The whole idea of the Assassins facing the sinister Templars lies at the core of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. While we may have moved on from the more rudimentary gameplay design and mechanics of old, later entries in the series seem to favor more action over actual stealth. The likes of both Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey lean into the roleplaying aspect more heavily, and stealth has fallen by the wayside. Even the iconic hidden blade has become more of an overt weapon than a sneaky tool. However, with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, that is set to change.
Death in an instant
Talking to Kotaku, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s creative director Ashraf Ismail emphasized the importance of stealth. More importantly, the hidden blade will regain its full potential. That means the ability to kill anyone instantly can be Eivor’s to wield. That is, if you have the timing to pull it off.
“Eivor receives the hidden blade quite early on,” Ismail explained. “We continue with the idea that Eivor is not a trained assassin. Eivor is a Viking who receives this badass weapon and has to learn very quickly. Early in the experience, Eivor will learn a technique that, with the right timing … can one-shot-kill virtually anybody.”
The fact that you cannot wield that kind of power wantonly in Valhalla is definitely appealing to would-be assassins. It will take planning, skill, and timing. And of course, if all things fail, your strength as a Viking warrior will come in handy.
Some tasks, though, might require a more deft touch. To aid in that, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will also bring back social stealth. It may seem odd to have the Vikings attempt to blend in among the crowds and go about things quietly, but it certainly makes sense within the bigger picture.
“The idea that a Norse person or a Viking is in a place that they’re not wanted, for them to sort of go incognito and kind of hide in the crowd, if you will, made a lot of sense,” Ismail added.
We certainly did not see much of that in action during the game’s recent appearance at Inside Xbox. This new information, however, certainly intrigues us, and we eagerly anticipate what else will be shown in the coming months. The Ubisoft Forward digital event will surely feature the game in some capacity.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch during the holidays in 2020.