Assassin's Creed: Valhalla looks like it'll be Ubisoft's next-gen answer to The Witcher 3, one of the best games ever made.
The new viking-themed Assassin's Creed looks damn good, and it could follow one of the best video games in existence. A new bit of leaked footage from a dev build shows a gritty, brutal and dark medieval style that instantly reminds me of Temeria, but the battles are much more wide-scaled. Out of respect for Ubisoft and the developers at Ubisoft Montreal, we won't be linking or embedding the leaked footage.
In the footage we see a castle siege culminate in a bloody and chaotic battle. The combat isn't as fluid as Geralt's acrobatic style, but Eivor has some tricks up their sleeves. The Spartan Kick is back, and this time we can dual-wield and deftly dodge attacks. There's siege engines and battering rams that you can actually interact with, complete with destructible environments like gates. There's beheadings and fatality executions too. A hefty boss fight punctuates the siege, complete with monstrous wolves.
The RPG interactions like NPC questing and dialog are very fluid and also bring Witcher 3 vibes. The characters are well animated and feel grounded in the world around them, and Eivor probably has dialog choices this time, but we didn't see any. Some of the NPC scenes discussed unions of the Saxons and Danes, underlining the game's core focus on political unions.
The skillpoint system is kind of a constellation setup like Skyrim with a ton of passives, similar to Path of Exile.
Other RPG mechanics include a basic-looking gear system that isn't nearly as refined as something like AC Origins or Odyssey. There was no Shop page so we're not sure if Valhalla will be moentized with optional convenience items this time around, but it's Ubisoft, so don't bet against mTX.
The exploration is where the footage really shines. Gamers can ride a horse and explore 9th century war-torn England, from golden coasts to swaying forests and countrysides peppered with castles and mysterious, enchanting ruins. It really, really reminds you of Temeria.
The ship traversal is absolutely incredible and completely showcases what next-gen consoles are capable of. Detailed atmospheric effects like fog roils around the ocean while lightning rages in the skies, stormwinds and rainfall sweeping forward in merciless sheets. A castle stands on the horizon, your target and conquest, and fiery arrows fill the skies and ignite nearby longships. The result is an eye-popping spectacle of what looks to be 2020's game of the year.
We're not sure how new this footage actually is. It's possible this is what Ubisoft will show at their Ubisoft Forward live stream event on July 12 at 3PM EST.
The gameplay looks a bit rough in some places, and there's some obvious typographical errors--required is spelled wrong on the inventory page, for instance--so it's possible this footage wasn't meant to be seen outside of internal dev circles.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is scheduled to release in 2020 as a launch game for the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
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