The newly enabled discovery mode in Assassin’s Creed: Origins may be one of the most historically accurate ways to explore ancient Egypt, but at least one detail has been altered to match modern conservative sensibilities. Statues of nude figures have been censored with seashells (generally not seen in ancient art and also very uncommon for Egyptian art particularly). While this isn’t unheard of, after all, even Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel has been censored in similar ways.
The change is probably just reflective of Ubisoft heading off any possible outcry by concerned parents worried about their children looking at stone genitalia. That said, for a mode designed to do nothing more than show off the glorious artistic achievements of ancient Egypt, the censorship seems a bit overzealous and counterproductive. Especially covering nude statues with seashells. Egypt isn’t exactly known for its depiction of seashells, after all.
The fact that there isn’t an age gate or option to remove the censoring also seems to be a bit absurd. After all, its not like nude statues are uncommon in the world of ancient art, nor are they pornographic.
The censorship has yet to evoke the normal art censorship debate, but I’m sure that will follow relatively soon.
The Discovery Tour launched on February 20th and lets you just wander in the world Ubisoft so painstakingly recreated. Four years of historic research went into building the game’s world, and short of a time machine it’s about as close as you can get to walking the streets of Giza.