Everything we know about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla so far — May 4th 2020

Just as a preface for this article. It’s the script for a video that I’ve done on the same subject. I wanted to upload it here because there isn’t a written version anywhere and YouTube’s subtitles are awful. This written version ensures that anyone can get this information, even if their hearing is impaired.

Hi everybody, my name’s Jamie. In this video I’m going to cover everything revealed about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to date, which will be May 4th 2020 by the time this goes out. I’ll probably post future videos along a similar format, but just wanted that caveat in there to avoid confusion for anyone watching in the future.

From the top, on the 29th of April, Ubisoft posted Assassin’s Creed Teaser. This was a livestream with Boss Logic, which ended up lasting just over eight hours. Over the course of those eight hours, of which I watched for six, we got to see Boss Logic create a piece of concept art for the next Assassin’s Creed game in real time.

The process was extremely interesting to watch, and there’s actually a stop motion version that’s about four minutes long, which I’d highly recommend watching. Of course, you could just watch the eight hour stream VOD if you want, the music is pretty fantastic.

Anyway, at the end of that livestream we got a name and a title card. It explained that the name for the next Assassin’s Creed game is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and a full reveal would come the following day.

As someone who got properly invested in that livestream, I audibly yelled with joy when I saw that we were getting a full reveal the next day. I’ll admit, I was a little annoyed that the stream didn’t end with a trailer, but it was also a pretty cool move on Ubisoft’s part. They knew what we were expecting, and they flipped those expectations on their head.

So moving onto the 30th of April, everyone is hyped for the big reveal. I found myself counting down the minutes to the premiere of the trailer on YouTube. Once the seconds were over, we got a brand new four minute or so cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It showed off vikings, Norse gods, gruesome battles, and searching for a new life in England.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, I’d thoroughly recommend it. There’s no gameplay spoiler in there, and honestly there’s no story spoiler either. Off the back of that we also got a trailer breakdown with the game’s Narrative Director, Darby McDevitt, and Creative Director Ashraf Ismail, alongside Youssef Maguid from Ubisoft News.

This is another really great video, the details of which I’ll be going into now. I’d still recommend watching it because you really get a sense of the passion that just these two developers have for the game. I can’t imagine how excited the rest of the teams, of which there are fifteen, working on the game feel.

One bit of news we have is about some runes on the official AC Valhalla website. Christophorus on Twitter posted a threat of where they are, what they are, and what they mean. It isn’t really news, but it is interesting that it exists at all. Darby McDevitt congratulated those who worked it out, so it’s definitely real. I only want to mention it because it might be a source of news moving forward. I’ll put a link to the thread in the description.

Finally, we’ve been told that the first gameplay of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be shown on the 7th of May during the upcoming Inside Xbox event. Since that’s when we’ll have even more news about the game, I’m going to cap my coverage until after that event, though I may do another video before it discussing what I want to see from the gameplay.

Following the gameplay reveal you can expect a slew of videos all about vikings, features in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and a lot of stuff in-between.

For now, what else do we know?

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be set in 873AD, the Ninth Century. At this point in time England is made up of a number of Kingdoms, each with their own ruler. In the game we’ll explore the Kingdom of Wessex, which is where the game’s antagonist, Alfred The Great, is king. We’ll also get to explore Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia at least, though there could be more.

While no one has gone into the details of the story just yet, we’re obviously going to be experiencing a tumultuous time for the vikings in England. Alfred The Great was known for being one of the biggest opposers of vikings at the time, and while the vikings were able to fight off the English, known as Saxons at the time, elsewhere, Wessex put up a much bigger fight.

It’s been confirmed that there will be both viking and Saxon enemies in the game. As such, I think that Eivor and his settlers will be on neutral ground with both to start. Eivor, much like Alexios and Kassandra of AC Odyssey, will most likely be able to kill soldiers from both sides. This could be used to turn the tide of war, making things more favourable for trading or something, but I’m sure we’ll find that out closer to release.

