Ubisoft announced the latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Valhalla on Wednesday with a very extensive 4-hour long through a live-stream drawing with BossLogic. The stream ended with a beautiful piece of the game’s new hero surrounded by some stunning scenery where naval and hand-to-hand battles take place. I guess with the cancel of E3 this year and other conventions, publishers have to get creative, and boy did Ubisoft do it hear. Eccentric although entertaining. Today we had the Cinematic Reveal which announced that game would be released later this year. The standard, gold, ultimate and collectors edition will all be available to pre-order for PS4, Xbox One, and PC immediately.

This brutal and bloody cinematic trailer confirms that Valhalla will take place during the reign of King Alfred the Great (886 AD – 899 AD), the narrator. What starts as a romanticised introduction to the Vikings life it quickly turns as King Alfred utters, “The time has come to speak to them in a language they will understand”, all too unhappy about the invasion. War is coming, and Eivor must take a stand with his friends and family to defeat the Anglo-Saxon army.

Thoughts

I’ve got to say I’m excited. The Vikings are an era that I’m fond of, and Norse mythology is right up my street, it could be an exciting time ahead for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Reading through the Ubisoft store, it looks like we’re in for more RPG elements, more sea battles, and more gruesome hand-to-hand combat. If you read my previous AC post: The Beginning of the End, you will know I wasn’t a fan of Odyssey. Due to its size, it just felt empty at times, had little depth in the story, and the characters were flat. I still haven’t touched the game since that post. With reportedly 14 studios working on the title it looks like it could be bigger, but I’m hoping fingers crossed that they fill it with exciting content this time around.

The size of the map is my biggest worry; however, the game taking place in England will have a smaller surface area to deal with and a lot fewer islands thankfully. It is also a place where many settlements were popping up over the place, giving Ubisoft a lot more idea on what they can use within the land. Valhalla adds a settlement-building mechanic that allows you to upgrade buildings and unlock new bonuses. Fingers crossed for York or Jórvík, one of the significant Norse settlement, which I feel that would be a nice touch. This seems to be your clan’s base of operation from which launch attracts on the Saxon armies and fortresses. Claiming their riches and helping expand your influence on England. You can also choose to develop relationships with several of the lords who rule over the divided country to aide you in your quest. Hopefully, these are well developed and realistic and add to the narrative of the game rather than becoming forgettable names.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Assassin vs Templar dynamic works in this invasion, I was hoping for an invasion of England in this game. I would have liked to have seen them take on the monasteries and strip them of their wealth. The monasteries and churches could have been the larger Templar Order within the Catholic Church. However, I don’t think the Assassin Order or the Templar Order will be given their most-known name in Valhalla, as the past two entries have focused on the origin of these two parties. A significant part of the trailer is the Norse warrior seeing Odin leaning on a tree during the battle, so I’m assuming there is some interaction with the Gods in this game. Perhaps part of the Isu. I’m sure Odin, Freyr, Thor, and co. will make a special appearance in the game.

I’m sure changes to the combat will be made, throwing axes look to be replacing the bow, and it seems to be more close combat rather than ranged. The Vikings prided themselves on skill in battle, so I believe that Ubisoft will consider this with the stealth mechanics as well. Odyssey and Origins both allowed you to take manoeuvre quietly around forts and such, I see less focus on stealth in Valhalla and expect Eivor to be a lot more about brute force. Lets not kid ourselves, the previous two entries were far from games where you played as a ‘stealthy assasin’ and that certainly looks the case in Valhalla.

Although I have issues with Odyssey as I do other games, I believe that some of the mechanics introduced in the previous two entries will fit better with the story and Viking setting in Valhalla. Despite this, there is a worry about the size of the game, lack of focus on narrative, and a bad levelling up system creating a bad experience, which was my experience in the previous instalment, valuing quantity over quality. Overall, I’m excited to play this game. Assassin’s Creed always gets me going and the Viking setting has added to that

More information can be found at https://www.ubisoft.com/en-gb/game/assassins-creed/valhalla

7 Comments »

  1. I have to say, I’m excited as well, seeing as I playing through the series at the moment. Although thus far, none of the titles were as good as I remember, and the ongoing Templar vs. Assassin conflict has been rather shallow since AC2 (I have only played until Black Flag, though, and only re-played until Brotherhood so far).

    The problem I have with AC so far is that they only seem to add more and more stuff, instead of taking what’s already in the games, improving and building on them. It’s more like a collection of unrelated mechanics and ideas than a streamlined experience.

    Still, I enjoy the games for what they are, and therefore look forward to another title (alongside 8 other titles I have yet to play – and 4 others to replay)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m excited and worried at the same time for this title, I really love the franchise and exploring cities and countries in their respective time. The ongoing templar vs assassins sort of loses its path very earlier on, I think each character brings their own version of their respective order to the game and they’re never quite the same.

      Yeah, I agree with that, I feel Unity was where they sort of hit the sweet spot but as you say they do just add more, I feel if that had a decent launch rather than the buggy disaster it would be regarded as one of the best and it’s kind of gone downhill from there for me.

      I really hope you enjoy your playthroughs man

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like how you say “every character brings their own version of the Order”. That’s pretty much what I concluded as well (shameless self-plug: I have an ongoing series about exactly this Assassins vs. Templars conflict going on. Shameless self-plug over)

        Regarding the mechanics, I try to keep an open mind and think about each game on its own, instead of “there are now RPG elements and less Stealth, this is no longer Assassin’s Creed”, but let’s see how it goes 🙂

        Like

      • Funnily I’ve just through your article realising I’ve already read it 🤣 you have subconsciously influenced me 😅
        Yeah I understand what you mean, I didn’t describe it well in the post now looking back 🤭 I guess its cause you no longer play the ‘assassin character’ so maybe I feel it’s no longer an assassins creed title for me anyway but I guess it’s not the end of the world after all Black Flag is more of a pirate game rather than an Assassin game 🙂
        But I feel the RPG and less stealth focused elements are going to work will with the Viking setting though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If I influenced you, then I’m definitely moving up in the world, haha.

        As long as there are some elements tying the games together, I guess I’m content with it being in the series.

        Also, we need a ridiculous horned helmet that makes you invincible or something like that. It needs to be overpowered as balls, but look super-cartoonish. Or it transforms you into Hägar the Terrible. (Ubisoft, if your time-travelling designer is listening, I’m available for hire, although I’m not cheap) xD

        Like

      • haha that cracked me up tbf but 1 trillion % agree love a good gimmick! We should get a partition to get you hired as Hägar! Yeah I sort of get where it fits in the story, I’m probably going to have to play through Odyssey again to be honest and actually complete the dlc this time o.O

        Yeah, I believe its only out on UPlay and Epic Stores on release, haven’t said much else, think I might get it through Epic or on the Xbox One not 100% yet.

        Liked by 1 person

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