Content Type: Gaming News
Date: May 20, 2020
Just a couple of days ago Julien Laferrière confirmed that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will have a larger map than its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The Producer stated that the game will be reproducing the entirety of England (with major cities like London, Winchester, and York), along with a “good part” of Norway. Yet, this news came about a week after the controversial rumors that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will be both shorter and smaller than Odyssey. This was probably mentioned to address the criticism regarding the grindy nature of the 2018 game, fueled by shallow quests and microtransactions.
Just like it happened with the news regarding the Co-Op mode in Valhalla (which was supposedly confirmed not to be in the game), the conflicting information around the topic produced a confusing final image. Ideally, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will, indeed, give us the largest explorable map of the series while avoiding artificially stretching out the gameplay time. There are some clues that give us hope that the developers gave a lot of thought to the player experience this time around, including the Valhalla‘s signature Drakkar ships and naval combat!
Naval Combat Experience Remastered: Raids, Assaults, and Exploration
Naval combat made its first appearance as early as Assassin’s Creed III, but it became an iconic part of the game in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It was less of a big part of the game in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, but we already saw the developers play around with the naval combat and make some parts of it customizable (like your crew and the look of your ship). Still, the new format did disappoint some of the old-time players.
Well, you might be quite pleased to know that naval combat is making a strong come-back in Valhalla! You will have an appropriate Viking longship that will be much easier to summon than the Odyssey version, used to acquire important resources (more speculation on that later) or even assault some bandit camps. The developers promised us more variety of enemies and combat encounters this time, which is quite exciting.
People you will recruit around the world can be added to your raid party and customized, with up to 8 crew members manning your unique Drakkar ship. It’s very likely that the longship will be a much bigger part of the game this time around, as opposed to merely having your crew sit tightly within and maintain firepower. The way the longship will be used in a raid will differ from the assault on large fortifications. Along with that is the ship’s power of navigation, occasionally making it a much faster and more convenient way of traversing the massive landmass and exploring along the shore.
What Does Naval Exploration Bring to Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla?
With that in mind, it’s important to talk about our protagonist, Eivor, and his home settlement. So far we know that the story will pretty much begin and end with Eivor’s home in Norway, which will serve as our protagonist’s base. It will be central to the quests and major decisions made in the game, including visual evidence of forging alliances that will be visible in marriages between clans. Your home base will also be the place to recruit your clan members to your cause, as well as indulge in some of the game’s Romance mechanics.
With that being said, we don’t quite know how the settlement will assist your adventures in England, but we do know that Eivor will be able to build and upgrade buildings like the Blacksmith, Barracks, and even a Tattoo Parlor. This is where the resource collection we have discussed in the previous section could come in. Since you will be able to engage in combat with both England’s and neutral factions (i.e., bandits), it’s reasonable to expect that veering away from both the main story and major cities will still have its big battles and big rewards to help you invest into Eivor’s skill tree, gear, and his (or her!) adventuring party.
The Game Director of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey once described the naval combat in the game as “something that fans were really happy with in past Assassin’s Creeds” when discussing Odyssey‘s innovations. What we have seen so far with the Valhalla‘s trailer and the bits of revealed gameplay elements lets us know that Ubisoft Quebec is aware of the player feedback on the naval combat in the series, and is now taking it in an entirely new direction.