A huge new gameplay feature with AC Valhalla will be the settlement that you as Eivor are responsible for. You’ll leave Norway early in the game to settle in England. Once there, you’ll be establishing this settlement, which is going to be ever-present in the story.

In an interview with IGN, which I’ll link below, Ashraf Ismail explained that the settlement is a huge new addition for the series. There are a wide variety of buildings to set up, and each one has a specific gameplay purpose. Ismail even went as far as saying that events in the game will come at different points, or appear in a different way for you, depending on what buildings you have in your settlement.

One last point on settlements. Somehow we will be recruiting people to it. This could work in a similar way to AC3, with set characters who must be recruited in order to advance the settlement, or it could be random based on certain NPCs in specific areas of the game.

However, this wouldn’t be a viking game without raiding, and that’s in there somewhere too. The way Ashraf Ismail describes it is that we’ll be able to take Eivor, his Longboat, and a raiding party to hit various locations with raids and return before anyone can catch us. From the sounds of it, Eivor’s Longboat will play a similar role to the Adrestia in AC Odyssey.

This is more speculation, but I think we’ll be customising it with parts in much the same way, equipping new key crew members as we find them out in the world, with those same RPG mechanics attached to them. It won’t be as vital as it was in AC Odyssey, but it will still be a large part of the game.

Speaking of RPG mechanics, for better or worse AC Valhalla is another open world RPG Assassin’s Creed game. Expect skill trees and a leap in evolution for the elements of AC Origins and AC Odyssey that have made those games so different and fresh.

Now let’s talk about battles. These have been a big focus in more recent AC games, and that’s not changing with AC Valhalla. What sounds like it will be a bit different is the way that battles are approached. Since Eivor is the leader of a settlement, we’ll probably be strategizing and planning the attack, rather than being a single component in a huge machine of war. It’s possible that we’ll also get to choose the order in which we attack other settlements too.

With battles come the gods. The vikings had a rich pantheon of gods, and I think that they’re going to play a huge role in the game. This could take the role of making sacrifices for an increased chance of victory or a good crop, or just choosing to build certain structures first to avoid being raided. There’s a lot of places that the game could go with this, really it’s a conversation that I’ll save for another video. Let’s just say that Odyssey went big on gods, so Valhalla should go bigger.

To round things off, I want to talk about the Assassins. Darby McDevitt said that Eivor will meet the Assassins, and it’s clear that he gets a hidden blade. I think that it’s brilliant that we get a hidden blade again, it’s an iconic part of the franchise.

I also believe that Eivor will be wary of the Assassins. I’m going to dive deeper into what I think the story of AC Valhalla will be in another video, but right now I’ll just say that I think Eivor is going to go on a journey. We’ll start the game as a skeptic, but come to realise the role of the Assassins in the world by the game’s end.

On that note, what will the modern day story for AC Valhalla be? Who bloody knows, I’m not opening that can of worms.

So that’s all the concrete news we have on AC Valhalla, I hope there was something you didn’t know in there. There are loads of theories to explore about this game, but, as with everything else, I’m going to wait until the gameplay reveal later this week before I look into them too deeply.

One thing I would like to point out is that a slew of supposed leaks for a game called Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok were published a few months ago. These leaks got the viking setting right, that much I know. I didn’t want to ruin anything, so I avoided them at the time, but I have seen mention of co-op and other multiplayer elements from press sites, citing these leaks as the origins of their theory.

There has been no evidence in the recent news to suggest that AC Valhalla will have any form of multiplayer. However, what Ubisoft did with multiplayer from AC Brotherhood to AC 4 was phenomenal, in my opinion. I also love the co-op angle of AC Unity. I know that AC multiplayer is a massive point of contention among fans, but I wouldn’t be sad to see it return.

Okay, enough of that. I hope you enjoyed the video, please leave a like if you did. Please also let me know if I missed anything in the comments. As I mentioned, I may get a second video up this week on the things I want to see from the gameplay reveal at Inside Xbox. Otherwise, I’ll be doing my next news video on all of those details.

The video that this script relates to is below.

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Writing about whatever comes into my head!

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