After a two-year stint away, Ubisoft is finally ready to show us the fruits of their labour with a first gameplay reveal of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Well, that trailer reveal was certainly something wasn’t it? Vikings… we did tell you so, though ‘Ragnarök’ was a ways off. Instead, the 12th instalment of the franchise will be called Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and will follow the story of a Nordic warrior under siege from an aggressive Anglo Saxon regime who’ve branded the Vikings as ‘savages’.
Your clan head from the icy desolation of Norway to the lush farmlands of England in the ninth-century, but the lands are rife with petty lords and warring kingdoms. This will be your new stomping ground – quite literally judging by the cinematics.
A change of direction for the franchise?
Though we’ve yet to actually see any in-game footage at this early stage, comments from the development team and details from the website suggest Assassin’s Creed will continue to steer away from action adventure elements and toward an RPG heavy experience. In 2018, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was extremely well received for its emphasis on exploration, immersive world building, and player morality systems, and Valhalla looks set to take these principles to the next level.
A quick glance at the official Ubisoft website throws up phrases like, ‘write you own saga’, ‘grow your home’, and ‘immerse yourself’, while highlighting the importance of player choice in both combat and conversation. And project director Ashraf Ismail fully echoes these sentiments. In a recent podcast on IGN, it was revealed that Ismail said: ‘Valhalla is meant to be a flagship game for next-gen for Ubisoft, and significantly faster loading times (with the new consoles) effectively means we’re able to remove some of the friction of the immersion we’re trying to go after’.
Anyone who played Assassin’s Creed Black Flag – which was also directed by Ismail, and was one of the highest rated entries to the franchise btw – will know that when Ubisoft makes a point of highlighting exploration, customisation, and freedom, it’s because it dang well means it. If Black Flag is anything to go by, expect to sink many an hour aboard the knörr ship in Valhalla too… just a side note.