Note: This article contains spoilers further down the page. The first three paragraphs contain no spoilers.
The second episode of Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade has launched, and many who have completed the latest DLC instalment aren't happy. As it turns out, Episode 2: Shadow Heritage potentially ignores your role-playing choices up to this point -- a key part of Odyssey -- and forces your character to do something significant for the sake of the plot.
Needless to say, the fan backlash is growing by the minute as this news spreads, but Ubisoft is yet to comment. Player choice was billed as a core component of Odyssey throughout the game's marketing campaign and beyond, and although Alexios and Kassandra are predetermined characters to some degree, you're still free to shape them in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
Having that choice suddenly torn away seems like a baffling decision on Ubisoft's part. Surely the company saw this backlash coming?
We're being vague because we don't want to spoil anything here in the main body of the article, but if you do want the full story, feel free to keep scrolling.
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Okay, so here's the deal. In this DLC series, your main character, Alexios or Kassandra, meets an old man named Darius and his daughter or son. The sex of his child is based on the character that you're playing, so Alexios players get a woman named Neema, while Kassandra players get a man named Natakas.
And guess what? At the end of this second DLC episode, Alexios has a baby with Neema, or Kassandra has a baby with Natakas -- and there's no way that you can avoid this. You can even decline the romantic advances of Neema or Natakas, but nothing will actually change -- you'll still end the episode as either a father or a mother.
Obviously this is a story that Ubisoft wants to tell, and that would be fine if not for the fact that the game has been built on the idea of player choice. Of course, the whole thing becomes even more questionable when you consider the fact that Odyssey lets you decide your character's sexuality. Both Alexios and Kassandra can be straight, gay, or bisexual, but even if they're not interested in the opposite sex, or sex in general, they'll still be forced to have a child. Again, how did Ubisoft not see players reacting badly to this?
At present it's unclear how this situation will unfold. We imagine that Ubisoft will acknowledge the issue at some point, but who knows whether it'll actually do anything about it. We immediately think back to Mass Effect 3 and BioWare updating the end of the game at the behest of fans, but given that this is the second episode of a three-part DLC series, the third and final episode is likely to feature your character's child.
It's a bit of a mess, isn't it? We'll have a full review of Shadow Heritage for you soon, but until then, let us know what you make of this in the comments section below.