Ubisoft has finally officially confirmed the one-year rumors about an Assassin’s Creed Vikings game in development. With Valhalla’s announcement and the premiere of its first movie trailer, the big question now is what to expect from this next title in the Assassin’s Creed franchise’s video game series. Let’s try to answer several other key questions such as expectations regarding the exact release date, storylines and narrative instructions, new gameplay features, redesigned combat system mechanics and more!
I think it’s been over a year, almost a year and a half now, since I first heard rumors of an Assassin’s Creed Vikings game. Ubisoft insisted on remaining silent on the issue despite the multiple sources that have started to “confirm” it.
During the 2020 holiday season, we expect the Vikings to enter the Assassin’s Creed franchise with thunder and … sharp axes.
With the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins Three years ago, the studio made a massive turn in a new direction for the game series. A year later, they confirmed that the new direction and the new approach Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Both of these games offered massive open worlds with fewer limitations on exploration, side quests, and optional activities to help you immerse yourself in Ancient Egypt and Greece.
The all-new Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will take us to the world of the Vikings.
Ubisoft pointed out in one of its very first official press articles about the game that when they use the term “Vikings”, they don’t want to portray nasty barbarians with it.
“When we say “Vikings”, it is sort of used as a generic word. We know that in the West he conjures up the image of bullies and looters who destroyed monasteries all over Western Europe, but in reality it is a little more complicated than that. The term “Vikings” actually refers to an elite class in Nordic society. It was a certain group of people from the Nordic culture who were traders, explorers, excellent sailors, settlers and, yes, sometimes invaders and looters.“- Theyry Noel, historian and content consultant on the new game, explains.
The word “Viking” is mainly used in our culture to describe the northern nations of southern Scandinavia, which from the 8th to the 11th centuries approximately sailed, plundered and traded throughout Europe. Their expeditions also aimed to explore the vast unknown world. This is exactly what we expect from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
The film trailer and analysis, provided by Ubisoft in their own video Trailer Breakdown Dev Commentary, confirms that we are going to start Asassin’s Creed Valhalla as Eivor (pronounced as it is spelled), a Viking Raider from Norway.
Eivor can be a male or female character, it’s up to you. Same as the previous Odyssey game.
This is the story of Eivor that we are following here and this is what is most important, Ubisoft developers have repeatedly emphasized in interviews and blog posts.
You start the game from Norway, but you won’t stay there long. The main objective of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is to show the process of establishing your new colony on English soil.
If you’ve watched at least the first season of the Vikings TV series, you know how it would probably be and you know what to expect.
However, the game does not want to focus only on brutality. Sure, you’ll go ax in the battle against the Saxons first, but as the movie trailer very cleverly implied, these Vikings aren’t just there to loot and collect treasures.
One of your main tasks while playing the game is not only to establish your rules, but also to strive to extend, support and defend them.
Improving your colony and ensuring its future, helping it to thrive, will unlock new missions and gameplay options for you.
“In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, almost every decision you make will have lasting effects worldwide. Abuse will not be your only tactic for getting what you want; a silver tongue can be as effective as a steel sword in finding accommodation for your people. Changing the balance of power in England and expanding your influence through diplomacy will likely make you more friends than brute force. Each political alliance you build, the combat strategy you use and the choice of dialogue you make will change your course. “ – Ubisoft clarifies in a blog post.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will continue to build on what Origins Started and Odyssey have developed. The game will offer a giant open world for you to navigate and explore as your character progresses through levels, equipment and game mechanics.
Similar to the skirmishes you may have participated in Odyssey, in AC Valhalla, you will be able to participate in raids. The game “lets you conduct surprise longship attacks to loot enemy territories to get the resources you need most, or launch massive assaults on rival Saxon strongholds“
This is a Vikings game, so brutality and blood will be in abundance. It is not just an expectation. The trailer and the words of the developers confirm it. Raids will be among the most brutal experiences.
A new combat system has been designed to allow you to strike, dismember and behead your enemies. I would not expect it to be as complex as For honor offers. Valhalla will focus more on your character’s story and personality rather than the combat system.
As a true Viking Eivor, you will be able to wield axes – two-handed, one in each hand, a shield and an ax, even swords. Almost anything that is made of steel and that can help him defeat his enemies will be a weapon in his hand, it seems. The developers have even confirmed that you can use dual-purpose shields.
This last statement makes me wonder how exactly will balance work in the game. If you can combine just about any weapon, how will it affect the combat system and how will it get you challenge?
Balance for so many options and choices as well as the special abilities that Eivor should be able to learn and use, which can become a little too complex to manage and balance from the developer’s perspective.
Ubisoft promises that the variety of enemies you will encounter in AC Valhalla will be greater than ever. Of course, the hidden blade is going to be the only constant.
For this game, the hidden blade is mounted on the top of the arm, not below.
Eivor will meet assassins during his journey. He wouldn’t know exactly what it meant, at least not at first. The developers have confirmed that Eivor will work with these people. At some point in history, Eivor will receive the blade. Most likely as a reward for a mission, as an upgrade to its weapon arsenal.
