'Assassin's Creed Valhalla' Is Making Some Welcome Changes To Progression
Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey are excellent games, although both were certainly guilty of a skewed approach to progression. While Origins did this to a much lesser extent, Odyssey saw players run into some horrendous progression walls. Quests or enemies were nigh-on impossible to beat unless you were willing to grind away on dull side activities, especially towards the end of the game.
The good news is that despite continuing down the same RPG path as its predecessor, Assassin's Creed Valhalla will take a different approach to progression. Creative director Ashraf Ismail confirmed in a recent interview with Kotaku that your viking adventure won't come to a grinding halt by throwing insurmountable level barriers in the way.
Ismail explained that Valhalla will feature a new XP system inspired by the criticisms aimed at Origins and Odyssey. Fans might also remember the particularly controversial way that Odyssey gave players the chance to purchase XP Boosters with real-world money, something that has also seemingly been ousted.
"So we've reflected a lot since Origins on progression and what that means for players," Ismail said. "And we have a new take on progression in this game. We have more the concept of power, power that is gained through, let's say, the player gaining skills."
Ismail added this means that Valhalla will avoid "any kind of big progression walls" that could artificially pause or derail your adventure. Instead, you should be able to explore and follow the story as you see fit. That doesn't mean there won't be plenty of side activities, it just means whether or not you do them will always be up to you.
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While Ismail wouldn't explicitly confirm if the controversial XP Boosters are gone for good, he did stress that Ubisoft wants to "earn every single penny that you're going to pay" for Valhalla. This doesn't mean the game won't have microtransactions, but it suggests this particular aspect has been consigned to the bin - or at least toned down massively.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ismail hinted that we might actually have the option to avoid violence in some cases. This might not be exactly what a lot of people playing a game about viking warriors want to do, but it's cool that the option is there for those that want to change it up.
"When you set out into the world, to go after whatever that is, you get embroiled into politics," he said. "You get caught up into a journey. We give options within that. So sometimes, yes, it means that you can, let's say, negotiate to resolve something."
I can't wait to play as a viking who specialises in conflict in resolution. Then again, I do like the idea of using the one-shot hidden blade on enemies, a returning feature that proves this new Assassin's Creed hasn't forgotten its roots.
Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft