Vikings are All the Rage
It seems that the latest trend in pop culture – closely following zombies, of course – is Vikings. After playing God of War on my PS4 and binging The Last Kingdom on Netflix, I’m certainly not going to complain as I find myself particularly drawn to this aesthetic and time in history. Although Stadia is still young, it’s already beginning to bring heavy hitting AAA titles into the fold. To my surprise, the next generation open world Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest to join the party.
This Land is My Land
Valhalla sees you playing the role of a 10th century Viking raider named Eivor who must lead his clan from the harsh, barren landscape of Norway to a new home in England where it is habitable enough to settle and perhaps to build a future. Fortunately for him, England is a broken, warring nation which can be taken by surprise upon their arrival as it seeks to become one nation under the rule of King Alfred I, but Eivor will stop at nothing to prevent that.
Seemingly reinventing the series once again, the cinematic trailer shows your journey to the shores of England, lots and lots of fur, a gritty battle against armor clad Saxon soldiers and more. Odin assesses the battlefield from the sidelines before flying away as a raven, which leads me to believe that your ‘eagle’ vision mechanic, which has become so popularly tied to a flying friend in the series since its introduction in Assassin’s Creed III will in fact be a raven named…you guessed it, Odin.
Oh yeah, did I mention there is lots and lots of fur? No, seriously, the reason I point this out is because I recently came across a trailer review for the game by Shadiversity on Youtube. “Shad” is an expert on medieval weapons, armor, fighting tactics, cultures and more and continually points out how the fur that the Viking raiders wear so heavily is not accurate to the time in which the game seems to occur. It’s worth a watch and he’s entertaining as well.
In fact, not much here is very familiar to fans until the end of the trailer when Eivor, seemingly bested in battle against the gargantuan warrior he struggled against, drives a hidden blade through his eye. What’s new here is that the blade, while normally worn on the bottom of the forearm, is seen on the top of his forearm instead. So much for being ‘hidden’. This must be to compliment the raiders’ barbaric and no-holds-barred combat style and personality compared to previous assassins’.
Give Me Features…or Give Me Valhalla
For those who aren’t aware, the name Valhalla comes from Norse mythology and refers to a great hall where heroes slain honorably in battle are received. To the rest of us, the closest explanation of this is that it’s their version of Heaven.
The game features epic raids, the ability to manage your own settlement, ship combat, of course, the ability to create and share custom raiders, recruit others’ raiders, various activities such as hunting, fishing, dice, drinking games, and even Viking rap battles, or as they like to call it, flyting. Wait, what?
For the first time, the series also features the ability to dual wield weapons! According to Ubisoft, this can be done with axes, swords and anything else you can fight with.
When it Ships…Drop the Sails
As a reminder, Stadia players will be enjoying Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with one simple click on launch day while everyone else waits for at least half of the game to download to their consoles. This will, no doubt, give reason to those who have discounted Stadia to give it a second chance.
Now that this marks the second Assassin’s Creed title to come to Stadia I have two hopes. Firstly, I hope to see Assassin’s Creed Odyssey go on sale again so that those of you who have not yet tried the series can get their feet wet (or, you can pick it up right now for 67% off!) Secondly, I hope we can one day look forward to Assassin’s Creed Origins making its way into our library. The Ancient Egyptian themed entry would finalize the Creed’s trifecta on the platform.
We Must Axe
Will you be picking up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla when it releases Holiday 2020? Let us know in the comments section below! We’ll be sure to notify you when it goes up on the Stadia store.