Home Gaming Ubisoft wants Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to deliver the definitive Viking experience

Ubisoft wants Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to deliver the definitive Viking experience

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We’re in an age of gaming where everyone has taken a Viking to a certain culture and time period. Everyone seems to enjoy some of the ol’ Norse code lately, but Ubisoft’s take on the subject matter looks to be both authentic and exciting when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla rolls into not so merry ol’ England. There’s a myth and a legend behind the Viking culture of the ancient age, one of warriors and explorers who sailed the harshest seas and pillaged their way across multiple lands in pursuit of glory and riches.

That’s the legendary fantasy, that Ubisoft wants to focus on in their latest historical deep dive. “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is our push to deliver THE Viking experience within the Assassin’s Creed world. That statement is very important for us,” creative director Ashraf Ismail said to Game Informer.

There are two key elements there. The Viking fantasy, and all of the features, systems, and narrative that needs to deliver that. But also the Assassin’s Creed world – the conflict between Templars and Assassins, and having Templars and Assassins in the world (of course, they go by different names during this time period). Having these elements and having it all merge together was very important for us.

I mentioned that we land in England and it’s about settling our people and building a thriving settlement, so the settlement is really key to this experience. It’s at the heart of the motivation, and a very important part of the features of the game as well. Every building that you place has gameplay value. Every character that you can bring into your settlement has some kind of value to Eivor and the settlement. There’s customization features for the settlement, as well.

But we’re in England, and England is hostile toward these Vikings. So in order to succeed and start thriving, players will go on raids. They’ll raid their enemies, but to raid, you need a longship. So you have a longship and a crew – these are characters that you meet in the world, characters that you go on journeys with. And there are characters you can customize and build as well – they’re called Jomsvikings. So a lot of effort has gone into your raiders – these are people who also live in your settlement.

It’s not just about establishing a new home in hostile territory though! Like every Assassin’s Creed game before it, combat will be a big part of the package, with Valhalla looking to create a system that is “brutal” and balanced. “Beyond raiding, there are assaults. Assaults are attacks on giant fortifications – these are big set-piece moments that are wrapped up in the narrative,” Ismail explained.

This is something that we found in our research that happened quite a lot, so we needed to find a place for that in the game and give it a lot of value and make it shine. These are really incredible battles.

And we can’t claim to create the ultimate Viking experience if we don’t nail combat. So combat is visceral, brutal. We made sure that every swing of an axe, every defense with a shield feels good. A lot of effort has gone into the weaponry of the period, into the enemies. You can’t have a good fight system if the enemies don’t shine, so we have a lot of variety in enemies. A new take on progression, on gear – we’ve pushed every single envelope to deliver THE Viking experience.

There’s a benchmark there for combat, that has been set not only by other recent Viking-era games but by Ubisoft themselves. Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey raised the bar on how players could tackle conflict with its entirely revised approach, while Ubisoft’s other blockbuster For Honor made good use of a chunky and weighty combat system that allowed players to carve their way to victory. Expect more on how Assassin’s Creed Valhalla actually handles, very soon.

Last Updated: May 6, 2020

12 Comments

  1. Hopefully you can collect something akin to the shanties in Black Flag. Viking rowing/war chants perhaps? I dunno, but adding any of the magic of Black Flag would be nice.

    I have to commend Ubisoft for the effort that they are putting into their new Assassins Creed games. It’s a pity I haven’t tried any of them.?

    Reply

  2. Viper_ZA

    May 6, 2020 at 15:12

    Copy/paste Viking series inspired money grab is all I see. Hoping I am wrong as Black Flag was awesome.

    Reply

  3. Viper_ZA

    May 6, 2020 at 15:12

    Copy/paste Viking series inspired money grab is all I see. Hoping I am wrong as Black Flag was awesome.

    Reply

    • D@rCF0g

      May 6, 2020 at 23:27

      Maybe I should watch the series Vikings. I don’t know how historically accurate it is, but it seems like it will give me a good feel for I am to expect in the game.

      Reply

      • Viper_ZA

        May 7, 2020 at 09:13

        You should, it really is that good 🙂

        Reply

    • Pariah

      May 7, 2020 at 08:28

      You do realise that comparison between the series and this is inevitable due to one key point: both aim for historical accuracy. Since history doesn’t change, that means that both things are guaranteed to have similarities. They’re not copying the vikings tv series, they’re copying history and adding some creative bits into it. Just the same as the tv series did.

      Reply

      • Viper_ZA

        May 7, 2020 at 09:13

        I find the similarities as seen on the game’s trailer to be a bit annoying, for instance Kattegat and some of the characters. All too similar, but like I said, I am hopeful it is just a coincidence — maybe they drew some inspiration from the series itself too 😛

        Reply

    • Pariah

      May 7, 2020 at 08:28

      You do realise that comparison between the series and this is inevitable due to one key point: both aim for historical accuracy. Since history doesn’t change, that means that both things are guaranteed to have similarities. They’re not copying the vikings tv series, they’re copying history and adding some creative bits into it. Just the same as the tv series did.

      Reply

  4. Original Heretic

    May 6, 2020 at 16:17

    Did someone say “God of War”?

    Reply

    • D@rCF0g

      May 6, 2020 at 23:27

      I still need to finish that game! Shame on me!

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        May 7, 2020 at 08:28

        That game gripped me so much, it is one of the few games I’ve actually finished in recent years.

        Reply

  5. D@rCF0g

    May 6, 2020 at 23:27

    I just hope they don’t stray to far from the idea of exactly what an assassin is. I’m all for the big action pieces like battles, but the true core of an assassin is what I enjoy the most. Sneaking up behind someone, burying my blade in their back, and their disappearing before anyone knew I was even there.

    Reply

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