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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla director discusses combat, stealth and progression

Published: 20:23, 13 May 2020
Screenshot from the game Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla's director Ashraf Ismail did an interview with the Washington Post, where he talked about the game's combat, stealth, progression, character customisation, map size and a bunch more.

Ismail said that Assassin's Creed was always about immersive experiences and historical contexts, so they asked themselves very early on how to bring back that uniqueness that's existed back to Assasin's Creed 1? 

When it comes to parkour, he said a lot of the core gameplay revolves around locations that allow those activities to shine. Valhalla should offer ample opportunity for parkour, but same goes for combat and other activities. 

Ismail stressed that the stealth approach is critical for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, as it was also part of the team's reflection on what made the game feel unique. It certainly helped that Vikings were historically good in stealthy smash and grabs as well, so it was a natural fit. 

Asked whether there are dual assassinations, however, he remained coy, albeit mentioning that the hidden blade comes with its own perks.

Combat is another important piece of the puzzle and as Ismail said, "you can't really claim a Viking experience without nailing the combat." The team apparently made sure that players are "feeling every swing of the weapon". 

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla introduces dual-wielding any two combinations of weapons, even two shields if you choose to do so. Some weapons have synergies with each other and there are also perks that let players wield two-handed weapons with one hand. 

There are quite a few character customisation options in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, with players wearing five separate armour pieces of which the hood is but one. You can change hairstyles, beard styles, tattoos, war paint, etc.

In-game progression has also been rethought from its predecessors and each piece of gear in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is unique. You can choose to upgrade and/or transmog them, but your favourite set of weapons and gear can take you through the game just fine

Ultimately, Ismail thinks that the team set out to deliver a real Viking experience that's nuanced and anchored in the history of the world

AltChar Assassin's Creed: Valhalla artwork showing the main character and beowulf Assassin's Creed: Valhalla x Beowulf

Ismail said that they started discussions with historians pretty early, even going ona  tour of Norway and England. When asked about the map size, he joked that England is big so players will surely be pleased with it. 

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla by Ubisoft Montreal

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Eivor

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