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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Changes Up Typical Ubisoft Open World Towers


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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla brings classic viewpoint towers back to the game, but changes what kind of information players receive from them.

One of the hallmarks of Ubisoft games of the last decade or so is the recurring mechanic of climbing to a very tall point in order to fill in a new area of a player’s map. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla brings back this mechanic once more, but the way the towers behave in this game is a bit different than previous Assassin’s Creed games.

The towers of Assassin’s Creed, called viewpoints, have been around since the very first game of the series, and return once more in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Traveling to the highest point in an area, always marked in Assassin’s Creed by the familiar eagle icon, allows players to remove the fog from a section of their map, but more importantly reveals all the side quests, collectibles, and mini activities that exist in an area. For the last several games, the act of synchronizing with a viewpoint often revealed a fairly daunting amount of tasks to complete and icons to clear, as Ubisoft added more and more things to do in Assassin’s Creed to help fill their increasingly large maps.

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Related: Why Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Isn’t Coming To Steam

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla continues the tradition of using viewpoints, but it handles information slightly differently. In previous games, synchronizing revealed icons that showed players a very specific type of item or activity that was at each location, be it a side quest, a papyrus scroll, a guard post to clear, etc. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s viewpoints still remove the fog from an area of the map, but the information they reveal is much more generic. Instead of filling in a range of icons, maps fill in with glowing dots that fall into three categories: Wealth, Artifacts, and Mysteries. A player must get closer to that dot to reveal through eagle vision what specifically is at that location. Wealth, for instance, may refer to an ingot which will help enhance a weapon, or a Book of Knowledge which will unlock a special ability.

How to Change Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Exploration Difficulty

Assassins Creed Valhalla Map

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The vagueness of the information parsed out by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s viewpoints is part of the game’s overall encouragement for players to take on the role of an explorer. England, where the bulk of the game takes place, is a new land for Eivor and her fellow Vikings. It makes sense that Eivor wouldn’t have an understanding of what is hiding in every village or around every corner. Players can make exploration even more challenging by adjusting the exploration difficulty level in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Playing at the Pathfinder difficulty level shows fewer icons on a player’s HUD compass, requires players to be closer to the icon before it will show on the compass, and removes any indicators of how far away an icon is.

Pathfinder difficulty removes some of the clutter from Eivor’s compass, and allows her to stumble onto Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s world events and treasures on her own, rather than feeling like she’s completing a giant checklist. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla still let’s players track that they’ve found 3 out of 22 of the wealth icons, so there’s still an element of map-clearing the player can engage in if that’s their preference. But reducing viewpoint information to glowing dots lends an era of mystery to the land. The viewpoint lets Eivor know there’s something out there; now it’s up to her to go find out what it is.

Next: How Accurate Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Viking Culture REALLY Is

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available on PS4, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC and PS5.

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Updated: November 12, 2020 — 2:26 pm

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