Another day, another leak. Two days ago, I wrote about how the Assassin's Creed community had a negative response to a leaked video of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. This video clearly looked to be in the alpha state, so it was hard to judge the final product, but hungry fans always work with what's in front of them. Many were disappointed that the game looked very similar to Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
Today, there's been another leaked video, this time of a game that looks much closer to launch. Immediately, you can tell that the animations have improved vastly and there's a bit more weight to Eivor's movements. The camera has been pulled closer to Eivor, looking closer to Assassin's Creed Origins, rather than Odyssey.
Previously, Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt seemed to hint at the game being more grounded, rather than the mythical bent of Odyssey. "Very few games actually treat the Norse Viking experience as historically grounded. I think the urge is to always immediately lead with the mythology stuff, but we really want you to feel like you're living in the Dark Ages of England, that you're exploring the Roman ruins left behind 400 to 500 years earlier by the Romans and the remnants of the Britannic tribes before that and even the Saxon Pagans before they all converted to Christianity," he told GameSpot in an interview.
Despite that, the game still seems to feature magical elements, as the main part of the 7-minute video is Eivor fighting the shamanistic Cordelia, Daughter of Lerion. Eivor even calls her a seidr, which seems to be a type of Norse shamanism.
The video also has a look at the Inventory and Skill systems. The inventory user interface seems to carry forward from Origins and Odyssey, and gear seems to be aligned with one of three styles: Wolf, Bear, and Raven. The skill tree is constellation-based and leans on these three categories as well. The abilities section looks very similar to Assassin's Creed Odyssey, split into Melee and Ranged abilities mapped to the face buttons on your controller. One interesting change here is abilities are now learned from Books of Knowledge, which are found in the world. A UI prompt says players can find Books of Knowledge in monasteries or military camps.
The final improvement shown in the video is the in-game map. It presents as a flat map originally, so you can see synchronization points, camps, and whatnot, but when you zoom in, the map tilts, giving the player an actual representation of the landscape, with hills, ruins, and trees showing up. It's a small touch, but a nice one.
The community is responding more positively to this video than the last, which makes sense as this video is clearly a version of the game that's more complete. There's a reason developers don't like players looking at alpha gameplay. Fans are still looking for even more gameplay footage and a detailed look at various game systems following previous cinematic trailers. Valhalla moves towards launch without the input of its creative director, Ashraf Ismail, who recently took a leave of absence due allegations of improper conduct. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is coming to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Stadia this holiday.