After taking a year off in 2019, we’re all ready and waiting for a stellar comeback from the Assassin’s Creed series in 2020, and judging by recent leaks, this could well be what we’re in for.
The first teaser came back in 2019 in the form of an in-game The Division 2 poster depicting what appears to be a Viking-esque character holding a golden globe that looks suspiciously similar to the Apple of Eden in the Assassin’s Creed series, and subsequent early 2020 leaks lent more credibility to the Viking-era setting of the upcoming title, now confirmed to be called Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Here’s everything you need to know about Valhalla, from release date and platform news to the first gameplay footage from the new Assassin's Creed.
When will Assassin’s Creed Valhalla be released?
Ubisoft has only just formally announced the existence of AC: Valhalla, which it did in the form of an artwork reveal stream with artist BossLogic. The whole thing lasted hours, but you can watch a timelapse version of the reveal right here:
With an April reveal we're expecting to see the game itself some time later in 2020, and Ubisoft itself says 'holiday 2020'.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey came out in October 2018, so a release around the same time this year might make sense, but it's possible that Ubisoft will hold out an extra couple of months so that the game can launch together with next-generation consoles. Speaking of...
Which platforms will Assassin’s Creed Valhalla be available on?
On PC it will be an exclusive to Uplay and the Epic Games Store though, so don't expect to find the game on Steam.
Meanwhile on Xbox it will support Smart Delivery, which means that if you buy the game once for Xbox One you can play the same copy on an Xbox Series X, so there's no need to worry about buying it twice.
You can already pre-order the game direct from Ubisoft.
What version should I buy?
There are predictably a few versions of Assassin's Creed Valhalla to pick from, though we don't know all of the details about what's included yet.
You can buy the game on its own, or upgrade to the Gold Edition to get the season pass too - including an extra story mission at launch. The Ultimate Edition throws in some as-yet unconfirmed extra digital goodies and in-game items, while the Collector's Edition throws in a whole load more goodies including two statues, the soundtrack, some lithographs, and more.
What's included in the Season Pass?
We don't know a huge amount about Valhalla's season pass yet, but we have a few details. First up, we know that buying it will unlock an extra mission called 'The Way of the Berserker', which will be available at launch.
Beyond that, Ubisoft's German store listing reveals that the downloadable content will allow you to "explore new countries" beyond the Norway and England of the main game, and will include a story mission based on the legend of Beowulf.
Watch the Valhalla trailers
A day after the title reveal Ubisoft followed it up with this cinematic trailer which shows off the setting in earnest - though there's not much in the way of gameplay:
Then as part of Microsoft's Inside Xbox reveal of Xbox Series X gameplay we got our first gameplay footage from the game, though be warned that it's more a matter of in-engine footage than actual gameplay:
Where and when does Assassin’s Creed Valhalla take place?
It should come as no surprise that a game with the name “Valhalla” is expected to take place in the Viking era, and it looks set to cover the Viking invasion of Britain during the Dark Ages.
The official description says that you can "Sail from the harsh and mysterious shores of Norway to the beautiful but forbidding kingdoms of England and beyond," so we know that it'll cover both sides of the North Sea and include multiple countries - we wouldn't be surprised to see more of Scandinavia and perhaps even the likes of France or the Netherlands.
You'll also be able to "Immerse yourself in the Viking way of life through fishing, hunting, drinking games, and more."
What can I expect from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay?
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is said to expand upon what was on offer in Odyssey in just about every way, from new mechanics like raids to even a limited form of multiplayer.
You'll once again be able to choose to play as a male or female character, though this time they'll be named Eivor regardless of your choice. Still, RPG mechanics are back, allowing you to shape things from your own gear setup to the political state of the larger world.
Combat will include dual-wielding axes, swords, shields, and no doubt more, with gear progression baked in. As you'd expect there'll be ranged options too, and stealth will be back thanks to the iconic Hidden Blade.
Animal companions are back too, this time in the form of a raven - very Norse - who will have some new abilities compared to the eagle from Odyssey, though we don't know exactly what yet.
The present world sections of the game are returning too, and it's been confirmed that they will be playable, with some new mechanics to look forward to as well.
Raids are one of the major new additions, with the option to "Launch massive assaults against Saxon troops and fortresses throughout England." And yes, that includes pillaging from your longship, because it wouldn't really be a Viking game otherwise, would it?
Raids are also where the multiplayer element comes in - you'll be able to design and customise a raider within your clan to then share with friends online, so that they can use them within their own games. It's worth emphasising that there isn't any proper co-op element to the game though, despite early rumours that there would be.
The other huge addition is the chance to build up your own settlement. Ubisoft promises that you'll be able to "Construct and upgrade buildings that allow for deep customization, including a barracks, blacksmith, tattoo parlor, and more," as well as "Recruit new members to your clan and personalize your Viking experience."
Naturally, romance options will also feature, including same-sex options.
For more exciting games to look forward to in 2020, take a look at our selection of the best upcoming games.