Ubisoft developers have explained why the upcoming Valhalla changes one of the most iconic features of the Assasin's Creed games - the hidden Assassin's Blade.
Ever since we ran around the Holy Land with Altaïr in the first Assassin's Creed, the signature weapon of the brotherhood has been the Hidden Blade worn underneath the wrist.
Several characters have their own variations of the weapon, but it's always been worn underneath the hand, until Valhalla, whose main character will wear it much more conspicuously.
We learn in the original game that the blade worn under the wrist doesn't just look cool and make for easy stealth kills - it also has a symbolic purpose. Assassins were once forced remove one of their ring fingers to use the weapon, at the same time signifying their commitment to the brotherhood.
But Eivor, the protagonist of Valhalla whom players will control, has apparently thrown Assassin tradition to wind and will wear the weapon on top of the wrist, kind of making the name "Hidden Blade" a bit of an oxymoron. However, that seems to be just what developers intended.
Valhalla's narrative director Darby McDevitt revealed the reason developers had chosen to put the blade on the top of the wrist after a fan asked why it was different from every other AC game.
"It is a deliberate decision, it's something that Eivor feels very strongly about," McDevitt explained. "When he or she gets a hold of the Hidden Blade, it occurs to Eivor that it would be much more interesting to let people see this weapon."
"Vikings were known as having a sense of honor, and it was very important that when you killed somebody, that you let people know that you killed them," he continued. "So having the Hidden Blade visible is actually kind of an extension of that honor. We want this conspicuous aspect of the blade reflected in the way that Eivor presents him or herself to the world."
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We mentioned before that some characters in the series have put their own spin on the blade, but this would be the first time the main protagonist wears it somewhere other than the bottom of their wrist.
Viking's aren't exactly remembered for their sneakiness either, but we are talking about an Assassin's Creed game, so how developers combine that aspect with the stealth we've come to expect from the series will be very interesting to see as we get closer to Valhalla's release.