New Assassin’s Creed, who dis? The last couple of years have been especially good for fans of Ubisoft’s premiere backstabbing showcase, with the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey revitalising the brand with a bold new direction and attitude. Because all good things come in three, there’s a good chance that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be the end of the current generation of Animus action, but it’ll be a final push on ageing and hardware and bleeding edge next-gen devices that’ll be going out with a bang.
Part of the appeal of Valhalla, lies in how players will achieve power and skill throughout their journey. Whereas Origins and Odyssey relied on some traditional RPG mechanics with which to power up its lead characters, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be focusing more on a revamped gear system and progression tree to pour all of your effort into. “In terms RPG and player progression, we wanted a fresh take on it. We wanted something that’s more anchored in the world,” creative director Ashraf Ismail said to Game Informer.
So, the way gear works is completely revamped. Every piece of gear you find is unique. You can upgrade each piece of gear. If you wish to carry the same piece of gear to the end of the game, you can. Or if you want to collect everything, that’s up to you. Everything has its own unique value. At a certain point, you can start customizing gear. So it’s a new take on that RPG format in terms of gear.
In terms of abilities and skills, there’s also been a revamping. Players have this (quite large) skill graph that they sort of traverse through the journey of Eivor, picking up new skills, picking up a lot of playstyle elements to fine-tune to kind of Viking you are – whether it’s a more incognito Viking or more “get out there and throw your axes around.” Everything from abilities to skills to weaponry, we have a fresh new take on progression that we feel is anchored in the world and the Viking fantasy we’re trying to achieve.
As part of our fresh take on the RPG elements and progression, I would say it’s less about levels and it’s more about the sense of power. Based on the skills you have, you gain power. That’s how we look at that mechanism in the world; it’s really about your capacities and what you can do. Yes, there is a rating that is given, which encompasses at some point your gear as well. But it’s really about the skills you’ve learned, what you can do, and that value is rated. So it’s a sense of power rather than levels.
As for the skill tree? The internals of this system is what sets it apart from previous iterations, although the setup of that system is still utilising familiar concepts for players to move through it. “I wouldn’t say it’s drastically different. It has a different form and a different wrapper,” Ashraf explained.
The content is what’s really different; the types of skills you can have and the synergies between skills is what makes it much more unique. In terms of moving through a skill tree, I wouldn’t say the mechanic of that is drastically different … our concept of how to craft your playstyle, this is where the content is different.
The end result looks like a handsome game with plenty of meat on its bones. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be axing a few questions come the silly season, for pretty much all the consoles and PC systems on the block.
Last Updated: May 4, 2020