Ubisoft has revealed this year’s highly-anticipated installment of the Assassin’s Creed series. The game is called Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and moves the action to ninth-century Europe during the Viking Age. The story stars a Viking raider named Eivor, who will travel from Norway to several kingdoms of Medieval England.
The Viking reveal may not come as a surprise to those who have been following rumors about the next Assassin’s Creed game online. We’ve suspected since 2019 that the new game would be set in the era of Vikings, although the rumor mill claimed the game would be called Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok. Regardless of the title, this new era should allow Ubisoft to highlight the series’ best gameplay mechanics on both land and sea. It’s likely that ship battles will play a big part in this installment, just as they have in the past few entries.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of five games Ubisoft plans to release between April 2020 and March 2021. The lineup of upcoming Ubisoft releases also includes open-world techno-thriller Watch Dogs Legion, the fantasy adventure Gods & Monsters, and the first-person shooter Rainbow Six Quarantine. The fifth title is said to be a new entry in the Far Cry series. Splinter Cell fans will have to wait just a bit longer, it seems.
Here’s everything else we know about the game at the moment:
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Release Date
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is coming in Holiday 2020. The game will release on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Trailer
The first cinematic trailer teases a major confrontation between Viking raiders and the land of England. Watch it below:
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Setting
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will cover much of Medieval England, according to director Ashraf Ismail.
“You can actually quite dynamically go back to Norway anytime you want. And Norway is quite breathtaking. We have the four kingdoms within England, Wessex, Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia. It’s quite a large chunk of England,” Ismail told IGN. “There’s other surprises that I won’t spoil, but our ambition has been to deliver the Viking experience, the Viking fantasy within the Assassin’s Creed world.”
Ismail explained that one of the Vikings’ main opponents is King Aelfred of Wessex, who leads the Saxon resistance against the raiders.
As teased in the game’s first trailer, Norse mythology will also play a role in the game.
“The Norse beliefs and the Norse mythology was an everyday part of the culture. And this is the way we’re approaching it, from a sense of the grounded history of the Vikings and the Norse people,” Ismail said. “We’re telling a personal story of Eivor. So Eivor’s perspective of the world, this is sort of what’s hinted at in that trailer, how Eivor will take a sign or see something and put their own spin on it. It’s an important part of Eivor’s journey through this world, but the cue [of Odin in the trailer] was the Norse people, their belief structures, that mythology itself was a part of the everyday life.”
Ubisoft hasn’t confirmed whether Eivor will be able to travel to mythical lands, such as the actual Valhalla from Norse mythology, in the game. Based on what’s come before in Origins and Odyssey, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game goes full fantasy adventure at some point.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Gameplay
The director confirmed that Eivor can be played as a male or female and that players can customize the character’s hair, tattoos, clothing, gear, and more. Eivor will also be able to make choices in the game that affect the story and their standing with different factions.
“There’s customization on the character we’ve never had in the [franchise] before,” Ismail said. “The gear system has been revamped quite a lot to really push a balance between having great gameplay-oriented gear, but also the look that players can really customize the look of that gear. In terms of the grander choices, it comes down to the journey and the settlement, and what do you want to leave behind in the settlement and what kind of impact do you want to have on the people that you’re trying to take care of?”
Ismail also told IGN that the game will feature a Viking settlement that Eivor will be able to customize as the game progresses.
“The settlement is a key feature of the game. It’s quite grand in what we’re trying to achieve with it. We want you to feel that this is your home, that you’re building, that a lot of what you’re doing in the game world is, at the end of the day, going to feed into the settlement so that it can grow, it can flourish. We have a ton of buildings that people can build. Each building comes with its own gameplay purpose,” Ismail said.
“There’s a lot of effort that’s gone into making sure that players can feel like this home that they’re developing is really meaningful to them. It’s meaningful to the journey that they’re on. The people that they invite to their settlement have meaning to them. Lots of events and things happen based on how you decide to kind of grow this place. It’s really core to the experience of the game.”
The game will feature the revamped RPG and combat mechanics that have made the last two installments, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The game also introduces dual-wielding as a combat option.
Ubisoft will reveal the first next-gen gameplay footage on Thursday, May 7 at 11 am ET during the Xbox Series X games showcase, according to the publisher on Twitter:
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.