In April, Ubisoft announced their newest Assassin’s Creed title, Valhalla. Since then, we’ve been getting a steady stream of updates about what we can expect from the game. Here’s everything you need to know about what Valhalla has in store.
Valhalla’s Strong RPG Elements
Similar to Odyssey, the decisions you make will have an impact on the rest of the game’s world. How you accomplish tasks will also be up to you. According to Ubisoft, “a silver tongue can be as effective as a steel sword when it comes to finding a home for your people.” Everything you do from alliances to combat strategies, to dialogue choices will affect your game.
Weaponry in Valhalla
You’ll also have your choice of weapons. Your character will be able to dual wield a combination of axes, swords, and shields. Of course, you’ll have access to the Assassin’s signature Hidden Blade as well. The Hidden Blade, which won’t actually be hidden, will be strong enough to kill enemy targets in one hit (something that hasn’t been a feature in the game in a long time).
The choice in weaponry was largely inspired by realistic Viking combat. According to Thierry Noël, historian and inspirational content advisor of the Editorial Research Unit for the game, “Vikings were very versatile fighters.” They used many types of weapons and really did dual-wield them, including shields.
Both choices are canon, but we’re not going to spoil how we managed that trick until you play the game. 😎
— Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) April 30, 2020
Eivor, the character you’re playing as is also customizable. Like Odyssey, you’ll be able to choose to play as male or female. Unlike Odyssey, Eivor is only one character. Both choices have been considered canon, but it has yet to be revealed how the counterpart will tie into the story.
Eivor’s appearance is also (somewhat) customizable based on what we know so far. Ashraf Ismail, the creative director for Valhalla, told The Washington Post that players would be able to change hairstyles, beard styles, and hair color. You’ll also be able to add tattoos and war paint.
Players can expect the map in Valhalla to be expansive, but not too big. The setting of the game is 9th century England during “a time when Norse tribes were leaving their homes in Scandinavia.” The game’s map will encompass the four kingdoms of England and part of Norway.
The four kingdoms of England are Mercia, Northumbria, East Anglia, and Wessex. Wessex, at the time, is ruled by Aelfred the Great, who is featured in the game’s trailer. This is an important component in the game because Aelfred the Great was an important figure who actively fought against the Vikings at the time.
Within each kingdom, players will be able to explore major cities (London, Winchester, and Jorvik) and smaller towns, villages, and other interesting locations. Some of these locations include historical landmarks like Stonehenge.
The decision to keep the map small stems from criticisms of Odyssey. The Grecian map was said to be too large. As a result, Valhalla will be a bit smaller. However, smaller doesn’t necessarily mean there will be less to do. Ashraf Ismail said there would be plenty of activities and exploring for players to immerse themselves in.
Raids, Settlements, and More
Valhalla will also include settlements. Historically, settlements were an important aspect of Viking culture, according to Thierry Noël. It was important to Ubisoft to depict Viking culture beyond the mainstream idea that Vikings were bloodthirsty warriors. Since this was such a large part of Viking culture, players can expect that building settlements will be an important part of the game.
Building and maintaining settlements will require diplomacy and the ability to build alliances. Players should be prepared to do both. You will be recruiting new clan members and developing upgradeable structures.
Putting effort into your settlements will give you better troops, improve your weaponry, and much more. For example, adding a blacksmith to your settlement will allow you to upgrade your gear, all with unique appearances.
Settlements will evolve with the game. Throughout the campaign, expect to see it grow and change from both opportunities and threats.
Minigames Featured in Valhalla
Minigames will also be available in Valhalla. Among them is something called “flyting.” Or what Ubisoft has called a “Viking rap battles.” There’s not much else that can be said about what flyting might entail, but players can also expect to see other minigames such as” hunting, fishing, dice, and drinking games.”
Valhalla’s Will Have an Online Component
You can expect to see an online component in Valhalla, but it will not be multiplayer. In the same aforementioned Washington Post interview, Ashraf Ismail said: “We do have an online component. There is a lot of value and a lot of features that come with being online. But to be clear, it is a single-player game, and we thrive on that single-player experience that we’re trying to make.”
Stealth Mechanics in Valhalla
Along with the lethal Hidden Blade, stealth will be making a comeback in Valhalla. Stealth is a feature that has been sorely missed in the Assassin’s Creed games. The most recent installment will even include social stealth (the ability to blend into crowds to avoid detection). Eivor will also be able to don a hood and cloak, which will have an effect on the gameplay, which is something else we haven’t seen in a long time.
Another new feature that will be added to the game is “feign death.” USGamer reported the feature, but there isn’t much information about it beyond its usefulness in stealth mode.
Romance in Valhalla
Though the details for romance are scarce, we do know it will be featured in Valhalla. Similar to Odyssey, you will have the choice of engaging in relationships with various characters, including same-sex relationships. Who you choose to romance will be up to you.
Let Us Know What You Think
What do you think will be included in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla? Are you looking forward to Ubisoft bringing back stealth in this installment? What else do you hope to see? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @thecognetwork.
If you want more on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, be sure to check out our breakdown of the Valhalla trailer.