The giant guy that Eivor fights in the movie trailer is a special type of enemy – The Head of the Ring. I think it would be like mini-bosses that you will encounter during the raids. Similar to the giant guys you fought in Odyssey, really. There, they were called differently, but I have the impression that it could be the new “Mercenaries”Type of enemy.
Special enemies (and maybe not only) will have certain weak spots and areas where you can hit them for a much more devastating effect.
In the trailer, we saw Eivor hitting the Ring Leader with his battle ax just in front of his stomach, but the armor seemed too hard and the weapon had just bounced. It is a good example that when you are fighting strong opponents, you have to pay attention to their weak points.
I would expect some ability to help you find these places. It is unclear how this information will be revealed and when, but based on my personal experience with several other titles, I would not be surprised if Eivor learns to see it at some point. Or maybe he would have it from the start. I hope for the former, not for the latter.
Now that I mentioned the hidden blade, I must admit that I somewhat share the ironic comments on the forums and Reddit that if this trailer was presented first on E3 or any other convention, the viewer would not recognize that it was an Assassin’s Creed game trailer until the end. .
True! Valhalla reminds me much more of a role-playing game based on the Vikings and that’s what I expect. Ubisoft has already demonstrated where they want to take this franchise with Origins and Odyssey. Valhalla should simply continue to follow this path.
The game will not be a typical classic Assassin’s Creed title. I expect it to be more of a story-based RPG than anything else. However…
“We have spent a lot of time overlapping and intertwining the wires to make sure that every moment feels really connected and integrated, that when you play this game you are not only in a Viking game, but in an Assassin’s Creed game– Narrative director Darby McDevitt explains.
I doubt that after what I have seen for so many countless hours with Origins and Odyssey myself.
Being different is not bad. I didn’t mind that the current scenes were minimized in the last two games. It didn’t bother me that the main character of Odyssey could be a man or a woman. It only gave me an extra incentive to replay the game.
Let’s go back to the trailer for some comments regarding the graphics you should expect from the new game.
The cutscene begins with a cold, dark, icy place – what seems to be a typical northern colony. The developers have confirmed that this is where you will start the game.
Shortly after, we see another Viking settlement. It’s a beautiful day, the grass is still green and the children are running and having fun instead of trembling with cold.
This is a wanted contrast and I expect him to be heavily involved in the history of the game. The Nordic people are looking for new land. They desperately need a less hostile environment in terms of the weather where they can grow and “live off the land,” as the Vikings TV Show likes to repeat from time to time.
I am far from thinking that what we have seen in the cutscene or in all the images and posters represents what we will actually see in the game. The graphics will be affected and a demotion is absolutely normal.
I don’t even think the trailer intends to represent what the actual graphics of the game will look like. Unlike other trailers and teasers, this one doesn’t advertise that it’s ‘content rendered in the engine.
In fact, I don’t think this movie trailer is revolutionary or anything invisible so far. It features incredibly detailed and well-modeled characters and environments, as does Blur’s SWTOR cutscene for KOTFE. Hell, even the Diablo 3 trailers are awesome, although they do show some of its age to date.
The most important thing to take away from the trailer regarding the visuals is that it is not intended to mislead the public as to what Valhalla will look like. Nowhere has Ubisoft or any of the developers made such a promise and we know how we gamers tend to exceed our expectations when we see cool cutscenes like this.
Sure, the graphics will be amazing and very detailed, but it would be a bad idea to have the false impression that Eivor will have so many details on his hair, beard, clothes.
Odyssey was an incredibly beautiful game and Valhalla will surely build on this aspect as on several others which I have already discussed in this article.
AC Valhalla will allow you to lead your own Nordic clan and help them establish their new life on English soil. It will not be easy.
The land can be fertile and the weather can be much more forgiving, but not the Saxons. They will meet you with hostility and try to drive you from their land, at least at first.
Based on the lessons and history notes, we know that the Nordic people quickly and successfully settled on the shores of England. What you will witness and play in the game is only a small part of the massive invasion that began towards the end of the 8th century.
Sailing on a long Viking ship will also be a basic gameplay mechanism in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. You can upgrade and modify your ship and crew
In conclusion, I am very impressed with this upcoming game. Even despite the little information we have right now, I think Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be worth your time and money.
It may not be a classic Assassin’s Creed game, but it doesn’t even bother me a bit. I expect the new mechanics and features that Valhalla is introducing will be worth it and we will not feel like we are playing a “Viking Odyssey” if you understand my meaning.
Speaking of money – Valhalla comes in what is now traditional for Ubisoft – an abundance of different game editions and packages.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will have a Season Pass, which means you should expect continued coverage after release with free and paid DLCs.
And the release date? The film trailer announces “Holiday 2020”. Although the current situation in which everyone, including game developers, of course, works from home, is a bit risky and I would not rule out a possible delay.
It is perhaps for this reason that Ubisof does not wish to announce a more precise or more exact exit deadline.
The 2020 vacation means some time between late November and early December. This is when you need to prepare for the Vikings to invade your PC or console.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Epic Games, Uplay and Stadia. It is also available for pre-order.
If you missed the two videos that I often refer to in this article, here they are:
Note: all images used in this article are from ubisoft.com and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla press articles and the trailer.