Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will offer players the chance to play as a male or female version of the same character when it releases later this year.
It’s a brand new approach to protagonists for the Assassin’s Creed saga, which has granted the chance to play as a female lead in Odyssey although Cassandra is an entirely different and independent character from his brother Alexios.
Despite original claims from a Ubisoft PR, Valhalla will be bigger than the aforementioned Odyssey, and that also required something deeper and more focused when it came to characters.
Narrative director Darby McDevitt has explained how that choice has not harmed the character-building as that could have easily led to standard dialogues and decisions which would work just fine with both the versions.
“The first thing we did was decide that we were going to write a coherent character with a coherent personality,” said McDevitt in a Q&A with fans.
When choosing how to deal with a single character built upon two different versions, Ubisoft Montreal’s team wanted to “create a character who has a coherent personality and that all the answers that they give in dialogue options still fall within a spectrum.”
“So, for example,” the narrative director added, “if somebody was lying to you, your character could choose to just call them on that lie or maybe withhold calling them on it to see if you can get more information out of them or to see where that lie would go.”
According to McDevitt, Eivor exists “in a coherent space and have a coherent personality so that by the time you get to the end of our game, no matter which little paths you’ve taken through the game, you always feel that Eivor was Eivor.”
In that sense, “whether you choose male or female, and both options are valid in our game, you will always feel that Eivor was coherent and complete.”
The developer feels that it has managed to build a character “cool mystery and intrigue around,” so it will also be a path of discovery of that mystery and not only the story of Vikings in itself that should attract players.
Mystery will also be brought in by Nordic gods that, while the game is focused on more grounded matters, will still play a role in the story.