Like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Assassin's Creed Valhalla -- the new Assassin's Creed game releasing this year on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia -- will let players choose between a male and female protagonist. When this was revealed for the former, it stirred up a bit of controversy on certain parts of the Internet. This backlash repeated itself when Ubisoft confirmed this option for Assassin's Creed Valhalla. In fact, the response has actually been worse.
As you may know, Assassin's Creed blends history, historical events, and actual people from actual history with fantasy. However, it's been dipping more and more into the latter with the past few installments. Further, it's a video game. It's not a history book or even a video game retelling a historical event. Because of this, there's plenty of room for creative freedom and for Ubisoft to add more accessibility options, such as the option to play as a female character.
Responding to this, some gamers have pointed out that there weren't any female warriors in Viking culture. Thus, some have slammed the game for this supposed inaccuracy. However, this isn't actually true. As Ubisoft points out, this issue is a highly debated one in archaeological circles.
Responding to this response, Thierry Noel, the historian and inspirational content advisor of the Editorial Research Unit for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, issued the following:
"The archaeological sources are highly debated on that specific issue. But the fact is, and I think what’s really important, is that it was part of their conception of the world. Sagas and myths from Norse society are full of tough female characters and warriors. It was part of their idea of the world, that women and men are equally formidable in battle, and that’s something that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will reflect."
That said, even if female warriors weren't a thing in Viking culture, it's not really relevant here. Not only is this a fictional video game that explores fictional events, via fictional characters, it's not aiming to be wholly historically accurate. And it will most likely not only be a better game for it, but a game that's accessible to all different types of players who don't always want to play as a male protagonist.3comments
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is in development for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. It is currently slated to release sometime this year.
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