Assassin's Creed Valhalla finally has a release date and Ubisoft even showed off some actual gameplay! You can now see just how grim the dark ages were in 9th centry England, from viking sieges of Saxon castles to fighting witches in dingy swamps.
Assassin's Creed games are more than just a setting however, and Valhalla seems to have quite a lot of new features and tweaked stuff from the older games. Here's everything that we know about Assassin's Creed Valhalla so far, from Valhalla release date, Valhalla trailers, and Valhalla gameplay details.
- What is Assassin's Creed Valhalla's release date? |
- Can I buy Assassin's Creed Valhalla on Steam? |
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay |
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla trailers |
- Is there a special edition? |
Assassin's Creed Valhalla has a release date of November 17, 2020.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla will be available on Ubisoft's own Uplay store, but it will also be following the trend of Ubisoft games appearing on the Epic Games Store rather than Steam.
This does not mean that Assassin's Creed Valhalla won't come to Steam eventually, but so far there is no confirmed Steam release.
It's been a rather hectic week, what with the Ubisoft Forward stream last night and the gameplay leak before that. It shows vikings raiding a small village, using stuff looted from those villages to build up viking settlements. The gameplay trailer also shows lots of enemy types, including one that yeets their dead friend at Eivor. Of course, as a viking, Eivor is no stranger to combat, being able to dual wield weapons like a flail and an axe, or even slamming two shields into an opponent's face. There is also a small stealth segment where you hide in plain sight, though this isn't emphasised.
Valhalla also has its fair share of secrets hidden throughout the land. One that was shown requires you to align your camera to form a pattern on some rocks. Your settlement also needs food, so hunting and fishing are important side activities.
You could look at the stuff that Ubisoft have in their trailer above, but Video Matthew has spent three hours as a viking, and you really should check out his first impressions in our video below. His video and Alice B's Assassin's Creed Valhalla preview are what truly got me excited for Valhalla. As Alice rightly points out, Valhalla is not really an Assassin's Creed game, but that's fine because, "...it feels like a really good Viking game where you smash people with axes."
Before this though, we didn't see much of Valhalla. The "gameplay" trailer that was shown on the Microsoft stream didn't show a heck of a lot. Microsoft even admitted that they "set some wrong expectations", but Alice B did highlight some of the best bits.
We did know the vast majority of stuff that was in the trailer though, so here is a summary of what to expect in Valhalla:
Map size and setting
- Map size will in fact be bigger than the one in Assassin's Creed Odyssey according to Julien Laferrière.
- However, a bigger map size doesn't mean the game won't take as long to complete, according to Malek Teffaha - head of communications in the Middle East - as reported by VG24/7.
- England will be split into four kingdoms: Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, and Wessex.
- While there are a lot of small villages, players will also be able to explore London, Winchester, and Jorvik (this became York). Most of the previews that you have seen will have been set in East Anglia.
- Certain landmarks that existed in that era will also appear in Valhalla, such as Stonehenge and Hadrian's Wall.
- You are able to customise hair, warpaint, clothing, armour, and tattoos.
- You'll be able to feign death, though details on how this works are scarce.
- Dialogue choices and gameplay decisions will affect Eivor's political alliances with other characters. This was expanded on by the game's former director, saying that the game's structure is "very different" to previous games.
- Side quests include hunting and fishing, but you'll also be able to brawl with other Vikings, have drinking contests, and participate in "Flyting".
- Flyting challenges are essentially "insult-trading rap battles". From the gameplay footage, they seem to act like the insult fighting in Curse of Monkey Island, where they have to rhyme, but nowhere near as funny. Here's an example of Flyting which gives you an idea of the sort of thing to expect. It was also parodied by that great Scottish poet Robert Burns in "To a Louse".
- You can also build cairns. They're little stone piles next to cliffs
- Players will be able to recruit NPCs to join their raiding party to attack settlements and secure resources.
- The game's former director had also said that experience progression has been re-balanced to avoid "any kind of big progression walls".
Returning and expanded features
- Much like Odyssey, Valhalla's male and female protagonists won't change the events of the game.
- Controls will be similar to those in Origins and Odyssey, though there is now a new tool wheel.
- There is a greater emphasis on skills, with enemy difficulty rating being based on a player's collection of skills.
- Valhalla will feature more enemy types, each with unique skills and abilities. Their behaviour in battle can vary from relentlessly attacking, to grouping up and only attacking when there's a good opportunity to do so.
- There are plenty of unique bosses that take inspiration from local folklore, as well as using hallucinations to make mundane battles more interesting.
