Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s most recent DLC expansion, Shadow Heritage, attracted a lot of backlash against its ending, which concludes with your player character ending up in a heterosexual relationship and having a child. In response to criticism, Ubisoft is apparently looking to make some alterations to the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s DLC to better reflect the player choices of those whose Kassandras or Alexios’ would not have decided to settle down and have a kid.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released last year to much acclaim, especially regarding implementation of player choice throughout the narrative. Players could customise, to a certain extent, the protagonist Kassandra or Alexios’ personality and sexual preferences. This includes being able to play the character as completely homosexual if they preferred.
In a Ubisoft forum, a Ubisoft Quebec community manager has announced that “After hearing player feedback and discussing within the development team 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, they have stated that the next DLC, Bloodline, will be designed “to ensure the paths that players experience mirror the choices they make in game”. This will presumably include giving players more agency over their character’s sexuality in the DLC missions.
In addition to essentially retconning a homosexual player character as straight, the achievement title you receive for settling down and having a child is called “Growing Up”, which rather uncomfortably implies that their same-sex relationships were some sort of adolescent phase, and ending up in a monogamous straight relationship is the ultimate goal of any adult. I probably don’t need to go into detail about why that’s a fairly horrible message to be reinforcing to the LGBT+ community.
Admittedly, it is hard to know just how extensive any changes to the DLC would be. Whilst changing the achievement title is a good first step, new scenes would need to be added to provide a resolution for players who would not have played their characters as heterosexual. This hearkens back to the infamous backlash to Mass Effect 3’s ending(s), which was hastily expanded upon with free DLC not long after release.
Mass Effect 3’s ending was also criticised for ignoring choices made throughout the game. The Extended Cut ending at least, to a certain extent, provided closure that fans were happier with. Hopefully, Ubisoft can win back some of the trust of the LGBT+ community that it lost with Shadow Heritage’s ending, and allow queer players to have their in-game choices recognised in the story.