Blog #5 Ancient History in Modern Media

The video game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is set in the year 431 BC and based on the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. In the video game you fight for the Delian League, led by Athens, or the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. The video game Assassins Creed as accurate and inaccurate historical features based on the outfits, the gods and goddesses mentioned, historical events, buildings, and monuments.   

The game developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wanted to base the game on accurate historical events. The landscape and cities created in the game look very good and accurate to the actual cities during that time based on reams of surviving data. The architecture has a lot of attention to detail making you feel as if you are actually there during that time. Some snapshots of the game have been compared to real sites in Greece and look almost identical. The game places a great emphasis on the actual fighting aspect during that time. The weapons carried on the backs of the soldiers, light armor, even the argive grip of shields. The Ancient Greek culture is heavily depended on mythology, so the developers of the video game made sure to include their gods and myths. Praise has also been lavished on the amount of depth provided in descriptions of real-life historical figures, as well as the underpinnings of the Peloponnesian War. It creates a game that is dressed in period appropriate clothes – statues, buildings, and the culture of the time are largely accurate and full of details that historians will be thrilled to see brought to life. 

While the game developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey wanted to base the game on accurate historical events, they also mixed in inaccurate content to keep the Assassin’s Creed feel of the game. Some weapons they use in the video game are not from the time period. The sidearm xiphores the game uses does not match the historical look they actually were. Another inaccurate concept is in the armor, the video game gives the characters arm armor for protection. This idea is inaccurate because nor Athens or Sparta used arm armor due to how they lined up in battle. Their arms were protected by a shield that each fighter had. Besides armor and weapons being inaccurate the mythical creatures presented in the video game were inaccurate. Medusa and the Minotaur can be encountered in and fought in side-quests. Including these monsters surely throws out all pretense of Odyssey being true to history. The video game added fighting these monsters so the gamer can have an engagement with a story. The Assassins Creed Odyssey video game does give accurate information but also gives inaccurate information.

The authors and creators made the choice to differ from accurate history because it gives the story more depth. Everyone knows how the Peloponnesian war ends. While playing a video game you don’t want to know your ending until you reach it. By throwing in the event of fighting Medusa and the Minotaur, the player does not know the ending because this event didn’t happen in history. By changing armor and weapons from the accurate historical facts, the person playing the game has more choices of advanced weapons and more protected armor. Changing historical facts makes the video unpredictable and gives the player a more enjoyable experience. 

The video game Assassins Creed Odyssey has its accurate historical context and its inaccurate historical context. But overall most of the outfits, the gods and goddesses mentioned, historical events, buildings, and monuments were all accurate to the Ancient Greek time period.  

Tyler Rogers

Word Count: 597

One thought on “Blog #5 Ancient History in Modern Media

  1. I can relate to this post in a way because I was a big fan of Assassins Creed growing up. One point that you made that I agree with is the fact the landscape is very accurate and the feel you get seems to feel right and aligns with what you would think those times were like, as you mentioned. Everything is almost an exact replica of what the places once were. You also made a great point by saying the game developers did a good job by not being too accurate with the history. The Peloponnesian war is very documented and covered in most history books. Therefore, the developers had to throw the players for a loop so they would stay engaged. This is were the inaccuracy of history in this game was very necessary for the players sake. You, said If the game developers did not do this then the ending of the game would have been easy to predict, which I agree with.

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