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Interviews

AC Brotherhood: 'There are lines I made up that were clearly not appropriate'

Danny Wallace talks about his AC persona and gaming...

Danny Wallace is best known for the fact that he used to write for PSM2. Ahem. Well, his books (Yes Man, Friends Like These) has shifted a few copies too.

He made his debut as a voice actor in Assassin's Creed 2 and has reprised his role as historian Shaun Hastings for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

We caught up with the man Wikipedia describes as 'a humourist' to chat about games.

Was the part written in AC2 written with you in mind, or did you make Shaun the way he is?

No, it wasn't. But a nice man at Ubisoft who likes my stuff thought I might be able to do it, so he made the case for me and they gave me a go.

I went in, read it out, and before I knew it I was in. They give me a script and I improvise around it, though obviously they only use the stuff they like.

There are many lines I made up that were clearly not appropriate for a widely-released video game.

Have you deliberately made Shaun more abrasive for Brotherhood?

If he's more abrasive, it's because the producers wanted him that way. They'd write the lines and outline the attitude and then I'd add whatever I add to it.

But it's not like I'd waltz in and start changing things and saying 'I think Shaun would do it this way' because they know exactly where they want things to go and I just want to help.

What do you think is the general perception of gaming in the TV industry?

The problem, I think, used to be that gamers would be married, more or less, to one console or platform and you gave that platform your loyalty.

I was a Mega Drive boy. My neighbour preferred the SNES. You had one or the other because your parents would only let you buy one or the other.

So gaming TV would ultimately be a little fruitless, because maybe only five or six minutes of each episode would be relevant to you and the rest would be dull.

Now, though, gamers are older, more savvy, they have more cash, they have more than one machine to play on. Plus, games are released on different machines so TV reviews are more relevant to a wider public than ever before.

I think TV is yet to realise this properly - there's an idea that it has to be camp like GamesMaster or kiddie like Bad Influence. In fact, everything has moved on light-years.

When people meet you, what do they remember you for? Would you rather 'You're that bloke from the National Lottery!' or the 'annoying science man from Assassin's Creed!'

I mainly get recognised for my books or documentaries, or for the film Yes Man. Once in America, a man recognised my voice as that of the bloke from Assassin's Creed 2, which was a very odd moment for me, but fun.

Luckily, he had no problem with Shaun's abrasive behaviour, else I could have been smacked in the face that day.

You used to write for PSM2 back in the mists of time. Are there any untold stories from your 'Last Laugh' days you would like to share?

I remember being invited to work on a turkey farm as a result of using a video game character's skills and abilities on my CV. But that was a dozen years ago, and I was probably drunk.

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