If you were fast and hungry yesterday, you might've seen leaked footage of Assassin's Creed Valhalla in action. A 30-minute video of gameplay was posted to YouTube before getting roundly taken down by Ubisoft an hour or two later. Given the company speed in removing the original video and subsequent mirrors, it's likely that this is early footage of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which is planned to be a larger showcase at the Ubisoft Forward digital event on July 12.
The footage shows someone playing the female Eivor completing a single mission. The early part is a ride across the English countryside and reminds heavily of The Witcher 3, a game that Assassin's Creed Odyssey was heavily compared to. Odyssey is also a strong point of comparison, as Valhalla looks to carry forward many of the same mechanics. There are a few new additions to the formula, like a cinematic camera while riding your horse.
Oddly enough, the brief footage also shows a joining of Danish and English forces to tackle a larger threat, in the name of King Oswald of East Anglia. The video highlights a full castle siege, which is supposed to be a centerpoint of Valhalla, within Eivor and her men using a battering ram to smash down walls. Once the threat is subdued, there's also a player choice in deciding whether the enemy lives or dies. The video ends with a brief glimpse of the skill system, which is centered around constellations of skills.
It's clear that the footage is from early in production. There are animation and sound issues across the video—the male Eivor's voice pops up in one section, tuning overall is off. My guess is that what we'll see on July 12 will be much further along.
Despite that, fans are reacting negatively to the footage, many pointing that it doesn't look like a step up from Assassin's Creed Odyssey. "I'm getting serious Odyssey in Britain vibes from this," wrote Reddit user LeSinisterSix.
"I know I shouldn't take a leak that literally says 'work in progress' as much to go on but the only thing I saw that looks better than Odyssey is the map," wrote Reddit user RMoCGLD.
"Really concerning, considering just after the reveal they stated the combat felt more 'weighted'—this looks the opposite of that, slower swings on weapons isn't weight," added Reddit user Furaii. "Such a disappointment, I really hoped for the viking theme to make it more grounded and the combat to be really fleshed out, this one just looks like another rehash at the Origins/Odyssey combat, not a reinvention like it should have been."
The response led Assassin's Creed Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt to talk obliquely about the leak on Twitter. "You saw one color and you yelled 'This ain’t a rainbow!!!'" he tweeted.
In the meantime, Assassin's Creed Valhalla hasn't had the best of launch run-ups. After a cinematic teaser, viewers tuned into an Inside Xbox presentation expecting a gameplay trailer for Valhalla, only to get more "representative" footage. That angered the community, who have been looking for any further gameplay of the upcoming title. And McDevitt's response is noticeable, given that Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail would normally be responding to complaints online, but he's currently on a leave of absence following allegations of abuse.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is coming to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Stadia this holiday.