Ubisoft sought help from a historian to make combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla more faithful to the period.
Just last week, Ubisoft unveiled Assassin’s Creed Valhalla— the upcoming addition to their blockbuster franchise set to take place in the Viking era.
Gamers were quick to raise concerns over the title being overly similar to the latest God of War installment, which revolved heavily around Norse mythology. The same mythology that Vikings are often associated with.
Ubisoft wasted no time in alleviating these concerns by assuring fans that the game would delve more into the historical aspect of the Vikings rather than its mythos. One aspect they’re particularly meticulous about is the combat.
To reach the historical accuracy they’re aiming for, Ubisoft brought in Thierry Noël— a well-versed historian and the inspirational content advisor for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Uncover the legend of the Vikings in this Q&A with @AssassinsCreed Valhalla's research advisor, Thierry Noël!
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) May 1, 2020
The Viking approach to combat
When asked how his research translated into changes made to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s combat gameplay, Noël began by calling the era’s fighting style as”rough” and “rustic.” He further explained that harshness bred the Vikings’ versatility, which included the ability to wield an arsenal of different weapons.
Noël’s research lead him to believe that Vikings were always prepared to carry a weapon in each hand, and shields were no exception. In line with this, Ubisoft has included the ability to dual-wield shields in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which will be a first for the series.
Raids were also a way of life for Vikings, according to Noël, so developers wanted to showcase the strategic nature of the raids by giving players a degree of control over them.
‘Unleash the ruthless fighting style of a Viking warrior as you dual-wield axes, swords, or even shields against relentless foes. Decapitate opponents in close-quarters combat, riddle them with arrows, or assassinate them with your Hidden Blade.’#AssassinsCreedValhalla pic.twitter.com/KxgMc5daIH
— The Creed Collective (@creedcollectiv) May 5, 2020
The role Norse mythology will play
“The gods and myths played a very important role in the daily life of Norse people, through ceremonies, rituals, beliefs, and interpretations of the world around them,” explained Noël.
Vikings were known to be very in tune with their deities and were believed to be quite the superstitious folk. This was made very obvious in the cinematic trailer when the Vikings gained a second wind once a raven graced the battlefield.
That being said, while it may not be to the same extent as God of War, fans can still expect Norse mythology to play an integral part in the game’s plot. Just don’t expect to be gearing up for battle against Odin and Thor anytime soon.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is poised for a Holiday 2020 release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Stadia, and PC.
Image courtesy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla/Ubisoft