UPDATE: A Ubisoft spokesperson has issued somewhat of an apology in response to Eurogamer's take on the situation. We have included this response at the bottom of this article as there are some slight spoilers even in Ubisoft's cautious response.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey represented a positive change for the workhorse franchise, shaking things up by offering a choice of protagonist and a variety of quest and romantic options throughout the experience. One of the most talked about elements on social media since the game's release is the fluidity of the options for relationships. Players can not only choose whether they are a man or a woman, but they can choose their romantic orientation, whether to be faithful to a single chosen partner or pursue many casual relationships — or choose the solitary life of a misthios and eschew romance entirely. Ubisoft have made the bizarre decision to throw all of that good faith away and railroad the protagonist into a pretty serious romantic decision.
*** MAJOR spoilers for the end game and Legacy of the First Blade DLC content ahead. ***
Legacy of the First Blade sees Alexios or Kassandra fight alongside the first wielder of the hidden blade Darius, and the first episode of this three-part arc also introduces us to Darius' son (if you are Kassandra) or daughter (if you are Alexios). While there are a few moments of potential flirtation or romance between the hero and Darius' progeny in the first episode, it's entirely up to the player to interpret or ignore these moments.
Not so in the second episode. As some of you may have seen, there's a secret achievement in "Shadow Heritage" that pops when you complete the DLC's main quest arc — and your hero decides to have a baby with Darius' opposite-gendered child. It certainly doesn't help that this achievement is called "Growing Up" — as if having a baby is a necessary step to becoming an adult. Even worse than this is the fact that it negates all of the various romantic options Ubisoft championed during their own marketing campaign. Player choice here, certainly romantically, falls far short of the likes of The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect, and has left many players thoroughly disappointed. It's especially galling to those who have decided to play their misthios as gay, polygamous or entirely uninterested in the pursuit of romance or family. As Kotaku reports, even if you refuse the advances of either Natakas or Neema events still play out the same way, and you end up having a baby.
Assassin's Creed has spent several iterations moving away from the idea of necessarily needing a bloodline connection between the past and the present day — current modern-day protagonist Layla Hassan isn't related to Alexios or Kassandra, and players have been hopping into any old memory since Black Flag. So it remains a total mystery why Ubisoft would suddenly abandon all of the hard work they have done to convert the series into an RPG. The third episode may attempt to explain things, but for many this expansion of the misthios' story has soured the character's whole journey.
Here is Ubisoft's response to Eurogamer:
"We strive to give players choice whenever possible in Odyssey and apologise to those surprised by the events in this episode... you will engage in an important relationship as part of a set story. The motivation behind this relationship is yours to explore in game and will be reflected in your character's story arc. There is one episode left in Legacy of the First Blade which will tie your character's actions together."We will have to wait and see whether the third chapter of this tale can smooth things over.
We've got the full list of Assassin's Creed Odyssey achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
Check out our Best Xbox Stealth Games Available in 2018 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.