The latest installment of the long-running Assassin’s Creed series from Ubisoft was finally revealed at long last as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and this time players will be exploring England’s Dark Ages as Eivor, a fierce Viking warrior. In this new vision of the series, you’ll ravage your enemies across an expansive open world with a settlement system. You’ll lead epic raids to victory as you also grow your land’s influence, raising unique Viking raiders ready to conquer. 

In the first trailer, you get to see a brief glimpse of how your new life as a Viking will play out, though there isn’t much of a look at its upcoming portrayal of additional groups like the Saxons, beyond pre-rendered scenes. There was a curious figure in the trailer, however, in King Alfred, otherwise known as Alfred the Great. From what we can see in the trailer, he looks to be a villainous figure for the Vikings. But was he actually a real person who lived during the Dark Ages?

King Alfred from ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’ was known as Alfred the Great IRL.

The King Alfred referred to in the new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer was indeed a real person. He was the King of Wessex from 871 to 886 and the King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 to 899. After he became king, he actually staved off several Viking invasions, and earned the nickname “the Great” during and after the 16th century for his endeavors, which came from his decisive and swift victories over the Viking threats that came his way at the Battle of Edington in 878 and henceforth.

Alfred the Great is the one of the only kings of England with such a title. But from the way Assassin’s Creed Valhalla paints him, it’s easy to assume he’s going to be something of an “evil,” cartoonish villain. As lead producer Julien Laferrière told Eurogamer, that won’t be the case. There will be plenty of different contexts through which we’ll be able to view both the Vikings and those they’re clashing with. Alfred himself is supposed to be much more complex than he appears initially. 

“Alfred the Great is a very important historical figure we want to treat right,” said Julien. “And to do so it’s all in the subtleties and nuances you’ll find.” While he’s shown in a more overtly malevolent manner in the trailer, the team states that, “over the course of the game you’ll see there’s a lot more nuance to him.” So he won’t simply be evil or good. It’s unclear what his role in the story will be, but it should make for an interesting story either way. 

Source: Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set to debut on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. It should bring some very interesting mechanics with it when it finally does land on consoles and PC. 

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