The upcoming Ubisoft Forward even on July 12 was about to include some major Assassin's Creed Valhalla footage, but the wind was taken out of those Viking sails Monday morning after about 30 minutes of gameplay leaked onto the internet.
While it wasn't nearly as spoiler-heavy as the leaks for The Last of Us Part 2, it still clearly shows what Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay will be like. For many fans, there's reason to be disappointed already.
What leaked? On July 5, three 10 minute videos of Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay footage emerged. While developer Ubisoft took down the initial leaks by the end of Sunday, the footage has subsequently spread around the internet. There's a lot of fan interest in it too, considering that Assassin's Creed Valhalla supposed gameplay reveal was confusing and underwhelming.
What do the leaks show? The videos follow Eivor on a mission titled "A Fury from the Sea." We see them ride a horse through an idyllic English landscape and fight some wolves before choosing to lead a raid on Burgh Castle. The gameplay is reminiscent of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, though some added influence from both The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Dark Souls can be gleaned from the combat and UI.
We see the raid itself, which happens at a larger scale than previous Assassin's Creed games. Players ahve to actively ram through the gates and walls of a castle. The battle culminates with a fight against a man who wields a flaming sword. Finally, we get a brief glimpse at the familiar-looking inventory screen and map. Because it all looks so familiar-looking and lacking in the way of graphical and mechanical innovation, the fan reaction hasn't been too kind.
How have fans reacted to the leaks? The most frequent criticisms in the comments section of any reposting of the gameplay videos is that Assassin's Creed Valhalla looks "generic" and "boring." Other comments feel that it is too similar to Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey despite having combat that's supposed to be more intense.
Some fans like Twitter user @TigerCA123 have also derided the graphics, saying it looks a bit dated in comparison to something like The Last of Us Part II despite also being on next-generation platforms. While @LazerzZHD was a bit nicer to the games by praising some of the animation, dialogue, and raids, they still admitted that "it looks broken, buggy & janky. That goes for combat, movement, camera, animations, dialogue, cutscenes, fire, water, clipping and so much more."
The Inverse Analysis — While I don't agree with the harshest critics of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, I will admit that the gameplay from this leak looks a bit underwhelming. Combat looks more visceral and nuanced, but still a bit too fast and loose for a game about Vikings. The raids definitely appear to be the most inspired part of Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
While the setting intrigues me, I'll need to see more gameplay before I'm convinced that this game will truly stand out from its competition. Assassin's Creed Valhalla also clearly still needs a bit more time in the oven to polish out some of the jankier animations, though it is worth noting that this is a work in progress build.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla will be released sometime later this year.