Skip to main content

13 details you might have missed in the Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay trailer

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

It might not have featured quite as much gameplay as you'd expect from the Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay trailer, but there's still plenty of Viking-shaped tidbits to eke out from between the axe blades. In the minute or so of footage we received at today's event showcasing just some of the upcoming Xbox Series X games to look forward to, we managed to spot 13 interesting things to take note of that may be core elements of the game when it's released sometime in that 'Holiday 2020' season. 

1. Your settlement is going to be pretty impressive

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

At the very start of the trailer, we get some lovely slow pans of what's bound to be your settlement in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. It's clearly Viking, with lots of symbolism carved into the wooden structures, and even from these shots it's clear that your homestead is going to be quite impressive by the time you're done with it. 

It sounds like you're just going to have just the one to look after, but there's talk of it eventually being home to not only your people, but to a barracks, blacksmith, tattoo parlour, and more as well. I'm loving the idea of it being centred around this dining hall too. Home is where the food is, after all.

2. They've figured out the finger issue with the hidden blade already

If you've played any Assassin's Creed games you'll know that the hidden blade is a crucial part of the game. It was missing from Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but in Assassin's Creed Origins there's a key scene where Bayek receives the very first prototype of the weapon and loses a finger. Zoom forward in time to the English Dark Ages with Valhalla, and you can clearly see that they've figured out how to wield the blade without losing a digit, with Eivor clearing sporting a leather guard that at least protects his forefinger and thumb. Good work history.

3. Eagles are out, ravens are in

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Having a trusty eagle by your side has been a staple for Odyssey and Origins, and a key theme for the series as a whole. But, for this new Viking chapter, eagles are out and ravens are in. Your eyes in the sky are now black, nifty, and somehow more menacing. 

Ravens are very much tied to the Viking culture as a whole though. Ravens are seen as a powerful symbol of war, and are also believed to be the eyes are ears of the god, Odin – who just so happens to be the god of wisdom, poetry, death, divination, and magic. He's known to have two ravens of his own, named Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), which fly over the world of Midgard to bring him information. If you've played the PS4 title God of War, you'll know that there are 42 of the winged beasts to find and kill to blind Odin's eyes if you want that Platinum Trophy too. Oh the memories. 

4. Parkour combat is making a comeback

It's always been about parkour, hasn't it. Assassin's Creed wouldn't be the same without all the roof running, and it's returning in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I was certainly wondering how exactly it would work in the British setting beyond castles and things, but thankfully it's being woven more into combat too. Just take a look at Eivor using an enemy's face like a wall above. Ouch.

5. Eivor will pinch some of their moves from previous games

If you've played some of the previous games, you'll notice a familiarity in the way that Eivor moves in this trailer. Take the above, for example, it's almost exactly the same movement Alexios and Kassandra have for their chained stealth kill attack, but using dual-wielded axes rather than the Spear of Leonidas. It's also very reminiscent of the use of multiple pistols in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

6. Get ready for some seriously pretty skylines

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Oh boy, this game is gorgeous. Even watching this trailer on repeat in 4K is making me want to cry a bit, and it's going to be even more interesting just because of notoriously volatile the British weather is. Storms, sunshine, overcast days, drizzle, mist and fog, rainbows, we've got it all, sometimes in a single day, with very little warning. 

I mean, just check out the glorious aurora painting the sky in the opening of the trailer, and then just think of what all the other weather types are going to look like. Finally, another reason to be thankful for the British weather – and maybe even seasons too. 

7. Your horn could be a key tool for raids

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

It's not entirely clear how the raids in Assassin's Creed Valhalla will work, but we do know that they're going to be a big part of the game. It could well be that they work like a drawn out version of the big 50v50 battles in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but I'm hoping that there's a bit more strategy to your approach, and the ability to guide or plan the action a little more like a GTA 5 heist. 

It's clear that the horn will at least be a symbol for these raids, rallying your troops to take down Blighty's various big bads of the Dark Ages. Horns generally have a lot of symbolism in Viking culture too, of course, especially around the Gjallarhorn, which was associated the god Heimdallr and the wise being Mímir too. 

8. Your arsenal goes beyond swords, axes and shields

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

If you're going to try and raid a castle, you're going to need more than an axe, a shield and a handful of arrows. Meet the battering ram, a glorious piece of engineering meant for smashing into big heavy doors and stone walls with sheer brute force and a head like a literal ram. Whether you're in control of this beast, directing it in battle, or just have it as part of your entourage, it's a massive boon. 

9. Although shields are a big part of it

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Although Odyssey didn't include shields, it looks like Valhalla is going big into shields – hopefully building on the way they were used in Origins' combat too. Bring on the parrying. You'll even be able to dual-wield them in Valhalla, with the humble shield graduating from defensive tool to a powerful weapon in its own right. 

I mean look, everyone's got one, they're important now. 

10. Stonehenge is totally going to be climable

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Come on, it has to be, right? Anyone who's visited Stonehenge in the present day will know the sacred stones are hidden away behind barriers and ropes nowadays, but here in the Dark Ages they're ripe for the climbing. I can almost see the prompt now. Press X to climb sacred monument. Assassin's Creed has been doing it for generations, why stop now? I can see all the photo mode shots now.

11. Dover is going to be a part of the map

I'd know those cliffs anywhere, and so would any Brit, or anyone's who's been on a ferry across the Channel. That there is the white cliffs of Dover, meaning there are going to be quite a few locations on the Valhalla map. We've already heard that London, Winchester, and York will feature, as well as Stonehenge of course, so it's exciting to piece together what the full range of locations will look like. 

12.  Paganism vs Christianity will be a key narrative theme 

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

There's plenty of symbolism in this trailer, and even this early on you can start to piece together some of the narrative themes that will be prevalent in the game. It's clear that there's going to be plenty of power struggles to navigate, and conquer, and the clashing of religions may well be one of them. Throughout the trailer there are shots of Christian and Pagan worshippers or shrines, which hints of some strong religious themes for the upcoming title. 

13. There's some serious imagery going on in those song lyrics

The song choice for the latest Assassin's Creed Valhalla is an interesting one. If you've not heard it before, it's Exhumed by Zola Jesus, and the lyrics are certainly a mood. It's almost like the song was written specifically to highlight the brutal combat that Valhalla is going to feature, I mean just take a look at the full lyrics below or listen and watch the official music video above:

Bury the tongue between the teeth
Open the jaw and sink in deep
Force it open and claw the grip
Down throat, you let it slip, slip, slip, slip, slip

In the static you are reborn

In the white nights, what you asked for
Fire the cue, and I'll come for

Give you the marks of a lost war
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down

Cut knife, deep in, spit down, swallow
Sword up, nock in, and turn the bow
Sever in two and fuse to gold

Down throat, you let it go
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down
Let it sink
Don't let it hold you down

It's going to be bloody, isn't it.

I'm the lady in charge of GamesRadar, but also getting all the reviews up on the website, so you can thank me for all those shining stars – or blame me for a lack of them. I also spend my time working my SEO magic to try and coax the Google Juice to flow in our favour.