GameTech: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks worth raiding

GameTech: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks worth raiding

The word ‘raid’ has a special meaning in gaming. These days, it’s synonymous with groups of players taking on the most difficult dungeons in online worlds. So in that sense, it harkens back to the way Vikings used to attack their victims.

Ubisoft have raided almost every part of history for the Assassin’s Creed series, and they finally landed on Norse shoreline with the latest entry. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been announced, launching later this year, and it should make fans of Viking history and folklore very happy.

While we haven’t yet seen gameplay for Valhalla, a cinematic trailer showed a premise full of potential. You will play the Viking raider Eivor and ‘lead your clan from icy desolation in Norway to the lush farmlands of ninth-century England’. We imagine many Irish players will take pleasure in raiding 9th century England.

Although we haven’t seen gameplay yet, it’s a guarantee that Valhalla will follow the same principles as the decent Origins and excellent Odyssey. The real question is whether gamers have an appetite for Vikings after the arguably deeper and more interesting ancient Greek and Roman culture of Odyssey. The TV series Vikings has increased the popularity of the premise more than ever, but people could also be tired of seeing bearded men with tattoos.

It’s important, then, that Ubisoft show us something more than just a change in premise. When Valhalla is furthered detailed, we’re hoping to hear about some great new gameplay features too. The latest Assassin’s Creed get released this winter – let’s hope it’s worth raiding for.

ELDER SCROLLS

Usually, the Elder Scrolls games are worth waiting for too. But the wait for Elder Scrolls VI is set to stretch our patience to the limit. First announced two years ago with a 36-second title screen, we’ve seen nothing of Elder Scrolls VI since.

That wouldn’t be a problem if its predecessor, Skyrim, hadn’t been released in 2011. Pete Hines, the head of marketing at developer Bethesda, has replied to a fan question on when we would see details of the next Elder Scrolls. Pete’s reply says it all:

It’s after Starfield, which you pretty much know nothing about. So if you’re coming at me for details now and not years from now, I’m failing to properly manage your expectations.

Current estimates are that Elder Scrolls VI will release sometime around 2026, a full 15 years after Skyrim. For a series that was on top of the world for 5 years after Skyrim’s release, that’s a long wait for a follow-up.

However, Starfield may help to ease the pain. All we know about this game is that it’s set in space and highly likely to follow the same single-player RPG formula that made modern Fallout and Elder Scrolls such beloved series. For years, both Bethesda and fans have wanted to see that formula take to the stars, and Starfield is likely to do just that.

The question is – has Bethesda’s star fallen, post Fallout 76? Only time (and lots of it) will tell.

PLAYSTATION 5 AND XBOX SERIES X

Meanwhile, we don’t have much time to wait for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to release, with both consoles still committed to releasing in time for Christmas.

Early reports are suggesting that the PS5 will be very expensive to produce and that Microsoft may steal a pricing advantage over their rivals as a result.

Established industry analyst Michael Pachter shared these thoughts:

“From what I've seen, Sony's gonna have to charge $500 for the PS5 and Microsoft has a big balance sheet,” Pachter said on an industry podcast. 

If they want to cut the price by $100 - just priced below the PS5 and subsidize the first 10 million units - they will. So, I think that they're waiting to have Sony blink first and then they’ll reveal the price and the launch date. Very likely sometime in November and very likely $400.

So Pachter is predicting that Microsoft, cash heavy and with stock up, will consider selling on the cheap in order to undercut Sony. It would be a clever and brave move by the Redmond company, one that might make a big difference in the current climate, where gamers may think harder about justifying a new console purchase.

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