Today, Ubisoft officially pulled back the curtain on Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the latest iteration in the long-running franchise. The upcoming entry will bring the series back to 9th century Norway, with a storyline centered around Vikings. The game was first teased yesterday, and immediately gamers started drawing comparisons with Sony's popular God of War franchise. Ubisoft seems keenly aware of these comparisons, and already seems intent on differentiating the two. The most notable difference is the fact that Valhalla seem that it will be dealing with more of the history of the real-life Vikings, and steering away from the mythological aspect.
In an interview with GameSpot, Assassin's Creed Valhalla's narrative director Darby McDevitt discussed the two games, and where the two differ.
"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," McDevitt told GameSpot.
"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."
McDevitt's words should come as a bit of a relief for those concerned that the Assassin's Creed franchise might lose its way, a bit. It's clear that the game will continue to focus on real-world events, rather than the mythological history that God of War is known for.
Of course, McDevitt is correct in that this historical period has been underrepresented in video games. While Vikings have appeared in video games throughout the history of the medium, few of those takes showed any sort of desire for historical accuracy. As such, Assassin's Creed Valhalla could prove to be a rather fresh concept when it launches later this year.
Are you looking forward to Assassin's Creed Valhalla? Do you think it will set itself apart from the God of War franchise? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
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