After Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s eight hour setting reveal on Wednesday, which gave us some art and a name, I was ready for something a bit meatier. Today we got a cinematic trailer, so we’re still left guessing about a lot of things, but we know a bit more about the setting this time, though much of it could have been guessed from the first piece of art.
The series has been drifting away from its stealth roots for a long time now, finally becoming a full RPG in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Sure, there’s still stealth, but action, character progression and quests have really taken over. I was skeptical, but Odyssey convinced me—it’s much better as an RPG than it ever was as a stealth series.
Valhalla appears to be continuing this trend, with the trailer focusing almost exclusively on battles between the Saxons and Vikings, though apparently assassinations and the infamous hidden blade haven’t been done away with. We’ll be playing as one of the latter, of course, with the Saxons as our adversaries. That should make things pretty interesting, making us the invaders.
Rather than a wandering mercenary, the protagonist is the head of a clan, so expect to lead your warriors into battle as they scrap with Saxons and take on their fortresses.
And it will be an RPG again, with “advanced RPG mechanics” that let us shape both our Viking warrior and the world around us. “With every choice you make, from political alliances and combat strategy to dialogue and gear progression, you will carve your own path to glory,” says Ubisoft.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that boats are returning, either. They first appeared in Assassin’s Creed 3, but it was Black Flag that made them the star. They returned again as a big part of Odyssey, which sent Kassandra and Alexios on a big island-hopping adventure. And if there’s one thing the Vikings are famous for, aside from all the pillaging, it’s mucking about on longships. You’ll sail from Norway to England “and beyond,” though how much of the region we’ll be able to explore remains to be seen.
There’s some settlement management, too, where you’ll construct and upgrade buildings, like barracks and even a tattoo parlour. From there, you’ll be able to recruit new warriors and customise the appearance of your big bad Viking.
No gameplay yet, but this does sound quite promising. It’s due out late this year. There’s no release date yet, but Ubisoft says ‘Holiday 2020.’ It’s currently up for preorder on the Epic Games Store and Uplay, and will also be coming to Stadia.