Assassin’s Creed is a mostly-historical series, but its sci-fi meta-story offers plenty of opportunity to delve into mythology, too. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla draws from an especially robust mythology, and it seems that the game will be taking full advantage of it. You’ll be able to visit realms like Asgard and Jotunheim as part of a ‘vision quest’.
“Mythology [and religion] was present in everyday life for the Norse at this time,” game director Eric Baptizat tells us in an interview. “An interesting [result] of that is the line between myth and reality is blurred – everything that happened to people was explained as being sent from the gods. So we play a lot with this, and you’ll see many elements [of life] as they correlate to Norse mythology.
“Take Valka, the seer. She is a kind of shaman, and when you build a hut for her in your settlement, she allows you to go on a vision quest in which you’ll visit some of the worlds of Norse mythology. So you can access Asgard and Jotunheim.”
Ubisoft has given us a few tantalising screenshots of those legendary locations, but it looks we’ll be waiting for the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla release date to see them in further detail.
Of course, there are plenty of interpretations of Norse myth – and yes, it’s okay if you know the rainbow bridge exclusively from the Thor movies – but Baptizat says AC Valhalla’s interpretation is “mainly based on the Norse literature. There have been many different versions of [the Norse gods], which change their attitude or physical attributes, but we try to stay true to the Norse literary description, both for the gods and the different myths.”
Valhalla also dives into the English side of the era, and while it sounds like British mythology won’t be quite as prevalent, there’ll still be a few details. “There are a lot of myths to play with, such as Black Shuck, the terrifying giant dog or wolf [that stalks East Anglia and may have been influenced by Viking myths of Odin’s black hound]. So we use a lot of stories like this to create events and, again, to play with the blurry line between myth and reality, so you can expect to encounter all those stories.”
Baptizat also told us about how you can use the promise of alcohol to your advantage in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s social stealth system. Expect our full interview to go live soon.