- There's a greater emphasis on stealth this time around. You'll be able to blend into crowds, use a hood and cloak to avoid detection, and use the hidden blade to perform one-hit-kills.
- Weapon choices have been expanded to include flails and greatswords, among others.
- You can now dual wield almost any weapon. This even gives you the freedom, should you so wish, to charge into battle wielding two shields!
- Game Informer confirmed that Conquest battles return as "Assaults" and will have players lead armies to attack enemy forts.
- On the map, instead of showing everything, there are now two types of indicators: yellow shows where treasure might be, while blue ones are side activities/missions.
- Settlements return to the series having been absent since Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. They will act a little differently to settlements in Black Flag, in that you can build improvements to them, rather than just receiving passive bonuses.
- NPCs in settlements will have improved AI, giving them "a purpose" according to Kotaku.
- Romancing options return once more, with your potential partners appearing in Viking settlements, according to Eurogamer.
- There is less emphasis on naval combat, with ships instead being used as a means of transporting your raiding parties or retreating from battle.
Features confirmed not to be in Valhalla
- As confirmed to GamesRadar, there is no multiplayer in Valhalla.
- There are no premium XP boosters, according to Kotaku.
Assassin's Creed is a series of games that has been hopping around history since 2007. Since Assassin's Creed Origins, the games have changed from their beginnings as a stealth action game. Much like an RPG, there are now multiple dialogue choices and a greater emphasis on improving your gear. Assassin's Creed Odyssey was the previous game in the series and was very well received.
Revealed through the art of "BossLogic" during a live stream, Assassin's Creed Valhalla will take place during the Viking invasion of England in 873 AD. Ashraf Ismail - the game's former director who has since stepped down following allegations about his personal life - had cited Michael Crichton's 1976 novel Eaters Of The Dead as a major influence for the setting.
The reveal trailer also hints at some Norse Mythology, as the eagle is being replaced by a raven and there are visions of Odin appearing in the middle of the battlefield. The mythological elements made for some of the more memorable moments in Odyssey, so it's no surprise that they return here.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Ismail revealed that Valhalla was first conceptualised when development on Origins was completed. He explains that “The Viking Age is something that I’ve been in love with since I was a kid. So this was an opportunity to bring the nuance of that time period, the culture, the people, in a way that only Assassin’s Creed can."
Valhalla also looks to move away from some of the RPG elements recently introduced into Assassin's Creed, such as levelling up, instead relying on the accumulation of skills and on scaling enemies to match the skills the game expects you to have when you meet them.
Odyssey featured two playable characters: Alexios and Kassandra. Kassandra was by far the more popular character, so it's good that we got an idea of what the female lead looks like in Valhalla. Both characters in Valhalla are called "Eivor" and they will be facing off against the Saxon armies of England, including the likes of Alfred the Great.
It will also continue the story that has been building up in modern times, following Layla Hassan - an assassin who featured in both Origins and Odyssey - and her connection to an advanced civilisation called the Isu.
Has Covid-19 affected development of Valhalla?
It's also worth saying that Covid-19 has not derailed Ubisoft's efforts to develop Valhalla. Ismail was asked by Kotaku how the pandemic has affected the team's ability to develop the game. He credited Ubisoft's IT team, who had "gone above and beyond to make sure everyone has what they need – hardware, software, anything they need to do their job – so, yes, there’s an adaptation, but things are going well. Of course, day to day, week to week, we’re monitoring how we’re doing and how things are moving forward."
Yes, in fact like a lot of Ubisoft's games, there's more than one edition. To make it as simple as possible to see what you're getting for your money, here is what each edition of the game includes:
|Standard Edition||Gold Edition||Ultimate Edition||Collector's Edition|
|Preorder Bonus (The Way Of The Berserker mission)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|5cm Male Eivor Viking statuette||No||No||No||Yes|
|A premium certificate of authenticity||No||No||No||Yes|
|CD of some the game's soundtrack||No||No||No||Yes|
|30cm Female Eivor figurine||No||No||No||Yes|
|A set of three lithographs||No||No||No||Yes|
You may have noticed that there is also a season pass mission called "Legend of Beowolf". A German listing found by GameRant suggests that the mission will try to link Eivor to the mythical tale of Beowolf. Given that we saw Alexios or Kassandra take on mythological monsters in Odyssey, having Eivor meeting the Grendel is not a big surprise.
This concludes everything that we know about Assassin's Creed Valhalla so far. We will be continually updating this as more information comes to light.
If you can't wait to slam a Viking axe into Saxon skulls, Alice B compiled an excellent list of 8 best Viking games to play before Valhalla that should keep you occupied until later in the year.