The Man Cave
December 10, 2020
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest installment in Ubisoft’s extremely popular Assassin’s Creed franchise, the series has been around for 12 years and this is the 13th canon entry in the series. You play as a Viking raider by the name of Eivor, who moves to England with his clan to carve out a better future, along with the Dan Brown like connection the Assassin and Templar cults, the game brings back many features that were missing from the previous entries and is a huge dive back into the roots of the series. Bringing back the infamous hidden blade, and the hiding in crowd system, the game is sure to be a huge nostalgia factor for the fans.
Assassin’s Creed is a series of third person action adventure stealth games, that utilize blending into the crowds and hiding in plain sight as their main gameplay mechanic, aside from that they are also added with a lot of freestyle movement such as climbing and parkour like platforming, over the years the series had garnered a huge player base but that suddenly became an issue as the series lost its identity halfway through the last decade.
With the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, the series was sent into a weird direction, with the game underperforming in terms of sales and revenue because of how terribly optimized it was, along with the severe lack of polishing it was given, the game was a buggy mess, and in 2014, the era where the new consoles had just come out at the time, this game was a huge no-no for not just the player-base, but also the fans. The game had a unique crowd system and parkour feature, and not to mention some of the very best graphics that we had seen or still have in an Assassin’s Creed game, but all of it was simply outmatched by the broken nature of the game.
The series somewhat lost its footing after Unity, as the games that came out afterwards performed worse and worse, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the game that came after Unity was widely ignored by the masses and its popularity dipped down quite significantly, this sent the developers Ubisoft into a confusing situation, where they took two years off from Assassin’s Creed, and rework their entire process and gameplay loop.
Enter, Assassin’s Creed Origins, a game that solidified the next generation of Assassin’s Creed games as RPGs, they embraced the full RPG loop, made the game based around loot and leveling up, which divided the fan base for many reasons. Some of the players preferred this new style of Assassin’s Creed which was less focused on stealth mechanics and more focused on combat and exploration, meanwhile some fans preferred the older style of Assassin’s Creed where the stealth was key. Ubisoft continued to listen to the fans that liked this new style, with the release of Odyssey, they went all out on the RPG route, turning the game away more and more from realism and into mysticism, making the player character almost god-like by the end of it, and the Assassin bit was nowhere to be found, you didn’t even have the fabled hidden blade, or the Templars.
The feedback to Odyssey sent Ubisoft back into their 2 year gap, the product of which is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, a game that has seemingly finally found the balance between the two, RPG and Assassin’s Creed gameplay loops. The game has removed the leveling system with a power level, leaving all missions being playable without a level cap, along with the return to roots stealth gameplay and the story that brings back the classic Assassins versus Templar storyline, this change was hugely welcomed by the fan base and has sent Valhalla’s launch into overdrive, doubling the amount of players when compared to the launch of Odyssey, which was in itself a massive leap from Origins.
It’s safe to say Valhalla has brought the Assassin’s Creed franchise back from the confusion of genres that it had suffered from in the past few entries, and established it back to its roots of great action adventure gameplay, added with a huge amount of RPG elements that have been refined to suit the themes of the franchise, and a story that is going back to the original style of it all.
Pick up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and become the Viking raider that you know you want to be! For more information, make sure to check out our other articles and posts.