by Alia Arafeh
After its release in Nov. 2020, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gained many fans and good reviews. The 12th and most recent installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and set in the 870s, players control Eivor, a viking, as they grow their settlement by raiding, looting, and forming alliances, while also working to cleanse England of the Templar Order, an evil society. Though the game earned an overall positive response from fans, some criticized Ubisoft, the creators, after two separate decisions the company made involving an update and a figurine.
The main storyline of the game is that the Raven Clan, led by Eivor’s brother Sigurd, moves from Norway to England during the viking takeover of England. To survive the harsh monarchies and expand the clan’s power, Eivor must work to form alliances with each of the surrounding lords and jarls (viking rulers). While they complete quests, the player can explore the surrounding terrain in search of wealth, Roman artifacts, world events, and more. Finally, one of the most vital points of the game is the fight between the Templar Order and the Assassin Brotherhood. Eivor is tasked with finding and assassinating all members of the Order.
A notable aspect of gameplay is that players can choose whether to be a male Eivor, a female Eivor, or a third option in which the gender depends on the arc being played and can change throughout the game. The gender of the character has no effect on gear, strength, relationships, or the surrounding storyline. Ubisoft gained favorable reviews for this feature, which is why the release of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Funko Pop angered fans. While there are two different versions of the male Eivor, there is no figurine representing the female Eivor. After the effort put into designing and boosting the two different Eivors, the company’s decision not to represent the female Eivor as a figurine frustrated fans.
More recently, Ubisoft angered fans with an update that allows players to change the appearance of weapons and clothing without changing their stats. While this was an option in previous games and could be done for free, it costs 50 silver in the latest game. Many believe this is an unfair price due to it being relatively difficult to gain money.
Despite fans’ criticisms, AC Valhalla earned excellent reviews and is overall a great game. The endless places to explore and the special arc, in which Eivor travels to Asgard through Odin’s memories, keep it unique and exciting.