Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks to be taking inspiration from Rockstar Games' triumphant Red Dead Redemption sequel in the form of a settlement feature new to Ubisoft's long-standing franchise.
Sprawling open-world titles often take players far and wide as they progress through the narrative. Assassin’s Creed Black Flag had Assassin’s Creed fans traveling the seas and venturing to new islands, while Unity took place all across Paris amidst the bloody French Revolution.
Valhalla looks to shake up the standard structure by having players return to a home base, similar to Red Dead Redemption 2's camps, or the Normandy in Mass Effect. New details reveal just how pivotal this new feature will be.
“The settlement is Eivor’s home,” Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail said in an interview with SAGamer. The developers said they wanted to “give the full Viking experience” by establishing a proper ‘home base’ for the Vikings.
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Instead of traveling from one location to the next, with the story constantly rushing forward, Valhalla will let players take a breather. Eivor can return home between story beats, invest in the settlement, and build relationships with its inhabitants.
“Investing in the settlement creates buildings and grows a community and social ecosystem," Ismail continued. "Eivor’s journey will be underscored and mirrored by the journey of the settlement and its inhabitants.”
Throughout the journey, it sounds as though players will be able to expand their settlements. New buildings might create new opportunities to grow a deeper bond with allies. Similar to Red Dead’s sequel, this homely environment could be the best way to pick up new side missions, learn about the world, and see Eivor out of his battle-hardened combat-mode.
“At its heart, the settlement is a narrative journey through a system,” Ismail explained. There’s no telling if the location will change throughout the story, but its clear players will always have a home to head back to after major battles.
We already know that players will be able to customize Valhalla’s protagonist more than usual. With each new settlement building serving a “unique function” as well, it sounds like there will be plenty for veteran Assassin’s Creed players to unravel.
There’s no release date locked in just yet for Valhalla, but Ubisoft has teased that the Viking experience will be on its way in the fourth quarter of 2020.