I played Assassin’s Creed growing up and as a kid, I focused on all the cool ways to kill bad guys, gain weapons, and upgrade to the latest armor rather than investing time into understanding the historical context the game explores. As an adult, I appreciate the creative aspect of the game, which is incredibly important to the creator’s intent for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. For this verion of the game, it explores Ancient Greece, which is a time period that lends itself to opportunities to be creative for a historical sake rather than just trying to sell a video game. There is a purpose behind straying from the facts due to the Greek’s love of being playful with stories themselves. It is historically accurate to be creative within Greek storytelling, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey does a fantastic job of blending the components of history and creativity in order to deliver a fun, yet informative, game.
The Ancient Greeks were renowned storytellers and often changed how the details of the stories were told, whether it was for entertainment value or political gain. Alexander the Great used Zeus’s legacy as leverage to gain trust from his people for the legitimacy of the throne. Alexander the Great’s stay in Egypt led to his trip to the oracle of Ammon at Swiah, where the author of “Demand” writes:
The consultation was private, and Alexander kept the details of it to himself. Thus none
of our sources can speak with authority about the exact questions that Alexander posed to
the oracle, nor about its precise answers. But all agree that the oracle’s responses
confirmed Alexander’s suspicions that he was the son of the god. (318)
Alexander’s use of the oracle’s suspicious reading further secured his crown in Ancient Greece. His storytelling dramatized his lineage and symbolizes a common Greek practice. In general, Greek’s enjoyed the art of storytelling, which allowed for Alexander to play into this tradition as a political advantage.
The Assassin’s Creed creators used the Greek’s storytelling freedom to create a fun, yet historical, plot in the Odyssey edition. The creative aspect the story’s details is a fundament part of Ancient Greece, and became a source of inspiration for the creators of Assassin’s Creed to creative their own visions of Greek stories. The fundamental elements of architecture, political structure, and clothes was representative of the time period, but gaps in the Ancient Greek history allowed the studio to create their own details. The creators mirrored the way the Greeks expressive their creativities with story and paid homage to the Greek’s embellishment of stories; The choice of having mythical monsters like Medusa and over-the-top battles was more than just a ploy to entice people to play the game; the plot stayed true to the Greek’s love of dramatizing stories by detailing already well-known myths.
The game’s ability to tell theatrical stories while in a rather historically accurate stage is an entertaining way to exam history. Not only did it explore the fundamental aspects of politics, architecture, and clothing, but it exposed the sublet truth that Greeks enjoyed myths and changed stories for entertainment value. The game gained the freedom to tell a fun story based on facts because of the Greek attitude towards storytelling, which is the perfect set-up for a video game trying to stay historically accurate. This version differs in details surrounding historical myths, but much like Alexander the Great, the use of storytelling and creativity is a fundamental part to the video game’s success.
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