Creative director Ashraf Ismail confirms players can “play the content as they wish to play it.”
Even though all we have for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla right now is a CG trailer (the gameplay reveal comes next week), people are already more than just a little excited to get their hands on the game. That said, as mouthwatering as the prospect of playing as a badass Viking Assassin is, there are many who are a little skeptical about how the actual game will structure its content. After all, its predecessor, Assassins Creed Odyssey, was notorious for its bloat and grinding- so is that an issue that the upcoming open world behemoth addresses?
According to creative director Ashraf Ismail, that will indeed be the case. Speaking in an interview with Press Start, when asked about how grinding is balanced in Valhalla as compared to Odyssey, Ismail said that the upcoming game essentially allows players to consume all the content in the game however they want, whether that’s sticking to the story or engaging with the settlement building mechanics or more.
“With Valhalla, with the balancing of the game, our goal is to just let players play the content they want,” he said. “Again we built a really intriguing world that takes place in Dark Ages England and Norway. By the way, when you leave Norway to England, you can always go back to Norway, so we built these really beautiful breathtaking living worlds, and we want players to play the content as they wish to play it. That’s the way the game is being balanced.”
“So, people want to focus on narrative, there’s no issue there, people want to focus on their settlement, again, no issue there,” he continued. “It’s really up to players to decide how they want to consume the content. That’s always been our angle and again, this, we’re showcasing Eivos’ personal journey, we’re really focused on that. So again, if people want to focus on that personal journey and the relationships that come out of that they can do that.”
Given how Odyssey could often present level gating as roadblocks and how that essentially forced players to grind side quests and optional activities – and how that could potentially also open up the can of worms known as purchasable time savers – it’s good to know that Valhalla is taking a different route when it comes to progression.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is due out this Holiday for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and Stadia. On PC, the game will only be available via the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft’s own Uplay. Meanwhile, on Xbox Series X, it will support Smart Delivery, and also promises 4K resolution.