Forget review scores. The only true way to judge a game's quality is the converted square kilometers of its virtual world. Or so you'd think, with how big a talking point it is during the marketing campaign for every big open-world adventure. For a minute there, it sounded like Assassin's Creed Valhalla would actually be smaller that its enormous predecessor Odyssey. Not so, says a Valhalla producer. Surprising no one, it will in fact be larger.
Previously on How Big Is It Actually, Ubisoft's head of communications for the Middle East tweeted (and has since deleted) that Valhalla "won’t be the longest or biggest game in the series."
In an interview with YouTuber Julien Chièze, Ubisoft producer Julien Laferrière says the opposite. The interview is in French, as you might have cottoned on, but someone on Reddit's done a quick translation. My French is a bit rusty, but I remember enough to confirm the meaning of "un peu plus gros que." Here's the rest of Laferrière's answer:
"I would actually say in terms of range it is probably a bit larger than Assassin's Creed Odyssey. I do not have the exact figures at this stage, but we have not only created the whole country, which is in this case England, but also a good part of Norway too. There are other secret worlds, which I can not speak about today, which contributed to the size of the game. It's not a small game. It is a game which is clearly ambitious, which will offer many, many hours of gameplay for the players."
Of course this conversation is more about playable area than length of the story, but the two usually go hand in hand even if it's not a totally linear relationship. Personally, I've played enough 60+ hour open world games in my day. Even in 2020, the year of Covid-19 delays, I'm going to find it difficult to finish every game I want to play before the next one on my list comes out. We all know that Ubisoft's stab 'em up series is full of busywork that contributes to those "many, many hours of gameplay" either way. I wouldn't mind if they managed to trim the actual campaign down to a tight 40 hours.
Truly, the boldest move in 2020 would have been to announce a smaller, more compact game than the Assassin's games of past years. Well, maybe in 2022 then, hmm?
We'll probably be hearing more about Valhalla and other Ubi games during their digital showcase Ubisoft Forward on July 12th. Until then, Creed expert Alice Bee has dissected the best bits from AC Valhalla's sort of gameplay trailer.