Ubisoft knows what you think of Vikings: their reputation in history as bloodthirsty invaders, interested in Britain only to pillage its riches. And so, in today’s reveal trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, this version of history is addressed head on.
You see Vikings and their families spending some quiet, quality time together back home in Norway, where Valhalla’s saga begins, and that things weren’t so (Alfred the) Great in Britain either – where the majority of Valhalla actually takes place.
Of course, this first trailer barely scratches the surface of the game – and indeed how its portrayal of Vikings, Saxons and various other groups living in Britain will actually look (though actual footage arrives very soon). Will good old King Alf really be a moustache-twirling pantomime villain? No, lead producer Julien Laferrière assures me, as we settle down to talk Valhalla in detail. Will all Vikings be good guys? No, again. But what seems certain is how Valhalla has been entirely shaped by this principle Vikings were not only invaders but settlers as well. They were ferocious warriors, yes, but also a group of people with a rich culture, living gods and huge mythology – all of which Valhalla will explore in detail. Central to all that will be a new village settlement hub – a home for main character Eivor and their comrades, a familiar starting point for adventures and a place you’ll see your decisions play out.