Assassin's Creed Valhalla (opens in new tab) doesn't have traditional multiplayer but it will let you customize and share a Viking mercenary for friends to hire for raids.
The latest game in the Assassin's Creed series was properly revealed today, introducing us to a new era of the series' ever-expanding historical fiction. Ubisoft hasn't shown any Valhalla gameplay so far, though it has offered a top-level explanation of how you'll lead, build, and fight alongside your clan of Norse settlers. Lurking at the bottom of the feature list of Valhalla's official site (opens in new tab) is a brief teaser for how the new online feature will work:
"Share your custom raider: Recruit mercenary Vikings designed by other players or create and customize your own to share online. Sit back and reap the rewards when they fight alongside your friends in their game worlds."
That sounds like the closest Assassin's Creed has come to multiplayer in more than half a decade, although Ubisoft has confirmed to Eurogamer that Valhalla is a "single player game". While the series has taken several cracks at multiplayer - including the competitive social-stealth mode that persisted from Brotherhood through Black Flag and online co-op in Unity - it has largely set them aside since Assassin's Creed Origins (opens in new tab).
It makes sense then that you won't directly control your mercenary Vikings. You'll just have the satisfaction of knowing they're helping out your friends, and the joy of taking home a share of the loot. It reminds me of the Pawn system in Dragon's Dogma, which allows you to create your own custom sidekick then hire them out to other players. It's not true multiplayer, but it does still create a sense of community as players help each other out with a personal touch.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla looks like it will build even more on the RPG elements that have infused the series (opens in new tab), and if you're excited about it is as we are, then here's how to pre-order Assassin's Creed Valhalla. (opens in new tab)