On the importance of choice in Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Ac Valhalla Lady Viking
Ac Valhalla Lady Viking (Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Assassin's Creed games have been delving further and further into becoming full-fledged RPGs, with the 2018 entry Assassin's Creed Odyssey introducing different endings depending on player choice. Assassin's Creed Valhalla doesn't sway from that path, with branching dialog options and decisions that'll ensure you have a unique playthrough with some different outcomes as player character Eivor.

As editor Jennifer Locke noted in her Assassin's Creed Valhalla review, you'll notice that a lot of the choices tend to be more subtle. There's politics and conquering going on no matter what and you'll be involved, so your decisions tend to aid — or hinder — Eivor's companions. The biggest choices will almost always be made through dialog, so if you're ever unsure of how something is going to go, just be sure to manually save your game before wrapping up big quests.

Assassins Creed Valhalla Eivor And Soma (Image credit: Windows Central)

Assassins Creed Valhalla Power Needed (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

Without spoiling the exact outcome of the situation, you'll be asked to spare or execute different foes at certain points in the game. It might be tempting to make sure they're removed permanently but if you do so, you might be bringing down something worse on your head. On the other hand, not ending them might lead to Eivor's allies growing distrustful. If a brawl breaks out at a wedding feast, how do you respond in Viking society? Regardless of whether you are male or female, your brother Sigurd has come with you from Norway and is a strong leader in his own right, and your relationship with him can also be swayed by your decisions.

In the middle of assaulting castles and burning villages with your raiding parties, you'll also have to weed out traitors and instill different characters as leaders. If you haven't been paying attention and choose incorrectly, you can cut off your access to certain storylines. You also might keep special characters from joining your crew, which can have further repurcussions. These decisions add up and as you carve a path across the land, Eivor will be leaving a legacy. Just what that legacy is and who stands by you will be determined by your choices.

The choices aren't just about shaping the narrative across the game. You'll also be choosing how to build up your home settlement. Wandering, raiding, and exploring ancient ruins is fine but you'll reap the benefits by making sure your community thrives. For example, if you take time to build a fishing hut, you'll gain a new source of income. Other, more unique buildings can grant special abilities and insight into the greater story of Assassin's Creed as a whole.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

While this isn't going to completely change your experience, it seems like Ubisoft has learned somewhat from the growing pains of past titles. Choices do bear some consequence here, even if they can be buried under hours and hours of fighting across England.

Of course, all of this is just the hefty base campaign, which you won't finish even after 40 hours. There's going to be extensive post-launch content, with both free updates and paid story missions. These could offer additional choices with further distinct outcomes in new areas but we'll have to wait and see.

Xbox Series X/S


Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.