Given the subject, Assassin's Creed Valhalla probably didn't need to tell us why our merry band of Norsemen are off pillaging England. Who wouldn't? But it's gone and done so anyway with this week's new story trailer. As it turns out, there's a whole lotta brotherly love, royal squabbling and series-mandated Templar conspiracies rumbling underneath all that Anglo-bashing.
Even so, Valhalla is still very much a game about charging over to England and giving the locals a good pillaging. If that's not aspirational, I'm not sure what is.
While we always knew that much about Ubisoft's big beard bash, today's trailer gives us a clearer lay of the land. Arriving in an England divided, Eivor's band of Vikings will be taking on the likes of King Alfred's forces and the wild Sons of (notably absent) Ragnar Lothbrok for control of the beleaguered isle. It's a story that lends itself more towards warmongering than sneaking around, sure. But as Alice B found after playing, Valhalla should still be a grand old time.
It's no all war drums, mind. We do get a good bit of bonding between Eivor and their best bro Sigurd, while there's a rollicking great feast scene packed with beefy folks swigging mead and causing a merry old ruckus. Of course, there's also an "unknowable threat" lurking behind hooded figures and templar crosses - a reminder that this is, in fact, an Assassin's Creed game after all.
Bit of a bummer to see Ubi are still fronting Guyvor as their lead, mind. While you'll be able to switch between male and female leads at whim, it's frustrating to see the marketing treat our big buff Viking lass as an afterthought, relegated to special edition promos or snuck into alternate cuts of trailers. A shame, but not a surprise, given allegations that certain Ubi executives have track records in claiming "female protagonists wouldn’t sell."
Perhaps not the most important thing to come out of the publisher's year of harassment, abuse and discrimination allegations, but y'know.
Anyway. Whatever flavour of Eivor you fancy, you'll be getting your hands on their axe a little earlier than first planned. Ubisoft this month brought the release date forward a week to coincide with Microsoft's fancy new tellyboxes, with Assassin's Creed Valhalla now launching on Uplay and the Epic Games Store this November 10th.