Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series has got as many and arguably more people interested in history as Epic Rap battles of History, or Drunk History. With a painstaking amount of detail, each game has successfully brought to life various times in history, and players have loved the ability to deep dive into eras only seen on a screen or read about in books. The series let players experience a ton of moments in time like the French Revolution, Spanish Inquisition, the Golden Age of Piracy, the Ming Dynasty, The Slave Trade, The American Revolution, and even the October Revolution. In its last two games, the series time hopped and went back to the founding of the order in Ancient Egypt and the Hellenic period and now looks to be exploring the era of the Vikings in the new series Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In a recent release of the trailer for the game, we got our first real glimpses of what it will look like. Here is what we know so far.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Early reports were that the game was named Ragnarok, but if that was the original name or project code name per the announcement made April 30th with the release of the first trailer from the game, the official title is Valhalla. Valhalla, which is the Norse version of Heaven, while not a far cry from Ragnarok it is definitely not the doom and gloom that the latter conjures being the term for the end times.
Based on rumors, speculation, and now finally the trailer, we can pin down that the game will be taking place during the time of the Vikings in 9th century Europe. The Vikings played a significant role in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages, especially during the Viking Age, which was from 800 CE through the early 1000s CE. In fact, the word Viking means to raid in old Norse.
While in Odyssey, you had the choice of two characters with different storylines. Valhalla returns to the mono protagonist ethos having you take on the role of Eivor. Eivor is an accomplished Viking raider who, after facing years of war and dwindling resources, has decided to move his people to England. Despite the trailer, which makes Eivor bearing an uncanny resemblance to well many of the lead dudes from Viking shows on the air. You will also have the choice of making him male or female as well as being able to customize your character’s appearance y changing their hair, tattoos, clothing, war paint and gear, a very new feature in the AC universe.
While traditional AC has been “move around and explore,” Valhalla seems to be building off of titles like Black Flag, AC 2 and Brotherhood with including a home base component. In Valhalla, you are responsible for a settlement where you can see your people live and interact. Your actions in the game weigh heavily on the development or detriment to the settlement as you can build buildings, invite people, and other features that make the settlement a major part of the game.
One major aspect of all of the AC games has been the evolving style of combat. The games have come far from the first iterations and have evolved into an engaging combat system that has included handheld, ranged, dual wielding, and naval fighting. Initial reports suggest that there will be an emphasis on having built on the Origins and Odyssey combat systems, which allowed dual-wielding as well as a wide array of weapons and gear to accentuate your playstyle. What also makes a return is a naval warfare. After being such a hit in Black Flag, it has found its way into subsequent games, and with naval warfare being a massive part of the Viking mythos, it will be a welcomed addition to the game.
The Story So Far
With the title switch from Ragnarok to Valhalla, one wonders if the emphasis on the period’s mythology will play the same role in Valhalla. Odyssey almost merged AC and God of War with its introduction of the actual Egyptian gods into the game. Odyssey taped into this as well, weaving the Hellenic gods into the adventure. So one would speculate if AC will continue their bringing in of mythology into the game or will it go for a more nuanced take as they did in the earlier games.
What we do know from the trailer is that Eivor will be leading the Vikings into England. There will be raids, battles, and one of the widely known historical conflicts between the Saxon and the Vikings. How this plays into the story of the Assassins and the Templars we aren’t entirely aware of yet. While Eivor in the trailer did have the wrist blade, which would usually signify he’s involved with the Assassins.
The game is a holiday 2020 releases on several platforms, including Xbox, Playstation, and PC.