Romance Options and Controversy in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

In Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, players are able to romance any romanceable NPC regardless of selected gender at the beginning of the game. These romance scenes are completely alike, except for the gender of the player character. Fans and critics have praised the series for its decision to include sexual fluidity, mirroring the norms of the time the game takes place in. Others have critiqued it, saying certain representations are harmful stereotypes and that queer relationships should not always be portrayed as the same as non-queer relationships or that the gay options skew towards WLW (women loving women) relationships.

Additionally, controversy over the game’s second episode of the Legacy of the First Blade DLC, Shadow Heritage, added to the ire towards the game’s representation of same-sex relationships. In this second episode, regardless of previous actions with NPCs in-game, players found their characters forced into a heterosexual relationship where they had a child. Following the outrage over this, Ubisoft and the game’s creative director made several apologies and patched the DLC content to make the relationship able to be non-romantic and purely for bloodline continuation. Fans and critics have also critiqued this patch, saying it doesn’t fix the underlying problem. Despite this, GLAAD nominated Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey as part of its first ever gaming category of its annual awards for outstanding LGBTQ representation in media, saying that “progress can sometimes be messy“.

LGBTQ references in this game series:

Assassin’s Creed (2007): Abu’l Nuqoud

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010): Leonardo da Vinci and Salaì

Assassin’s Creed III (2012): Harlan Cunningham and Arend Schut Cunningham

Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014): Marquis de SadeChevalier d’Éon

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015): Jacob FryeMaxwell RothNed WynertLewis

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (2018): Romance Options and Controversy

See QRM’s entry for this game.


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