Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Not Mythology Focused, Devs Not Sweating God of War Comparisons

May 1, 2020
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For the past few years, the Assassin’s Creed series has toed a fine line between history and mythology, with both Origins and Odyssey featuring their share of fantastical touches. When Ubisoft officially unveiled the Viking-themed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla earlier this week, a lot of people’s minds naturally jumped to the most recent God of War, leading to some idle speculation that this latest AC will focus even more strongly on mythology.

Well, it seems that won’t be the case. In a recent interview, Assassin's Creed Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt admitted the team has heard the God of War comparisons, but isn’t sweating them, as their game will be a more grounded take on Norse and British history

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God of War is great--yeah, I've played it. It's fantastic. I wouldn't say we're too worried because most games, when they touch this topic, they actually skew very heavily towards the mythology. So that's the front-facing feature -- you play God of War so you can go punch Baldur in the face, meet all these characters, and travel to fantastical environments.

Very few games actually treat the Norse Viking experience as historically grounded. I think the urge is to always immediately lead with the mythology stuff, but we really want you to feel like you're living in the Dark Ages of England, that you're exploring the Roman ruins left behind 400 to 500 years earlier by the Romans and the remnants of the Britannic tribes before that and even the Saxon Pagans before they all converted to Christianity.

Speaking of grounded, McDevitt also hinted at what kind of ground you’ll cover in Valhalla. The game will let you explore a large swath of 9th-century England, including four different kingdoms, as well as a piece of the Norwegian coast...

England itself was fairly fractured at this time, with many different kings that rule over different parts of it. […] [Alfred’s] the king of Wessex, the southernmost kingdom in England at the time. There’s also three others – Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia – that we deal with.

Early English and Norse history is something most people don’t really know that much about, so it will be interesting to see it represented in a historically-accurate way. Well, semi-historically-accurate – this is still an Assassin’s Creed game, after all.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla sails onto PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, and PS5 this holiday season.

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