One of the most unique aspects of the Assassin’s Creed series is how it uses actual history to inform its game worlds, and it looks like that tradition will continue with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In the game’s official reveal, Ubisoft confirmed that the long-rumored Viking theme would be appearing in the Assassin’s Creed series for the first time and shared some details of what players can expect.
Along with gameplay details, Ubisoft also gave some specific information about when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place, which should offer a good idea of the state of the game’s world.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is confirmed to be set in Norway in the end of the ninth century. Playing as a Viking named Eivor, you’ll be the leader of a clan, which means you’ll be carrying out a lot of raids on neighboring communities and more distant settlements across the sea.
Historically, the ninth century was a very turbulent time for what is now known as Norway. For most of the 800s, the area was divided into several different kingdoms, but in the last few decades of the century, a series of wars broke out between these kingdoms that would eventually lead to the unification of Norway.
Ubisoft says that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place in these later years of the ninth century, when fighting within Norway was at its most violent. We know from Ubisoft that Eivor led their clan away from Norway to avoid conflict there, and the unification wars would provide justification for that.
During this period, Scandinavians were also settling in large numbers in what is now England, which was itself undergoing conflict between rival clans. Because of the time period, it’s also highly likely that Norse religious practices will feature prominently in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and a glimpse of one such ritual can be seen in the reveal trailer.
Unlike most other Assassin’s Creed games, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place at a time when the historical record is more spotty. Ubisoft says it had to put together a history of the time based on archaeological records and sources other than the Vikings, who often portrayed them exclusively negatively, which makes it hard to get at the truth of their history.
While it may be more difficult for Ubisoft to portray the time period of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as accurately as it has in previous games, it should still provide a fascinating glimpse into a popular but largely misunderstood time and culture.