Many things have happened since the official cinematic launch of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. For example, anyone who has been to Reddit in the last 48hrs will have noticed the “Odin is with us” meme circulating, for one thing.
The other thing that happened is the rumor mill fired up on all cylinders, and a raft of YouTubers decided to get in front of their webcams and spew as much nonsense inside of fifteen minutes as possible. However, there were some good details that came to light, which were pure speculation of course – but still worthy of note.
Ubisoft’s Ashraf Ismail, game director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, gave a quick interview with IGN, and spoke of the Viking period as being “the most asked for time period”. This is understandable. Consider the Vikings series on the History channel. It came out of nowhere, receiving critical acclaim, giving us a visceral look at the Vikings and their quest for domination in Europe. It went on to become everyone’s favorite replacement for Game of Thrones.
So Ubisoft’s timing could not be more perfect. Of course, there will be many comparisons to For Honor, but they did after all make it in the first place. They may have even used some of the visuals and audio from For Honor, which we’ll soon find out about from keyboard warriors in the first 24 hours of release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Release: Holiday 2020
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X
If the interview with Ashraf Ismail is anything to go by, we can expect some depth to the game – much like the others in the ever popular series. he spoke of “intrigue” and “politics”, which feature heavily in other AC games. He also mentioned the Viking culture and belief systems, so are we to assume there will be some nods toward the more supernatural aspect of the Viking culture? It would certainly be interesting, and a slight deviation from the usual AC fayre.
England in the age of the Vikings is a fractured nation of petty lords and warring kingdoms. Beneath the chaos lies a rich and untamed land waiting for a new conqueror. Will it be you?
The hero, Eivor, is a raider and leader among the Viking community. The game opens with Eidor and Co. setting sail for England’s green and pleasant lands, hoping to make a better life for the Viking community he leads, away from the political pressures, war and limited space for growth back home in Norway.
Players can expect to empathize with the main characters, and absorb some of the atmosphere of Norway, in all its splendor. They will, also, experience the harsh reality of an existence in such a savage environment. The player’s goal will be to create a thriving settlement in England, and create a better life for the Viking settlers.
Ismail says that the settlement aspect is “at the heart of the game”, and a large motivation for the player. In effect, you are building a new home, and the decisions you make will grow the settlement or affect it negatively. This will be welcome news for those who like more depth to a hack & slash, other than the discovery and upgrade of weapons, armor and fighting moves. Black Flag was a prime example of what can be done in the Assassin’s Creed universe, as far as resource building.
Building A Home In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will include a variety of buildings for the player to erect, with each building having its own purpose within gameplay. This encourages the player to develop their home – and their journey – in the game. By creating an organic aspect to the game, Ismail tells us the decisions the player makes will affect the events in the game.
“Assassin’s Creed is always about exploring pivotal moments in history, besides being the most asked for time periods, this is one of the moments that changed the face of Europe and England… This gave birth to the England we know today”Ashraf Ismail, Game Director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Eivor’s personal journey will also be explored, along with Norse belief systems and mythology. The depth of this is unknown, but safe to say Eivor’s “Odin is with us” quote is a big nod toward his beliefs and personality. Odin was little known for his quiet, apathetic nature. Expect blood. Expect gore. Expect epic battle sequences.
Ismail also pointed out that Valhalla takes full advantage of the Xbox Series X and the faster loading times, making for better immersion in the Norse world. Ismail spoke in great detail about the “immersive aspect” of the game, and it is very clear that Ubisoft want to offer the player more than just a game… they want to offer immersive, emotional involvement.
“Become Eivor, a Viking raider raised to be a fearless warrior, and lead your clan from icy desolation in Norway to a new home amid the lush farmlands of ninth-century England. Find your settlement and conquer this hostile land by any means to earn a place in Valhalla.“
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