Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the next game in the now-familiar stealthy-stabby-history franchise. Like Unity before it, Valhalla is set in England, but it takes place long before that title.
You’ll be playing as a Norse Viking, leading an invasion force set on settling on the sunny English shores – no doubt with a spot of assassination and a few mythological encounters along the way.
Valhalla also promises various improvements on 2018’s excellent Odyssey including expanded RPG elements, a new settlement system, and a (very limited) online multiplayer element.
When will Assassin’s Creed Valhalla be released?
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is coming out on most platforms on 10 November 2020, though comes to the PS5 ever so slightly later on 12 November in the US and 19 November in the UK – the launch dates for the console in those markets.
If you fancy getting in the mood early, two seven-track EPs of songs from the soundtrack – Out of the North and The Ravens Saga – have been released ahead of the game. They’re available on Spotify to stream, or you can buy them for yourself from iTunes or Amazon Music.
There’s also a podcast documentary series called Echoes of Valhalla that digs into the history behind the game and its setting, if you want to dig into the Viking lore a little early.
Which platforms will Assassin’s Creed Valhalla be available on?
Ubisoft has confirmed that the next Assassin’s Creed will be available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
On PC it will be an exclusive to Uplay and the Epic Games Store though, so don’t expect to find the game on Steam.
Meanwhile on Xbox it will support Smart Delivery, which means that if you buy the game once for Xbox One you can play the same copy on an Xbox Series X, so there’s no need to worry about buying it twice.
You can already pre-order the game direct from Ubisoft or Amazon.
Which version should I buy?
There are predictably a few versions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to pick from, though we don’t know all of the details about what’s included yet.
You can buy the game on its own, or upgrade to the Gold Edition to get the season pass too – including an extra story mission at launch.
The Ultimate Edition throws in some extra digital goodies and in-game items, while the Collector’s Edition throws in a whole load more physical stuff including two statues, the soundtrack, some lithographs, and more.
What’s included in the Season Pass?
We don’t know a huge amount about Valhalla’s season pass yet, but we have a few details. First up, we know that buying it will unlock an extra mission called ‘The Way of the Berserker’, which will be available at launch.
Beyond that, Ubisoft’s German store listing reveals that the downloadable content will allow you to “explore new countries” beyond the Norway and England of the main game, and will include a story mission based on the legend of Beowulf.
Watch the Valhalla trailers
A day after the title reveal Ubisoft followed it up with this cinematic trailer which shows off the setting in earnest – though there’s not much in the way of gameplay:
Then as part of Microsoft’s Inside Xbox reveal of Xbox Series X gameplay we got our first gameplay footage from the game, though be warned that it’s more a matter of in-engine footage than actual gameplay:
Our first proper look at gameplay came during the first Ubisoft Forward stream, with a six-minute gameplay overview and a longer 30-minute deep dive (which you’ll find further down the page here).
Following that gameplay reveal it’s back to cinematics as usual, with Eivor’s Fate trailer focussing on what’s ahead for Valhalla’s playable character – though this clip sticks strictly to Eivor’s male version:
Then there’s the official story trailer, which also sticks to male Eivor to show the story’s setup – a mission to England led by Eivor’s brother Sigurd – and hints at the Assassin-y side of the story too.
Where and when does Assassin’s Creed Valhalla take place?
It should come as no surprise that a game with the name “Valhalla” is expected to take place in the Viking era, and it looks set to cover the Viking invasion of Britain during the Dark Ages.
The official description says that you can “sail from the harsh and mysterious shores of Norway to the beautiful but forbidding kingdoms of England and beyond,” so we know that it’ll cover both sides of the North Sea and include multiple countries – we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of Scandinavia and perhaps even the likes of France or the Netherlands.
You’ll also be able to “immerse yourself in the Viking way of life through fishing, hunting, drinking games, and more.”
What can I expect from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay?
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is said to expand upon what was on offer in Odyssey in just about every way, from new mechanics like raids to even a limited form of multiplayer.
You’ll once again be able to choose to play as a male or female character, though this time they’ll be named Eivor regardless of your choice. That’s because you’re playing the same character either way, rather than the siblings of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where your choice had a material impact on the game’s story.
Ubisoft describes Eivor as “a fierce Viking raider torn between their duty to their brother Sigurd and a personal quest for glory.”
“Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources, Eivor’s clan must secure a future among the kingdoms of England. During their journey, Eivor will come across the Hidden Ones, and face powerful figures including Saxon kings and the warmongering sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, as well as a mysterious, growing threat that could determine England’s destiny.”
Curiously game director Eric Baptizat told GamesRadar that “you are allowed to change, at any time, your skill tree or the gender of your character,” meaning you can switch back and forth between male and female Eivor whenever you’d like – with no impact on the story.
Naturally, romance will also feature, including same-sex options – another welcome return from Odyssey.
RPG mechanics are back, allowing you to shape things from your own gear setup to the political state of the larger world.
Combat will include dual-wielding axes, swords, shields, and loads more, with gear progression baked in. As you’d expect there’ll be ranged options too, and stealth will be back thanks to the iconic Hidden Blade and the ability to hide within settlements with your hood up.
Animal companions are back too, this time in the form of a raven – very Norse – who will have some new abilities compared to the eagle from Odyssey, though we don’t know exactly what yet.
The present world sections of the game are returning too, and it’s been confirmed that they will be playable, with some new mechanics to look forward to as well.
Raids are one of the major new additions, with two types included. You can conduct smaller raids on any English settlement from your longboat, rallying your men to strike out, assault a village, and steal everything it’s got.
At pivotal points in the game you’ll get to conduct larger Assaults on castles and other strongholds, with multi-stage encounters in which you’ll have to batter down gates, drop drawbridges, and more in order to help your forces fight through to the castle interior.
Raids are also where the multiplayer element comes in – you’ll be able to design and customise a raider within your clan to then share with friends online, so that they can use them within their own games. It’s worth emphasising that there isn’t any proper co-op element to the game though, despite early rumours that there would be.
The other huge addition is the chance to build up your own settlement. Ubisoft promises that you’ll be able to “construct and upgrade buildings that allow for deep customisation, including a barracks, blacksmith, tattoo parlour, and more,” as well as “recruit new members to your clan and personalise your Viking experience.”
The game was originally directed by Ashraf Ismail, who also led the series semi-reboot in Assassin’s Creed Origins, so expect a similar feel to that title.
He’s no longer working on the game though. He took a leave of absence from Ubisoft in June 2020, and in August the company confirmed that he has since been fired. This centres around claims that he used his position in the company to start a relationship with a fan, lying about his marital status in the process.
We’re not sure yet what impact Ismail’s departure will have on Valhalla, but it’s probably a price worth paying for Ubisoft, as the games industry goes through its largest #MeToo moment yet.
For more exciting games to look forward to in 2020, take a look at our selection of the best upcoming games.