Every year, as we approach Christmas, I have to hand in my liking indie games badge and gun because I get excited about big releases. But you and I have known each other for a while, reader, and the fact is that I genuinely like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and I am well up for Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Before it came out, I was mostly stoked to play as a big shieldmaiden with smoky eyeshadow who can crush man, woman and spectral ghost dog 'neath her mighty boot.
I'd obviously considered any potential "which Eivor is best?" to be pre-settled. It is basically a rhetorical question, I thought, in need of no further discussion. But things have changed since then. For example, it turns out that that eyeshadow is actually a tattoo. Ouch-o-rama! And, lately, I find myself inexplicably drawn to. I dunno, Boyvor? Is that what we'd call him?
The good news is that, like every will-they-won't-they relationship in the worst sitcoms of all time, there's no need to actually commit. You can pick male or female Eivor from a menu option, or pick to let the game throw you between the two at some specific moments for tedious lore reasons I won't go into here, but you can change this decision literally whenever you want.
You're also not locked out of any other options, as far as I can tell. You can still romance whoever you want, you get the same armour and gear options (and, happily, female Eivor's armour isn't the male armour but with tit holes hammered into it and a split up to the thigh at the sides). You get all the same hair and tattoo options. It's rad. The difference is that male Eivor has some fashionable beard swatches too.
That said, my instinct is that most people are going to pick 'n' stick with their protagonist, not pick 'n' mix. So let's examine the two.
The case for male Eivor
My attraction to Boyvor last trailer before was what started it. I'm not entirely sure how they did it, but the vibe makes it seem like Guyvor is just some dude. Like, it's not an advert for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, it's an advert for something else entirely where the actors all happen to be dressed as Vikings.
Things Boy Eivor could be hawking at me other than the one thing he actually is, based on his general demeanour: aftershave, a new kind of tyre, Intel processors, a cheeky Nando's, aspirational trainers, cruelty-free ties, joining the RAF, a special kind of comb just for beards, the Six Nations, one of those high-tech exercise bikes, a watch that costs $6,000, menthol gum.
Like, I feel like he would be a friend of a friend at a wedding who kind of got drunk and acted like a dick, but then apologised the next time you saw him. And you'd think "I don't like you, but I do respect you", until gradually you warmed up to him and eventually one time he lets you jump in his Uber home 'cos it's going past yours. And from then on, you're like "ah, Eivor's sound, he just makes a bad impression."
Male Eivor's vibe is a bit cocky, just like female Eivor, but likeable. His voice is a bit raspy, unlike female Eivor, but in a way that says less "smokes 40 a day" and more "roars across fjords". There is a possibility that if you paid to go on a wilderness survival course in Norway, male Eivor would be your firm but jovial guide.
The case against male Eivor
He is not female Eivor.
The case for female Eivor
She is perfect. Like Mary Poppins.
The case against female Eivor
None. Sorry, I lied, I knew I was going to do this the whole time.