While the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla didn’t feature any gameplay footage just yet, it did include a host of information about the open world, the story, and gameplay of the first entry of the franchise set to hit PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Below, we’ve broken down the biggest updates we learned as part of the Valhalla reveal, including officially released information from Ubisoft, information we received in our interview with Valhalla director Ashraf Ismail, and interviews from various other team members from other outlets.
Open-World Gameplay and Combat
- Combat has been altered in some form, with an emphasis on making every hit feel impactful.
- That includes giving players the ability to dismember and decapitate foes.
- While Assassins have had two weapons at once before (two swords, for example), Valhalla places a new emphasis on dual-wielding weaponry, with players allowed to mix and match the game’s arsenal.
- Shields return as part of that arsenal after being absent from Odyssey.
- The assassin’s blade returns as well.
- Throwing axes will be available in Valhalla as one of Eivor’s many weapon options.
- Players will traverse by sea via their Viking longship.
- Players can spot fortresses from the water to attack with their raiding party in massive raids.
- Largescale land battles will also be part of the story, though it’s unclear if they’ll function like Odyssey’s army battles.
- RPG trappings introduced in Origins will return, with new skills, as well as new gear to collect.
- Open-world activities include hunting, fishing, dice, and drinking games.
- Additionally, Valhalla will introduce the competitive sport of flyting, aka, Viking rap battles.
- Eivor, the protagonist, will have a bird companion in the form of a raven, a common addition to the most recent Assassin’s Creed.
Story and World
- Valhalla is set in ninth-century England during the Dark Ages.
- It will follow Eivor, a Viking warrior who leads his people out of Norway and into England to settle.
- King Alfred of Wessex will be an opponent Eivor and the Vikings face
- Alfred will be an antagonist, but narrative director Darby McDevitt said it would be wrong to call him the “central antagonist” of the game. (via GameSpot)
- Where some other possible big antagonists may appear is in the modern-day story, as Ismail also confirmed Layla’s modern story from Origins and Odyssey would continue in Valhalla. (via Game Informer)
- Eivor will eventually run across some group of Assassins in England, though at this time the Assassins and Templars are still being referred to as they were in AC: Origins and Odyssey: The Hidden Ones and the Order of the Ancients, respectively. (via Eurogamer)
- Valhalla’s map will include Norway, which players can return to after the Vikings leave, and the four kingdoms of England: Wessex, Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia.
- Major English cities included will be London, Winchester, and Jorvik. (via GameSpot)
- While Valhalla is not meant to be the end of the series, McDevitt called it a “good capper” to the franchise so far, and should include a lot of nods to the franchise’s history (via GameSpot)
- Ubisoft Montreal is the lead development studio on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
- Ashraf Ismail is directing the project. Ismail and his team previously worked on Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Origins.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be the first entry of the franchise for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
- It is also confirmed for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia, and UPlay+.
- It is set for a Holiday 2020 release window.
Player Choice – Settlement, Customization, and more
- Like in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can choose either a male or female protagonist
- Gear will also be much more customizable in Valhalla
- Each piece of gear in the game will be unique (via GI)
- New customization options include hair, tattoos, clothing, and war paint.
- Players will be able to make custom Viking raiders for their raiding parties and even share them with friends
- Players will also get to forge a home for themselves and either Vikings with the focus on building a settlement, your Viking homestead.
- The settlement will include buildings to upgrade, like a blacksmith, barracks, tattoo parlor, and more
- Players will have to make choices throughout the campaign, including political and personal alliances, dialogue choices, and more
- Alliance examples include conducting a marriage to unite clans, while romance options will be available to the player, too (via Eurogamer)