Assassin’s Creed Narrative Director Explains How Valhalla Will Drastically Change The RPG Formula

Assassin’s Creed Narrative Director Explains How Valhalla Will Drastically Change The RPG Formula
Credit: Ubisoft

The last two Assassin’s Creed games — Origins and Odyssey — reinvented a series that, according to some, needed reinvention, with the most recent game being one of the series’ strongest releases, as it made the transition to a full-blown RPG.

In their next release — Valhalla — Ubisoft is planning to take things even further with the series’ reinvention, and Assassin’s Creed’s narrative director Darby McDevitt recently spoke with Gaming Bolt about how they’re trying to drastically change the traditional RPG formula in their upcoming release.

McDevitt talked about the side quests in Valhalla, and in short, there won’t be any. Instead, the game will focus on more long-term stories with higher stakes, sprawling arcs, and bigger emotions, as the developers don’t believe that it would make sense for a Viking raider to put aside time to help a stranger in need out of the kindness of his/her heart.

“One of the first things we asked ourselves when making Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was ‘Does the traditional Main Quest / Side Quests format work for a Viking who invades a hostile country?’ The answer was a resounding ‘no.’ Traditional Side Quests, as you find in almost every RPG around, just didn’t make sense for our character.

“By embracing this format, it left us a lot of room for smaller and more intimate narrative moments scattered throughout the world, moments we call World Events — countless small little happenings, side stories, and surreal encounters that players may engage with as they see fit. They won’t be tracked in your quest log, but they’ll tug at your curiosity.”

Recently, there was a bit of controversy surrounding Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where head executives at the company nixed the idea of Kassandra being the game’s sole protagonist because “women don’t sell.” Thus, Alexios was added.

Following the controversy, Ubisoft revealed how players can switch between the male and female versions of Valhalla’s main character, Eivor, during the game. Of course, in Odyssey, players had to choose between Kassandra and Alexios before they started the story, and if players wanted to switch characters, they’d have to start a brand new game. But, this won’t be the case in Valhalla, as the female and male versions of Eivor are one in the same.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is currently scheduled to launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17, and it’ll come to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X after Sony and Microsoft launch their next-gen consoles.