You'll play as Eivor, a warrior and Viking clan leader. While not shown in the trailer, players will be able to choose which version of Eivor they want to play, male or female. You can get a look at female Eivor in figurine form: She comes with the pricey ($200!) physical collector's edition, though we don't yet know if there's any in-game difference between the two versions of Eivor beside appearance and a different voice actor.
When and where is Valhalla set?
Assassin's Creed Valhalla takes place in England in the ninth century, beginning in the year 873. Your clan has left Norway behind to start a new life in England, which may be slightly more hospitable, but staking out some new territory won't be easy. You'll still have to deal with the Saxons, who aren't thrilled about your presence. In real history, Vikings armies invaded and conquered much of England between 860 and 900 AD, but smaller raids were happening decades before that. King Alfred the Great of Wessex, a real figure, is in the Valhalla trailer above sending his soldiers out to battle the Vikings. He was one of the few English rulers to successfully beat back the Norse armies.
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Is Valhalla an RPG like Odyssey?
Assassin's Creed Odyssey turned the familiar stealth action series into a full-bodied RPG experience, adding branching dialogue and player choices that could change the course of the story. It was a welcome change for the series, so we're happy to see RPG systems will continue in Valhalla.
"Advanced RPG mechanics allow you to shape the growth of your character and influence the world around you," says Ubisoft.
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What does the combat look like?
There's a big battle in the cinematic trailer, and creative director Ashraf Ismail talks in detail about it in this developer's commentary video. "If you're going to make a Viking game, the combat needs to be visceral. It needs to be quite brutal," he says.
Ismail says there will be big, epic-scale battles in the game in addition to raids. It's hard to extrapolate how combat will really feel from a cinematic trailer, but it does contain some things we'll encounter in the game, including some very tall, heavily armored Saxon warriors. Ismail says these soldiers will have some weak points, which is hinted at in the video when Eivor stabs him through the knee.
Here are some notes on Eivor's confirmed combat abilities:
There are throwing axes. You can throw them.
Eivor can dual-wield "pretty much all combinations of weapons," even two shields if you want to. Two axes sounds better to us.
The classic assassin's hidden blade is back, although it's less hidden this time: it comes out of a chamber on the topside of Eivor's gauntlet.
Ubisoft is staying cryptic about Valhalla's story right now, but creative director Ashraf Ismail did tell us a bit about Eivor's connection to the Assassins during the cinematic trailer breakdown.
In the trailer's climactic battle, Eivor uses a hidden blade (mounted on top of their wrist, decidedly unhidden), but that doesn't mean that they're part of the Assassin organization. Ismail said that Eivor does meet and work with assassins early in the game, but clarified that Eivor doesn't know much about them. He mentions that Evior shares "common ground" with the assassins, probably meaning that Eivor's toppling of Saxon rulers also rids the assassins of a few Templars.
As for why Eivor mounts their hidden blade on top of the wrist? "Eivor puts on [the hidden blade] and believes, 'This is such a kickass weapon, why would I want to hide it from my enemies?'"
Eivor's indirect link to the Assassins is reminiscent of another AC protagonist: Assassin's Creed 4's Edward Kenway. At the beginning of the game, Kenway is a free-roaming pirate who happens upon assassin robes and a hidden blade. And though he works with assassins and eventually leads London's brotherhood later in life, he spends most of AC4 ambivalent to the Assassin organization and its goals. Eivor may follow a similar path in Valhalla.
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Can You share custom Viking raiders with friends?
As you expand your Viking clan's reach from Norway into England, you'll lead massive raids against your Saxon enemies. Launch attacks from your longboat, conquer Saxon forts, and even do a bit of diplomacy: Apparently you'll be able to "forge alliances" with some of the lords of England, though we don't have details of exactly how that will work yet.
You'll also be able to build unique mercenary Viking raiders to fight alongside your clan, and you'll be able to share these marauders with your friends for them to use in their own raids. You can even earn some loot when your friends use your custom Vikings in their games.