He’s also not worried about comparisons to God of War.
Over the last two major entries in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed has leaned more directly into mythology than previous titles. Both Origins and Odyssey went head-on into mythology beasts and gods, especially the latter. While they kept that certain sci-fi spin on it based around the series’ Isu civilization plot, it’s still been something the franchise shied away from in the past. It seems like Valhalla won’t be taking that same path, as it will aim for a more grounded approach.
Speaking to GameSpot, Narrative Director Darby McDevitt talked about the more grounded nature of the game vs the recent God of War reboot that based itself heavily in Norse mythology. He said that he’s not too worried about the comparison to God of War, and that they aren’t looking to lean heavily into the same material In fact, he says he wants to do the opposite, feeling people use the Viking time period and setting too much just to dive into Norse myth. He doesn’t say that mythology will be missing completely, after all Odin is referenced and possibly seen in the reveal trailer, it just won’t be a heavy focus.
“God of War is great–yeah, I’ve played it,” McDevitt said. “It’s fantastic. I wouldn’t say we’re too worried because most games, when they touch this topic, they actually skew very heavily towards the mythology. So that’s the front-facing feature–you play God of War so you can go punch Baldur in the face, meet all these characters, and travel to fantastical environments.
“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.
“We’ve created this massive world to explore, to raid, to assault, to meet interesting people, but you’re going to do it as a human, as a person who has to ride a horse to travel long distances and get to where they want to go rather than fly or something.”
It’s possible it will be similar to Origins, where the base game only hinted at the more mythical stuff, while the DLC went full on into it. We’ll just have to wait and see where they go with it. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release sometime this holiday season for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.