Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Assassin’s Creed Shadows Is Both Stunning And Brave, And LGBTQ

By Baiting Irrelevance May27,2024

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is making quite the splash online. It has been some time since there has been this much conversation around an Assassin’s Creed game. The previous release was so underwhelming that I did not even know about it until recently. Now, I will admit that I am a big fan of these games, particularly the newer releases. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Origins are two of my all-time favorite games. I bought them both on sale, and they were two of my best purchases ever. While I never got to play Valhalla when it was released, it has always been on my list.

It has been long since anything related to Ubisoft grabbed my attention. The biggest thing that has always drawn me to these games was the settings. Playing in ancient Rome, Greece, or Egypt gives you a special feeling. When I heard Assassin’s Creed was going to ancient Japan, I got my excitement back. However, when you hear samurai, you think Japanese and Asian. Ubisoft, though, had different plans. The story of Shadows took an unexpected turn when it was announced that it would follow a black protagonist. It was an interesting choice, considering that the game is supposed to highlight Japanese samurai culture.

While Assassins Creed is not known for its accurate history lessons, it has always showcased historic environments well. The last few games showcased Egypt, Rome, Norway, and India. Japan now adds an extra dimension by considering the country’s cultural and racial background. Due to Ubisoft’s decision not to highlight Asian characters, there was obvious backlash. However, defenders of the decision were quick to highlight the fact that this Black samurai was, in fact, a real person on retainer.

Assassin's Creed Shadows
Assassin’s Creed Shadows

The Assassin’s Creed Shadows Problem

I will admit that this Black samurai holds some historical accuracy. However, there is a debate on whether he was a samurai or simply a retainer. Further, I will admit that this choice does not bother me too much. I am fine with the decision and will consider trying the game. However, I do understand why some will be annoyed. Further, I am more annoyed by defenders of this decision and how they act towards those who question it. It is always the hypocrisy that gets me the most.

While I understand that a black samurai could be historically accurate, I do not understand why the story needs to center around him instead of Japanese people. Yes, there might have been one black samurai, but there were also hundreds of Japanese samurai. Could you really not find any Asian samurai to center your story around while trying to highlight this culture? I, for instance, am from South Africa. Here, we have traditional African tribes such as the Son, Koi, and Zulu. I want to highlight the African Zulu tribe and culture, and thus, I am going to tell their story.

The story will center around Steve, the White guy. Now, Steve is a real person, and he was, in fact, part of the Zulu tribe. He came over, was accepted by the tribe, and lived his whole life with the Zulu’s. It is a beautiful story. However, when I want to highlight the Zulu Culture, surely my story should not be focused on Steve, the white guy. There are thousands of Zulu’s on which I can focus. I do not need to focus on the one white guy, even if he was real. This specific story is made up, but you get my point.

Assassin's Creed Shadows Samurai
Assassin’s Creed Shadows Samurai

LGBTQ In The Shadows

In addition, you will now be able to form relationships with gay characters. While the main character himself will not be gay as a default, you can steer them in that direction. Now, again, I do not have an issue with this. If you are straight and you want a love interest of the opposite sex, you are still free to do so. However, if someone else wants to play the game in a different way, they should also feel free to do that. Ultimately, I understand that this is just a game. It is not a history lesson.

However, we also know that all the outlets supporting this decision would have a full mental breakdown for months if they centered a white person in the middle of a story about another race or group. I will be consistent with my views. I have no issues with this choice of protagonist. If they want to highlight a black man as the main focus of their story, they should do so. But I understand how Japanese people will feel playing this. Your culture is being highlighted in a game that has no concern for your people.

You can dismiss this as simply a group of racist people who do not like black people in video games, but that is a horrible way to frame the underlying issue. Japanese culture should highlight Japanese people at the center of the story. In any other case, those defending this decision would agree.

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