Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is likely high on many gamers’ wish lists for this year, and despite the recent shake up at Ubisoft, it still looks like it could be one of 2020’s top video games.
Set in 9th century England, Denmark and other locations, the game follows protagonist Eivor as he or she leads a Viking invasion of the British Isles.
And like Ubisoft’s earlier game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey you’ll be able to chose the gender of your protagonist at the start of the game, deciding to play as either the male or female version of Eivor.
The thing is, that while in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey you were locked to your choice for the entirety of the game, here you’ll be able to switch between the male and female version of Eivor as game director Eric Baptizat told GamesRadar in an interview.
“You are allowed to change, at any time, your skill tree or the gender of your character – you can swap at any time”, Baptizat told GamesRadar.
This is similar to how players could swap between Evie and Jacob Frye in 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, even if some missions were locked to one character or the other, so the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla appears to be more flexible in this regard by letting you swap between the male and female versions of the lead character at will.
“It was important to make this option available for the player. It’s something that the player can decide for the way they want to play, because it has some impact on the narrative – but it’s not two different stories. It’s the same story of the character – whatever options your character decides”, said Baptizat.
This is different to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, in which choosing one lead character or another lead to a big change in the story. I played most of Odyssey as Alexios, but the general consensus is that his sister Kassandra was the better character of the two. At least Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will let you experience the game playing as either the male or female version of protagonist Eivor, and settle on whatever character you prefer, even if this could make the story feel a bit more generic though.
Also, it seems that choosing between a male or female version of the protagonist will be standard fare now in all Ubisoft games. The last two Far Cry games have given players this choice, and so did Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, although the latter in a more limited way. Meanwhile, 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins only let gamers experience the story as Bayek, a man looking for revenge in ancient Egypt.
This all came about after Ubisoft got a lot of flak back in 2014 for saying that it did not include playable female characters in Assassin’s Creed Unity due to the extra work required, but given recent events at the company Ubisoft is likely to give this choice in most of its games from now on…
So hopefully Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be as good as the last few Assassin’s Creed games have been, and that fans of the series can enjoy another epic Assassin’s Creed adventure when Valhalla debuts this fall.
Note: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be released on November 17, 2020. Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X and Stadia.