Paris’s famous Notre-Dame Cathedral suffered a devastating roof fire that heavily damaged the ancient structure in April of 2019. The fire was put out after hours of heroic efforts from firefighters but many of the priceless relics contained within the cathedral were lost. Reconstruction began in 2021 and is expected to conclude in 2024.
To assist with the reconstruction, Ubisoft provided engineers with detailed 3D models used in 2014’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a game that the French publisher also gave away for free following the fire. Those same models are now being used to create a one-hour VR experience that puts players directly inside the burning cathedral.
According to Variety, Annaud approached Ubisoft in early 2021 to create a video game tie-in with his coming film. The film is due out in March of this year, which wasn’t enough time for a full-fledged game. However, it was enough time for a smaller escape room-style VR game with a story partially based on Annaud’s docudrama.
“Like any escape game, it’s a question of puzzles and co-operating with your teammates,” Ubisoft senior VP Deborah Papiernik told 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 time runs out].”
There was no mention on which VR platforms will receive Notre-Dame On Fire, but we’ll find out when the game arrives alongside the movie.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is probably still the best way to experience the pre-fire Notre-Dame, but that hasn’t stopped players from creating tributes in more modern games. The best example is probably one Valheim player’s tribute to the ancient cathedral which painstakingly recreates the Notre-Dame in detail.
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