The next in Ubisoft's stealth and slaughter series is Assassin's Creed Valhalla, set in the world of Vikings and Norse mythology. Leaks suggested that a working title for the game was Assassin's Creed Ragnarok, so fans have been excited about living out their berserker dreams even before this official announcement. Players will take the role of Eivor, leading their clan to greatness.
"We can’t wait for players to experience the incredible Viking journey ahead of them,” said Ashraf Ismail, creative director on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
"Being in Eivor’s boots as both a Viking raider and a clan leader, players will face the conflicts of establishing a new home while in the midst of a power struggle for control of England."
The trailer below is our exciting introduction to the new game, and it has us going "berserk" for Viking life. It revealed a world of war, beards, and a triumphant return of the hidden blade.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla trailer
- Assassins Creed Valhalla release date: Holiday 2020
- Platforms: Xbox Series X, PS5, Xbox One, PS4, Stadia, and PC (UPlay and Epic)
- Developer: Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed Valhalla release date
Assassin's Creed Valhalla has a release window of Holiday 2020, so expect it to arrive in November around the same time as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. You can put money down for various versions of the game already. Check out the options in our guide on where to pre-order Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla story
Here's what to expect from the Assassin's Creed Valhalla storyline, straight from Ubisoft.
"Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources in the ninth century AD, players will lead Eivor’s clan of Norsemen across the icy North Sea to the rich lands of England’s broken kingdoms. Players must carve out a new future for their clan, reliving the ruthless fighting style of Viking warriors with a revamped combat system that includes the ability to dual-wield weapons against a greater variety of enemies than ever before.
"To secure resources players can lead raids to select locations using their longship to earn much-needed riches and resources. As the Vikings begin to settle in their new home, they encounter resistance from the Saxons including King Aelfred of Wessex, who denounces them as heathens and looks to be the sole ruler of a civilized England. Against all odds, Eivor must do what is necessary to keep Valhalla within reach."
Following the galaxy brain example of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, players can choose to play as a male or female Eivor, and - a first in the series - will be able to customize their appearance through hair, tattoos, and war paint.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay
The Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay trailer featured in Xbox Series X May event showed just a few moments of gameplay, but they were glorious. Hero Eivor showed off some graceful combat moves for a big lad, with jump kicks, elbow smashing, axe throwing, and tooting his horn.
Luckily for the detail hungry, Ubisoft was also kind enough to create a developer commentary video for the first Assassin's Creed Valhalla trailer and packed plenty of juicy details from the creative director Ashraf Ismail and narrative director Darby McDevitt in the 20 minutes you can see below.
Around ten minutes in, Ismail talked about the importance of the longships that played such a crucial role in the Viking way of life. "This is a technology that was unique to the Norse and the Danes, the Vikings in this time period. If I was to give a metaphor I would say imagine that you have this empty highway - rivers - and you have a Ferrari that you can drive down this highway, with no one around you and no one able to chase you."
It's why Vikings were able to venture so deep into new lands and get behind enemy lines, to "hit and run" as Ismail describes it, so expect to spend plenty of time making the most of the longships in game.
Combat will include the infamous Viking raids. Raiding is about getting to a specific place, stealing riches, and creating chaos. As we saw in the trailer, there will be big battles too. "There are moments in the game with these really big, epic-scale battles on battlefields or in fortifications. It was a big part of the history during this time so we needed to represent that."
Assassin's Creed Valhalla settlements
In the developer commentary video, Ismail highlighted the importance of settlements to the Viking people, and that will play a big part in your Valhalla adventure. In an interview with Eurogamer, lead producer Julien Laferrière gave more detail on how that game system will work.
"It's your own Viking village you'll see prosper and grow, and which your clanmates will live in," he said.
"It's at the center of our quests and the center of the decisions you make. We want players to see the consequences of their actions." Big story arcs will begin and end here, the impact of your decisions rippling through your growing community. You'll see the effects of alliances - such as weddings to forge relationships between clans - and the consequences of "harsh choices you have to face"
Assassin's Creed Valhalla historical accuracy
The Assassin's Creed series has always prided itself on historical accuracy, and this is no different. The game had an Editorial Research Unit that included historian Thierry Noël, who advised Ubisoft on the story.
"It’s a fascinating time. It’s been called the Dark Ages because we don’t have as much information relative to certain time periods like Ancient Egypt or Greece," said Noël on the Ubisoft blog.
" Vikings left behind very few texts talking about themselves, so that’s why the negative image we have of Vikings was based on the texts of monks and sometimes from victims of Viking invasions; as you can imagine, they had quite a negative perception. We also had the Viking sagas and myths, which were passed down through oral traditions for centuries and eventually written down to help inform the world."
Combat, religious rituals, and life in the settlements are all informed by this mix of record-keeping and sagas, to deliver a more balanced look at Viking life.
Noel also got ahead of any criticism of the ability to play Eivor as female.
" The archaeological sources are highly debated on that specific issue. But the fact is, and I think what’s really important, is that it was part of their conception of the world," he said.
"Sagas and myths from Norse society are full of tough female characters and warriors. It was part of their idea of the world, that women and men are equally formidable in battle, and that’s something that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will reflect."
Glimpses of combat shows throwing axes, shields being used to fend off fire arrows and inflict head traumas, dual-wielding - Ismail added you can even dual wield two shields - and lots of ways to massacre the enemy.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla rumors
The Norse news first arrived when a peculiar poster in The Division 2 was spotted by YouTuber JorRaptor back in early 2019. The in-game iconography stars a noble-looking Viking warrior clutching the Apple of Eden, a key symbol from the lore of the Assassin’s Creed series. The poster is situated in the Potomac Event Center in-game if you’d like to take a closer look. The focus of the poster seems to be promoting an opera performed at the JFK Center called Valhalla, critics describing it as a “Graceful, powerful work of opera.” How curious!
This led Kotaku’s Jason Schreier to publish a report backing up the possibility of a Norse Assassin’s Creed game, codenamed Viking and set for a 2020 release, according to two independent sources. that was all we had to go off for a long time after, but in the months since there has been some speculation about the validity of this report. Industry analyst ZhugeEX posted about the rumours on Resetera, claiming that “all of the new AC leaks so far have been incorrect. It’s not even called Ragnarok.”
That means you should take all of the rumours mentioned in this article with a serious pinch of salt. Speaking of which, a few months ago another rumour popped up on Reddit, claiming that Ragnarok - or in this case, Kingdom - is set in the “early 1000’s” and follows a Danish Viking, the game taking place across “Denmark, southern Sweden, and Norway and parts of Ireland and England.” Apparently, the game will dwell on the Norse invasion and figures from the era, including Irish High King Brian Boru will appear.
Yet another rumour cropped up in February, this time a lot more developed, boasting a potential release date of September 29th, 2020 and the inclusion of four-player co-op. Apparently, you’ll play as a character called Jora and lead a band of Vikings. The hidden blade is said to return, massive wars will take place in real-time and new locations will include “York, London, Paris, and Kiev.” The leak also claims the game will be cross-gen, releasing on “PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, and PS5.”
The leak delves into further story spoilers if you’re willing to read them, so check the Reddit thread for even more gory details.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla news
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