Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the latest entry in Ubisoft’s biggest heavy hitter franchise and one of the most anticipated games of this year, featured a true gameplay dive at the Ubisoft Forward event. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was revealed a few months ago and since then we’ve had just a handful of information regarding the game coupled with a few dev interviews. This past week, content creators were invited to play Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and share their thoughts after the event was over, a similar case to Watch Dogs: Legion. Needless to say, there is a lot more that we know now so let’s go over the new info.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is set to release on November 17, 2020, on current-gen, next-gen, Stadia, and Windows platforms. It will be set in the Dark Ages England and you’ll play as Eivor (male or female), a Viking leader looking for a new home for his/her people.
The combat system in Valhalla is somewhere in the same ballpark as that of Dark Souls, with brutal animations, dual wielding, and unique combinations of weapons. Even then, Valhalla does have its own style to it. We know that there will be a greater variety of enemies this time around. So far we have seen the type of enemy who doesn’t fare well with close-range combat and rather excels at hurling objects from afar. They are different from your typical archers since these enemies throw random objects like stones and even bodies. Enemies will also now work together in co-operation to take down Eivor. We see in the gameplay that one enemy grapples Eivor as the other enemy slashes freely. The combat is pretty heavy and crunchy this time around as well. The game being set in the Viking era, you’ll catch plenty of heads and body parts flying around.
Fans are hoping for Valhalla to return to the old Assassin’s Creed roots. One of the roots obviously being stealth. Now, unfortunately we didn’t get to see as much of stealth as we would have liked but at least we know more than before. Eivor can basically switch into a “stealth mode”. This includes Eivor putting on his cape and hood on and changing his/her movements for more stealthy maneuvers. Another really good aspect is that it is now possible to completely one-shot kill major and higher-level targets if you correctly time your hidden blade. Also, when it comes to social stealth, Valhalla is bringing back the core features such as blending in with the crowd, faking activity to appear as a normal busy citizen, etc.
Exploration and RPG elements
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey was huge but for many it also felt bloated and boring, mostly due to the bombardment of repetitive quests that didn’t add any meaning to the game overall. For one, Valhalla has changed its map in a way that only shows you the quests you have already found and it instead includes a “secrets” and “mysteries” progression bar for every area. The devs want this game to be huge just like Odyssey but also equally meaningful and hence the player will have to search for almost all these secrets and mysteries by themselves. What about the side quests, secrets, and mysteries themselves? Well, from what was shown, the side quests definitely seem more complex and rich in narrative. Eivor has conversations with children, can find random people in need and help or ignore them, hire cats into his raiding party, etc. The fact that we will always find unique weapons makes exploration already more worthwhile and interesting than Odyssey.
Without a doubt, the music again in Assassin’s Creed is legendary. With Jesper Kyd, Sarah Schachner, etc in-charge, nothing less was expected. The graphics are scenic and breathtaking, especially the snowy Norway. However, it would be better if fans get to see a detailed look at the settlement system and some core assassin stealth mechanics as these features are essential to the experience. The Viking rap battle needs to be shown off more too!