Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gives fans of TV’s Vikings a new perspective on the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok and a chance to explore his world.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla might just be the perfect game for fans of the History Channel’s Vikings. The newest entry into the Assassin’s Creed franchise allows players to experience the Viking age in a whole new way without covering so much of the same ground that it becomes stale. Here’s why fans of Vikings will love Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Players are put in the fur boots of Eivor, a Norse warrior on a journey for honor and glory. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is an open world action RPG, so Eivor’s quest involves a lot of exploring, combat, and – being an Assassin’s Creed game – stealthy kills. The Viking world on display, both the Norsemen’s homeland and the English countryside they raid, is beautifully rendered, and Eivor’s melee combat is suitably brutal for a Viking raider. So whether fans of Vikings are looking to step into the Viking world or just paint it in blood, there is plenty to love about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
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The biggest difference between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Vikings is their treatment of Ragnar Lothbrok. In Vikings, Ragnar was the protagonist, whereas in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s story he is a background character whose life looms large over the plot of the game. However, this difference is actually Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s greatest strength when appealing to Vikings fans. Because this is someone else’s story, the game allows lovers of Norse epics an opportunity to see Ragnar Lothbrok’s rise from man to myth from a different perspective. In particular, Ragnar’s sons feature heavily in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, along with his Great Heathen Army, lending Vikings fans a glimpse of his legacy.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Features Norse Gods Similarly To Vikings
In contrast, the legend of the Norse gods is handled similarly between the two titles. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla uses well-timed cameos from the gods to lend an otherwise grounded piece of historical fiction an ethereal sense of magical realism, much like Vikings. Early in the game, Eivor encounters a wise woman called Valka. She interprets a vision of Eivor’s in which they are followed by a one-eyed man in a cloak. It may not the most coded of hints to lovers of Norse myth, but it’s interesting to see how Odin haunts the dreams of his believers. Over the course of the game, there are far less cryptic (and far more comical) sightings of Odin and the Aesir, but these eerie allusions will thrill fans of Vikings who were enthralled by Odin’s ominous appearances.
More than that, the treatment of those gods will appeal to fans of Vikings. Early in story, Eivor is granted a prophecy. According to Valka, they are destined to betray someone he loves. They protest: “Odin fought against his fate, it can be done!” To Eivor, the gods are both role models and unknowable forces of nature. This theme of being both blessed and cursed by gods who are at once relatable and mysterious, present and distant, will be familiar to fans of Vikings. Ragnar is keenly aware that Odin watches over him. Nevertheless, Ragnar’s life is marked by ceaseless tragedies and difficulties which the Wanderer chooses not to save him from. Like Eivor, Ragnar appeals to the gods even when they seem absent and cherishes their stories.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers fans of Vikings a chance to explore the Viking era that Ragnar Lothbrok helped define. And the unique perspective on Ragnar’s legend will give fans of his dramatized life a new respect for his impact on the Viking world. Indeed, any lover of Norse mythology and Viking culture will find a lot to enjoy in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
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