Dive into the age of the Vikings
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is just around the corner, and this time Ubisoft’s taking players through the Viking Age.
The upcoming RPG casts players as a Viking chief who must lead their clan against the Saxons in an epic power struggle over the English isles. Expect all the stealth mechanics established in previous games, alongside unique weapons and lore inspired by Norse mythology.
Before Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla officially arrives on your favourite systems, here’s everything we know so far about the game.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is the 12th main instalment in Ubisoft’s long-running action-adventure stealth video game franchise, Assassin’s Creed. It follows 2018’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which received mixed reviews.
The new game is set at the height of the Viking Age in the 9th century. Players will control Viking chief Eivor (who can be played as either male or female), who has to lead their clan against the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in order to establish a settlement in England.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is being developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal studio, which also worked on 2017’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins and 2015’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
The game was headed by creative director Ashraf Ismail, who was previously the game director of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Origins. However, Ismail stepped down in late-June 2020 following an allegation of an extra-marital affair.
At launch, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will be available on PC (via the Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Google Stadia. The game will also be released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X thereafter.
On September 9, Ubisoft decided to bring the release date of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla forward to match the launches of the Xbox Series X and Series S. The game will now be released on November 10 for the Xbox Series systems, alongside PC, PS4, Xbox One and Google Stadia. The PS5 version is also likely to launch alongside its yet to be announced release date.
The game will launch on November 17 on PC and current-gen consoles. The next-gen version of the title is “coming soon”, according to Ubisoft. The release date for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was announced during the Ubisoft Forward event on July 12, 2020.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla revolves around Eivor, a Viking chief who must lead their tribe on a conquest of the British isles. Fans will be able to play Eivor as either male or female, and can toggle between the genders at any time during the game.
Over the course of their journey, Eivor will encounter other Assassins and Templars, the series’s two main factions, which are called Hidden Ones and Order Of Ancients during this time period. Players can even align themself with certain characters from either group throughout the game.
Players can also expect to face off against historical figures such as Alfred The Great, the king of Wessex. Narrative director Darby McDevitt has described the game as “historically grounded”, adding that his team wants players to “feel like you’re living in the Dark Ages of England”.
The game will also continue the story of Layla Hassan, who was first introduced to in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. According to former creative director Ashraf Ismail, the game holds “surprising, unexpected content for our players who love that kind of stuff”.
Ubisoft released a new “deep dive” trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in October. The gameplay preview showcased seven minutes worth of footage, ranging the skill tree and combat abilities to exotic gear and settlement system.
In September, Ubisoft released a brand-new story trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. It follows protagonist Eivor (portrayed as male) as he begins plotting for the Vikings’ invasion of England, after his brother Sigurd returns from a conquest.
Ubisoft released a trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in late July 2020 that details the backstory of protagonist Eivor and what the Viking chief will face in the upcoming game.
In July 2020, during the Ubisoft Forward event, the developer released the first gameplay trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. It highlighted features such as settlements that can be upgraded, large-scale battles called assaults and an overhauled battle system.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was first announced in April 2020 with an action-packed cinematic trailer that showcased the game’s Viking Age setting. It also included nods to several recurring elements in the Assassin’s Creed series, including sea travel, conquest battles and – of course – a Hidden Blade, the assassin’s weapon of choice.
The first gameplay trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was released during the Ubisoft Forward event in July 2020. It showcased a number of new gameplay mechanics, such as settlements, assaults and an overhauled battle system.
Settlements will play a huge role in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and will double as a player’s home base. They will play host to a number of unlockable activities in the game, and can be upgraded by gathering resources through raids.
Assaults are reminiscent of the conquest battles from Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The mechanic will allow players to take part in large-scale battle against massive fortifications like castles with Viking longships, flaming arrows and more.
Combat in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has also been overhauled to simulate the fighting style of a Viking warrior, instead of the more stealth-focused combat in previous games. “What we wanted from the beginning is really this idea that the character is a Viking, first, you know?” said game director Eric Baptizat. “It’s something very important, to be sure that we are true to what the Norse were in this time period.”
The game will also feature other open-world elements, such as hunting for animals and fishing. Ancient temples and Roman ruins can also be explored for special rewards.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will not have a multiplayer mode in the traditional sense, as there will be no co-op or player vs player elements. However, the game does include an online component where players can customise and share a Viking mercenary for others to hire for raids.
In October, Ubisoft has unveiled the post-launch plans for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which will consist of both paid and free content across multiple seasons.
ost-launch content will start rolling out from December, with the launch of the first season. Every following three months a new season will start, bringing new content, settlements, game modes and more.
Paid content in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will come in the form of two major expansions and an additional quest. The first to launch will be The Legend Of Beowulf mission, which will be available on launch day and as part of the game’s season pass. The quest will task players with uncovering the truth behind the legend of Beowulf.
Outside of paid expansinos, various free content drops will be released in the months after launch. The first season begins in December and will add a new settlement area, the Yule Festival event, a new mode called The River Raids and a new ranking system for player’s Jomsviking lieutenant.
A documentary podcast series for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was launched in October, a month ahead of the game’s release. Each episode is around 15-minutes-long and tells the gripping story of Valhalla’s history.
In July 2020, Dark Horse Comics announced that it will be publishing an Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla prequel comic book series, titled Song Of Glory.
The three-issue series will follow Eivor, who is portrayed as a female character in the comics, as she “observes a village raided by a neighbouring kingdom [and] seizes the attack in her own favour”.
The limited-run comics will be written by Cavan Scott (best known for Star Wars Adventures and the comic adaptation of the Vikings TV series), illustrated by Martin Tunica and coloured by Michael Atiyeh.