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Opinion: Valhalla looks promising, but it could ditch one of Assassin’s Creed’s best features

Assassin’s Creed reinvented itself with Origins and honed that new formula in Odyssey to much success and acclaim. Many fond memories in these games came from the recreation of grand structures and being able to ascend these masterpieces – could these moments be absent in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?

From making it to the top of the pyramids in Origins to peaking in Zeus’s butt in Odyssey, magnificent structures have been a huge part of the Assassin’s Creed franchise since its inception, with act of ascending ancient monuments never too far away.  

Heck, even before the recent more RPG-focused reimaging, Assassin’s Creed has always prided itself on detailed recreations of historical monuments – scaling The Vatican with Ezio and Big Ben with the Frye twins. Unfortunately, King Alfred and the Vikings weren’t blessed with these luxurious feats of mammoth architecture.

There’s no doubt that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be a gorgeous game, especially if the recent art reveal stream and reveal trailer are anything to go by. However, given the historical time period, the game looks sure to forego the grand nature that previous architecture in AC games has afforded us.

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Sure, King Alfred has his tower and his castle and the Vikings have decent sized longhouses and forts, but these are far from the scale and grandeur of the Colosseum and Notre Dame.

Climbing has been around in Assassin’s Creed since its inception and, for some, doing less of it in Valhalla might be a welcome change. However, the climbing itself was just part of the journey and not the goal.

Especially in recent times, Assassin’s Creed has become a corking game for utilising photo mode – with the addition of a mode in Origins and Odyssey that removed combat and simply let you traverse the worlds to appreciate their remarkable architecture. 

Valhalla may offer more lush landscapes and there’ll be some opportunities there for stunning photo ops but is the joy of scaling up high and looking over a rich scene of historical marvels dead and buried? We’ll have to wait and see – we might get a better look during the Xbox Series X Showcase next Thursday.

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