“Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent” is one of the tenets of the Brotherhood of Assassins.
But Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes place some centuries before those rules existed at all. It stands to reason that accidentally side-swiping civilians in the middle of a heated battle isn’t a game-over condition.
In fact, sometimes killing civilians is self-defense, because said civilians are kicking your damn ass.
Being able to aggro civilians isn’t new for open-world games, but it’s pretty new for Assassin’s Creed. In previous games, your interactions with civilians ranged from pickpocketing them to fist-fighting them, but you had to beware — a misplaced hidden blade could de-sync you and send you back to the last checkpoint. Ezio did not stab those people in the throat!
In Assassin’s Creed Origins, there didn’t seem to be consequences for hurting civilians, though there was a pop-up warning the player that Medjay were not supposed to kill the innocent. Meanwhile, any civilians you whacked would immediately flee the scene.
But in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I often find a furious villager joining in heated battles with Athenian guards. They’ll initially run — to grab a weapon — and then they’ll be back, brave and foolish, to pit their brooms or tiny knives against your sword. Sometimes you can’t help but kill them, man. They’re just there.
The first time that I noticed a man had begun beating Kassandra over the head with a frying pan, I laughed out loud. Every time I accidentally antagonize a civilian is ridiculously funny. I want to tell them they shouldn’t bother beating me with a broom, but there’s no time for such niceties in war.
The best I can do is try not to hit them again.