Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla promotional screenshot. Owned by Ubisoft©
Opinion by Alex Curthew-Sanders
With the release of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, fans and players alike are both spotting that something seems to be missing…
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was released a week and a bit ago and grants us the freedom to not only roam around all sneaky like as an assassin but also raid, pillage, and drink as a Viking. The latest instalment into the Assassin’s Creed franchise has received a fairly positive reception and, as someone who’s played it, isn’t a bad game at all. Despite this, however, something is missing and it’s baffling that it was forgotten in the first place.
The inclusion of the Viking sword. Yes, it turns out that the developers did not include any one-handed sword or blade like weapons into the game at all (that are usable for the player), much to the bafflement of players. Even more baffling considering the game is set historically in a period where the one-handed sword thrived. Vikings didn’t just use axes and hammers; on the contrary, the most common Viking weapon was said to be the Ulfberht swords, which were not only used in battle but were passed down from generation to generation as status symbol.
It’s safe to say that a lot of players, including myself, were greatly looking forward to being able to dual-wield this weapon as we marched into an English monastery during a raid. Even more bafflingly, the decision was made to include claymores (large swords that required the use of both hands to wield), despite the fact that claymores first appeared in the 13th century, a whole 4 centuries after the Vikings.
This series of games has always prided itself on being relatively historically accurate. Of course, there are elements of fiction woven into the history, altering the reasons or motives of some historical characters to serve the overarching story, such as the main character running into Charles Dickens in 19th century London, causing him to lose the manuscript of one of his, historically, unfinished novels. So, it’s especially bizarre to see such a blatant part of the Viking world completely missing from the game.
Although, one reason for this could be to sell it to us separately in one of the upcoming expansions planned for Valhalla. A pretty scummy move, if you ask me but not unlike Ubisoft, who have a history of predatory microtransactions within their single player games. A practice that is already looked down upon by most in free-to-play multiplayer games, and to have them included in a fully priced title like this leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
If you were on the fence about this game, then this absence of the Viking sword could be what breaks the camel’s back for you.