Video game graphics are becoming more and more photo-realistic, as this series of “Assassin’s Creed Unity” blended with modern-day Paris shows. Journalist Damien Hypolite has juxtaposed screenshots from the game – which is based during the French Revolution of the 1790s – and street scenes of Paris today.
Metro: What inspired you to compare this video game and Paris of today?
The idea came to me because I’m used to doing before and after comparison between pictures in my work. On the very first day I played “Assassin’s Creed Unity”, I decided to try and find all the places in Paris where I used to live. I was very impressed by the quality and detail of the game’s graphics, and how some iconic places in the capital have changed since the game’s setting of the late 18th century. I made screenshots of the game’s footage, printed them out on photo paper, got on my bike and visited all the right spots that were depicted in the video game. After I took the photos of the game world-meeting-the real world on my smartphone, I made some color corrections on Photoshop and posted them online. The rest was done by the world wide web, which made the series go viral.
Former French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon recently criticized the game, saying it makes a mockery of the French Revolution; he claimed that the game’s creators “are insulting us to destroy what keeps us together as French people” What are your thoughts on that?
It’s silly, to be honest. Mélenchon has based his criticism on a short movie made by Rob Zombie, which the famous musician-horror movie director has defined as a reimagined version of Assassin’s Creed. This is not the kind of atmosphere you can experience in the game. The funny side of the story is that the game’s distributor in France sent a copy of the game, along with a games console, to the left-wing politician to get an idea of the true nature of the game