Apparently, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was supposed to have ship-to-ship combat, but this gameplay mechanic was unfortunately removed. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was a highly-anticipated title partially because it was one of the launch titles for the PlayStation 5, and fans were right to be excited.
This latest entry to the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been incredibly well-received, even going so far as to reach the top of the Christmas sales charts in the UK. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the Viking-themed action-RPG was able to outsell Cyberpunk 2077 during the latter’s UK physical launch week. This is no small feat given how incredibly hyped CD Projekt Red’s game was.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, players follow the story of Eivor, who traverses through the crunchy snow of Norway, across the ocean, until eventually reaching England. In order to start this journey, however, players must first reach Chapter 5, otherwise known as Battle of the Northern Way (The Seas of Fate).
After successfully reaching this requirement, fans will be given the prompt that allows them to “board Sigurd’s longship.” Choosing this option will thus begin Eivor’s long and arduous journey. Unfortunately, there’s nothing of interest that takes place during this supposedly lengthy journey, as Ubisoft simply fast-forwards the events — one minute we’re watching Eivor and company board the ship, and the next minute they’ve already arrived.
However, a recent interview with Game Informer revealed that this wasn’t originally what Ubisoft planned. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla producer Julian Laferrière stated in the interview that the team who worked on the game initially wanted ship-to-ship combat to be included in the gameplay.
As the team conducted further research though, they discovered that the Vikings didn’t commonly participate in this kind of combat. Laferrière goes on to say that they thought that the Vikings “might be shooting flaming arrows… But they just didn’t do that.” Because of this discovery, Ubisoft decided to abandon the idea.
The concept was changed instead, and the team settled on turning the ships into a vehicle that allowed players to cross the expansive seas to England and then back. In fact, players might have noticed that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s map doesn’t feature any oceans. Instead, the only body of water that can be found are rivers and the like.
That being said, if Ubisoft did decide to leave in the naval combat, that wouldn’t be the first time that an Assassin’s Creed title made use of that mechanic. Ship-to-ship combat was a vital part of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, which is one of the series’ earlier games.
In this title, players are given the responsibility of piloting the Jackdaw, which is a sailing vessel that was initially a part of the Spanish Treasure Fleet known as El Dorado. As the captain of the Jackdaw, players could upgrade the ship itself as well as its assortment of weapons.
As for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, players and critics alike praise it for its wide range of weapons that can be used during battle. So even though it would have been great if Ubisoft added in the naval combat, the game as it is now is already pretty incredible even without it.