Nearly a year since a terrible fire ravaged the historic French cathedral Notre-Dame, architects have been hard at work reconstructing every inch of the building. Yet the rebuild hasn’t been limited to stone and mortar. The digital architects over at Ubisoft have been building Notre-Dame from the inside out all so that we may soon be able to explore those hallowed halls through the lens of a VR headset.
The world mourned the destruction that befell Notre-Dame. While some cynical old people proclaimed the fire that razed the cathedral less important than many of the other disasters humanity was undergoing at the time, those of us who actually have hearts realised that it was possible to be sad about more than one thing at a time. Just after the fires had subsided and evaluations on the damage were being conducted, it was announced by Ubisoft that they would assist with the reconstruction efforts with the assets they’d used in Assassin’s Creed: Unity back in 2014.
Now, almost a year since Notre-Dame caught alight, Ubisoft has released a teaser for a VR tour of the reconstructed cathedral. While we have no actual release date for the virtual tour, we assume that it’ll probably be sooner rather than later. Ubisoft is known putting a frankly astonishing amount of effort into their historical recreations. One artist who worked on Assassin’s Creed: Unity reportedly spent two years just building a surprisingly accurate rendition of Notre-Dame for the game.
If seeing “VR experience” put you off of the tour, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t actually need a VR headset. You can watch the teaser and just use your mouse to pan around the cathedral and take it all in. No word yet on whether or not the final product will offer that kind of accessibility, but one can only hope. Also, let’s hope that Ubisoft doesn’t charge for the experience. That might be a little…distasteful, we think.