Photo is my own from Odyssey’s photo mode.
Warning: Slight spoilers for the main events of the game, major spoilers for the second episode of the Legacy of the First Blade DLC. For this article, I will be talking in terms of Kassandra, as that is the protagonist I am playing for Odyssey.
Note: This is one of many angry articles about the DLC. Ubisoft has issued an apology (which I frankly do not accept, as it is a ‘you’ll see why this happened’ apology), and you can see the various endings to the episode here
ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY touted itself as a game where you can choose to play your character by whatever sexuality you wanted. My Kassandra is bisexual with a preference for women. She’s turned down both men and women, but honestly, she’s slept with so many people that decent people everywhere would be offended (slight reference to the Office there).
First, let’s just talk romance in general. Odyssey is a game that creators said was influenced by Bioware’s romance-option filled games. However, romance in Odyssey is generally seen as nothing more than a distraction, which to me, is a huge disappointment in itself. I was hoping for romance with a companion or something. Even if the person does not join the crew, it would not be a stretch for Kassandra to visit them from time to time. Most romantic escapades even end in betrayal and/or death. Ultimately, I was left feeling like Kassandra could only be happy alone. That is fine in and of itself, because really, no one person needs another person to make them happy. But, with how tragic Kassandra’s story, a happy ending with a romantic partner (again, preferably a woman for my canon) would have been nice. But, I accepted that Kassandra would just continue her story alone.
However, this all collapsed with the release of Shadow Heritage, which is the second episode of the Legacy of the First Blade DLC.
In the first episode, they seemed to set up a heterosexual romance. This was confirmed in the second episode. No matter what option you choose, you end up in this romance. With a son. Granted, the son is cute, and Kassandra makes a great mother (which, again, made me a little happy because it is what I wanted for Kassandra). It just did not happen in the way I wanted or with whom I wanted. Further, the fact that, again I will repeat, no matter what option you choose, you get this ending, is really bothering. You can say goodbye!!!!! But, you’ll still end up settled down with a kid. That is crazy to me. First of all, what if people were playing their characters as gay? This just completely puts that in shambles. It’s sort of a big “eff you” to the fans. You can’t just promote a game saying you can play the protagonists with whatever sexuality you want, only to release a storyline where the protagonists end up in a heterosexual relationship. That is a huge stab in the back to the fans.
I almost got sick when I saw the scenes play out and read all about how people did not pursue the romance options, yet they still got trapped into those relationships. It is really disturbing to me. That is likely because I am very dramatic. But, this dramatic person believes that all sexualities are valid and that for a company to tout such a thing, Ubisoft really swept the rug out from under the fans’ feet. And that isn’t cool.
Ubisoft says that all will be explained in the third episode, which will likely be released in 6 weeks. While I am eager to see their explanation for this, I am really disappointed with this new development. In a time where many LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination all over the world, many turn to video games as a safe haven, particularly those role-playing games where you can have your character follow your own sexuality and not face discrimination over it (granted, I’m sure not all RPGs are like this, but in Dragon Age at least, there was no overt discrimination about sexuality to my knowledge). Fundamentally, this development was a huge blow to many LGBTQ+ fans of the game, myself included.