It’s happened, Ubisoft have fulfilled their promise and begun changes to the controversial Shadow Heritage DLC for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This change starts with a patch update that renames a questionable trophy name for the endgame of the DLC titled ‘Growing Up.’ Reasons for outrage with not only this issue but others were justified, especially within the LGBT community and some of the story-line spoilers will be referred to below.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey released late last year and received high acclaim for Ubisoft, this is in part due to its iconic setting but also the fact that it is the first Assassin’s Creed title to introduce a romance option that celebrates player choice. This new mechanic meant that players could determine the protagonists, Alexios or Kassandra’s sexuality, even opting for same sex orientation if they wish and this was something widely championed by the community. You can then imagine the surprise and anger when at the end of DLC Legacy of the First Blade‘s second episode, Shadow Heritage, no matter whether you were playing as Alexios or Kassandra, the protagonist becomes a parent.
This choice in the DLC was questionable considering Ubisoft’s choice to market the game’s romance option as open and for the player and more so, both protagonists in the game are mercenaries and aren’t the type to “settle down.” Then pops up the trophy or achievement name and LGBT players justifiably were distraught.
Spending your whole time playing this Ancient Greek fantasy, romancing whoever you like, with even some players not feeling safe to pursue these relationships in real life then being told that non-straight sexualities aren’t valid and are “a phase” that results inevitably in shacking down with someone of the opposite sex and having a child. It’s a narrative LGBT people have heard before in their own life and then to face this in a fantasy setting understandably lead to anger by many.
Ubisoft took on this criticism when the DLC released last month in January, and promised changes and this renaming of the achievement from “Growing Up” to “Blood of Leonidas” seems to be the start of these changes. The change was present in the patch of PlayStation 4 once the trophies are open, however receiving the trophy still results in the previous title popping up until you view it in the trophy list.
Despite the achievement change in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there is yet to be specific word on any other changes that are to come with the DLC, which is curious as the game was nominated for a GLAAD award. The changes no doubt will be viewed with mixed reception: whether it’s a case of PR covering their backs, welcome change or a case of “too little, too late,” time will tell.