Due to Ubisoft’s new release schedule for the franchise, fans have had much longer to wait for a new Assassin’s Creed game. Leaks and reports point to this year’s instalment making the jump from ancient Greece, to 9th century Northern Europe, during the time of the Vikings. This era has oodles of potential, especially with it being a next-gen title, so let’s look at five things we want to see more of in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
5. More Mythology
Assassin’s Creed has always had a science-fiction element, but recent entries haven’t avoided the supernatural either. Greek Mythology played a significant role in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and I would expect that Ubisoft would be keen to explore more other-worldly possibilities in a Norse setting. Viking lore isn’t short on myths and monsters. Troll, giants, dragons and trickster gods. Even the most horrifying sea serpent of them all; the infamous Kraken. Perhaps these creatures could act as mini legendary bosses that can be found around the game world. Your protagonist would have to gather strands of info in order to find the creature’s lair, then you can raid it with a group of warriors.
4. A More Detailed World
Ubisoft outdid themselves with the scope of AC: Odessey, but it lacked detail. The Greek world was a varied one, but much of the game’s environments seemed copied and pasted from one area to another. A village in Spartan lands differed little from one in Naxos. Vikings ventured through most of Northern Europe, Iceland, Greenland, even North America. These countries and the continents they reside on differ widely in flora, fauna and climate. We expect this to be an early title for the new next-gen consoles, so expect to be blown away by the scope. I only hope they give as much attention to the density and detail of these locations.
3. A Completely Customisable Character
The franchise’s transition into the RPG genre has been an odyssey in itself. The series has made great strides towards full-on role-playing but hasn’t gone as far to allow players to create their own protagonist. Not all western RPG’s have done this (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), but it’s something they should at least try once. Leaks suggest that your character will have an androgynous name, further suggesting two gender choices. Nothing else is said about the protagonist apart from these binary choices, so this isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Ubisoft did a great job with creating cool, upgradable gear in Odessey, so if the next game chooses to follow that same path, I won’t complain… Much.
2. A Fair Portrayal Of Viking Life
The Vikings have long held a reputation that they only half deserved. Yes, they were strong military forces that pillaged their way across Europe. But, they were also people bound by deep traditions, with a reverence for the natural world. Developer diaries of previous games are a testament to the levels of research Ubisoft does in prep for each instalment. I hope that they provide a more realistic portrayal of a people, not merely a generalisation of a barbarian horde. No official details are known about Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, but I can say with near certainty that we’re going to see a side to Viking life that hasn’t been explored in gaming.
1. A Focused Story
During my 136 hour playthrough of Assassin’s Creed: Odessey, I often found myself waylaid, never sure what I wanted to do. The main narrative could have had several hours cut, with minimal impact on the game’s ending. I’m not complaining about having too much content to choose from, simply that a lot of it felt monotonous. I hope to see a more focused tale, that concentrates on delivering quality over quantity in all areas, especially side quests. I’d take fifty interesting side quests, over a hundred fetch quests. One system I hope to see carried over from is the cult of Kosmos which involved assassinating forty-tree targets involved in a pre-templar cult, located throughout the Greek world. Taking out the cult felt like a nod of the cap to the first Assassin’s Creed, and its simplistic focus on cool assassinations.