WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s controversial DLC is being changed after fan complaints and confusion. The latest entry in Ubisoft’s long-running franchise, Odyssey has emphasized player choice more than any other Creed game. There’s not only the starting choice of playing a male or female character for the entire game, but Odyssey is filled with RPG-like decisions. This includes romances as players can make their hero (or heroine) homosexual, heterosexual or anything else on the sexual spectrum.
It’s due to this openness in player choice that the second chapter of the game’s DLC, Legacy of the First Blade, was met by some backlash from fans. Legacy of the First Blade locks players, whether they’re playing as Alexios or Kassandra, into a heterosexual relationship that produces a child. Making matters worse, the trophy/achievement for completing the DLC and giving birth to a child is titled “Growing Up,” which suggests that only those who have children in heterosexual relationships have actually matured. As an apology, Ubisoft will be reworking the DLC to make it more in line with the rest of Odyssey.
Ubisoft announced the change via the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey forum. In an official production update, the team behind Odyssey wrote:
We are making changes to a cutscene and some dialogue in ‘Shadow Heritage’ to better reflect the nature of the relationship for players selecting a non-romantic storyline. These changes, along with renaming a trophy/achievement, are being made now and will be implemented in an upcoming patch.
In addition Ubisoft confirmed that the third chapter of the DLC, which has yet to be released, will also be changed to better reflect player choice.
Ubisoft’s update doesn’t seem to confirm that relationships will be exorcised completely from the game. The context of it will merely be changed for those players who don’t want their Alexios and Kassandra to settle down into a heterosexual relationship. This does make a certain amount of sense as Legacy of the First Blade deals with the bloodline of proto-assassin Darius (predating even Bayek of Assassin’s Creed Origins) and his offspring.
It’s with this offspring, whose gender is determined by if the hero is Alexios or Kassandra, that a child is produced in the DLC. As it stands Darius’ son or daughter is set up as a clear romantic interest for Alexios or Kassandra. Even if the player chooses to rebuff their romantic advances in the game Alexios and Kassandra will always procreate with Darius’ child to advance their respective families’ bloodlines.
Ubisoft’s changes are a step in the right direction. It doesn’t make the initial decision any less bizarre. While the Assassin’s Creed series was built on bloodlines and ancestors of playable heroes continuing to exist into modern day, the series has since moved away from that conceit. As long as DNA is located from a character their memories can be “played” in game’s pseudo-scientific Animus. Alexios and Kassandra didn’t need to have a child to justify their existence in the Assassin’s Creed franchise but nevertheless a child does exist. Hopefully Ubisoft’s changes will be able to meld the series’ choice-focused present with its very linear bloodline past.