probably the most stupid inventions lately in movies:

"He has a habit of quoting the classics and tends to use humor to deflect when he is emotionally vulnerable, like a lot of people do I think."

You think wrong. That only happens on Disney Channel and Dwayne Johnson movies. I don't know a single person who giggles when punched in the nuts.

StHapns247
StHapns247

 "Assassin's Creed Unity's Hero Is Not An Action Movie "Grizzled Badass... Or a Woman"

Just to, ya know, add an extra F U.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Hey, they could make Arno a woman masquerading as a man.  Not terribly original, but it would allow Ubi to have a playable female without actually animating one.  The dude sounds like he's in touch with his feminine side anyway.

pozium
pozium

So, he's basically A French. Ezio eh?

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Well, if you want a memorable and realistic character, you need to give him a complex personality devoid of cliches, a personality that doesn't contrast with his/her actions. And enough with the deep mumbling, leave that to Batman.

Sw33tEscape
Sw33tEscape

@CatAtomic999 Only problem with that is that when a character shows more complexity and isn't a charismatic killer people complain about inconsistencies. Look at Nico Bellic. Here was a character who felt guilt and remorse, yet people complained because his personality didn't go with their kill-everything play-style.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@advocacy In Bear Simulator you can play several other kinds of bears if you like.

LordTrexGuy
LordTrexGuy

@never-named It's easy to place Altair, Ezio and Edward into those categories, but doesn't Connor come into the 'brash and somber' category?

unreal849
unreal849

@jsmoke03  There's really no such thing as a truly original story or character, especially after a century of hollywood and a couple of thousand years of written fiction.

StHapns247
StHapns247

@olddadgamer ****Jumps off church steeple into hay stack and walks away like a snarky, emotionally open, non-badass****

Heisenberg1
Heisenberg1

@xsonicchaos Do you know what "emotionally vulnerable" means? Because nut punches dont fall into that category. 

viktorchestikov
viktorchestikov

I believe you're confusing emotionally vulnerability with physical.

viktorchestikov
viktorchestikov

I think you're confusing emotional vulnerability with physical vulnerability.

StHapns247
StHapns247

@xsonicchaos  At this point I think the primary demo of Assassin's Creed games are Disney Channel watchers and The Rock aficionados.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@SingletreeAve 

Too late, the voice acting is already done. Dan Jeannotte is the voice actor for Arno Dorian. Dan Jeannotte...

toadface123
toadface123

@pozium No he is not. Ezio was a character based more around his skill in combat where as Arno is based on his stealth and his parkor skill.

unreal849
unreal849

@xsonicchaos  Note to self: write fanfic about BatSassin. It's basically Batman with a hidden blade.

ooblah
ooblah

@unreal849 @jsmoke03 

There's always room for original stories.  If you truly believe you came up with the concept yourself, and you took inspiration from nothing, then the idea is by definition original.  Besides, the first iteration of film borrowed heavily from written fiction, and written fiction from folklore and spoken fables --- aint sh** changed.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@Heisenberg1 @viktorchestikov 

I know what emotionally vulnerable means, you guys, I'm not that... foreign. It was a joke, and the joke was worth it, at least for me.

hystavito
hystavito

@toadface123 @pozium But I bet he'll still be able to drop down into a group of 20 enemies and slaughter them all within seconds :).