Ubisoft are making a VR escape game set inside Notre-Dame cathedral. As reported by Variety, the one-hour long experience is being built to complement Jean-Jacques Annaud's upcoming docudrama about the 2019 fire that partly destroyed the cathedral.
"Like any escape game, it’s a question of puzzles and co-operating with your teammates," says Deborah Papiernik, Ubisoft senior VP new business and strategic alliances, to Variety. "The idea is to make your way through the cathedral to find relics and to fight the fire, because you have to save Notre Dame [before the clock runs out]."
This isn't the first Notre-Dame project for Ubisoft, who recreated the cathedral for Assassin's Creed Unity in 2014, and in 2020 released Notre-Dame de Paris: Journey Back in Time, a VR 'experience' that recreates a visit to the cathedral.
When Notre-Dame first burned down, it was suggested that Ubisoft's recreation of the cathedral might aid in its reconstruction. There are many reasons why that can't happen, not least that its recreations are not historically accurate. I do like seeing creators of silly, big budget games re-using those art assets for smaller, stranger work, however.
Jean-Jacques Annaud is the director of films like The Name Of The Rose and Enemy At The Gates. His docudrama, titled Notre-Dame on Fire, will open in French theaters in March 2022, and Ubisoft's VR escape game of the same name will launch worldwide the same month. The real Notre-Dame cathedral is being reconstructed and aiming to re-open in 2024.