Assassin's Creed Valhalla

I was never a diehard Assassin’s Creed fan. In fact, I only ever played the original game in this very, very long series. I had just started working as a video game journalist at the time, and I felt like it was my duty to play through the entire game to see what it was all about.

And while I didn’t hate it, I certainly felt burned out enough by it that I never felt the need to go back. Sure, the American Revolution setting of Assassin’s Creed III seemed kind of cool, and so did the ship-to-ship combat features of Black Flag (which, to be fair, were introduced in Assassin’s Creed III). Syndicate seemed interesting as well, now set in Victorian England. And, Cronus help me, I almost took the bait with Odyssey.

As I type this, I’m realizing how hard Ubisoft has been working to make sure this series catches my attention. The American Revolution, pirates, Victorian England, and Greek mythology? Those are all things I normally would be drooling over in a video game. I mean, Age of Empires III used the American Revolution as a backdrop, and it was all the better for it. Pirates are never not interesting. And, as someone who has a degree in literature, I’ve read a ton of Victorian-era novels and Greek mythology.

Still, remembering the slog of the original Assassin’s Creed has always been enough to keep the series at arm’s length for me. Plus, I know folks who actually were huge Assassin’s Creed fans before falling off and swearing off the series entirely. If even the fans are bailing, I’m probably okay if I skip it, right?

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

But Assassin’s Creed Valhalla came out yesterday, introducing a Viking theme to the series. While I’m certainly not one of those people who would say “Yeah, Norse stuff is kind of my jam, bro,” I have read quite a bit of Norse mythology (perhaps that’s no surprise because of the Lit degree).

But it’s not just the setting. People are hailing this as the best Assassin’s Creed game yet, and some are saying that it’s better than this year’s Ghost of Tsushima (which my fellow Half-Glass Gamer Julian really enjoyed). “Forget all that tedious Assassin’s Creed baggage from eras long past,” these people seem to be saying, “Valhalla is genuinely good!”

And once again, I’m finding myself drawn back to Assassin’s Creed. Maybe this feeling is fleeting. Perhaps I’ll forget about it the second my preinstalled version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales unlocks.

But I don’t know. There’s a part of me that thinks this might be where I re-enter the Assassin’s Creed series. Maybe I’ll even become a fan. Who knows?

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