Assassin’s Creed Shadows is already being branded ‘woke’ – and we’re so tired

Yasuke in Assassin's Creed Shadows

New video game Assassin’s Creed Shadows has already been labelled “woke” by right-wingers. Yeah, we’re exhausted too. 

The trailer for the new game, which dropped on Wednesday (15 May), was immediately set upon by conservative trolls over its main characters Yasuke, historically considered Japan’s first Black samurai, and Naoe, a female shinobi or ninja. 

The trailer showed part of the back story of the two protagonists, and conservatives were furious to find out that the game will centre around a woman and a Black man. 

Most of the social media outrage concerned Yasuke, who, despite being based on a key figure in Japanese history, has led to some claiming – incorrectly – that a Black character wouldn’t be “historically accurate” for the time. 

Still from trailer for Assassin's Creed Shadows
New Assassin’s Creed is already being called ‘woke’ and we’re so tired (Assassin’s Creed Shadows/Ubisoft/screenshot)

However, Yasuke, who was also the subject of a 2021 Netflix show, is based on a real man thought to have lived in Japan in the 16th century.

Lots of fans have moved to defend the trailer, noting that even if Yasuke weren’t historically accurate, the game is hardly sticking rigidly to reality given that it contains mythical creatures. 

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“I really hope a bunch of idiots don’t start complaining about historical accuracy to hide their thinly veiled racism in a game series that had a magic pope in it,” one person wrote on Twitter/X.

Assassin’s Creed is not the only thing bigots have tried to brand woke recently, with TV shows, beer adverts and Lego games all being criticised for being “too” diverse. 

Anti-trans campaigners were – sometimes literally – up in arms last year after Bud Light “went woke” by sending trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney a can of the beer with her face on it. Right-wingers were seen smashing bottles in shops, calling for a boycott and even shooting cases of the brew.

Mulvaney then called out the brand publicly, claiming bosses did not do enough to “stand by” her following the backlash.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows will be available on 15 November.