Assassin’s Creed Valhalla players were given a number of exciting announcements during Ubisoft’s livestream in celebration of the Assassin’s Creed franchise’s 15th anniversary, including a new game mode called Forgotten Saga, which is unlike anything the series has seen before. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be receiving new, free content throughout the next year – the first time an Assassin’s Creed game has ever received free post-launch content in its second year. As part of that series of updates, all players will gain access to the Forgotten Saga, which offers a new chapter of the game’s mythical narrative and features rogue-lite inspired gameplay.
The gameplay of the Assassin’s Creed series has evolved over time, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a culmination of many of those innovations. AC Valhalla reintroduces a settlement system to the franchise for the first time since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, in addition to featuring naval traversal & combat, along with continuing the modern games’ action RPG style. Now, with a roguelite game mode added to the base game for free, it continues to push the franchise’s boundaries.
According to Assassin’s Creed producer Jose Araiza, the Forgotten Saga serves as the culmination of the studio’s efforts to mesh history with mythology and turn the game’s traditional formula upside-down. In the Forgotten Saga, players will once again take control of Odin, repeatedly infiltrating Niflheim – the realm of the dead – in order to rescue his son, Baldr. This will be the narrative framework for the DLC’s rogue-like gameplay loop, as the player attempts to complete the same objective over and over until they succeed, becoming more powerful every time they fail. The Forgotten Saga also serves as a continuation of Odin’s story from Dawn of Ragnarök, the third expansion for AC Valhalla.
The Forgotten Saga Brings Roguelike Action To Assassin’s Creed
At the beginning of the Forgotten Saga, Odin will be in a depowered state when entering Niflheim, necessitating the building of his power over time and across many infiltration attempts. Along the way, Odin will apparently be able to access boons as rewards for completing objectives, which could include defeating specific enemies or clearing given areas. These boons take the form of currency, weapons, and armor that the player must choose from, and will likely be randomized for each of the player’s attempts. In addition to physical items, players will presumably have access to a skill tree of sorts for Odin, or an array of abilities that can be upgraded. The breadth of the abilities that the player will have at their disposal in the Forgotten Saga hasn’t been confirmed, but Odin’s powers from Dawn of Ragnarök could carry over. The player’s inventory appears to be heavily simplified, with four item slots: two for melee weapons and shields, one for a ranged weapon, and one for armor. Based on the presence of sectioned bars in the items’ description windows, players might be able to upgrade their weapons over the course of an attempt, another roguelike staple.
While the Forgotten Saga is said to be inspired by roguelite games, it’s unclear where along the spectrum of Assassin’s Creed to Rogue it falls. To keep more in line with the rest of the franchise’s gameplay, it would make sense for the game to present Niflheim as an open world with different regions populated by enemies of varying strength. This difficulty system was employed by default in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, though optional level scaling was included in an update, which could be employed here as well. Several types of environments are shown in the game mode’s trailer: frigid peaks and plateaus, boggy forests, and ominous molten interiors. Each of these areas is likely to have its own suite of enemy archetypes and boss encounters, making for a large-scale and diverse rogue-lite experience in line with the scope of the game’s main story.
AC Valhalla’s Mythology Meshes Perfectly With Its New Mechanics
The enemies shown throughout the trailer appear to include news twists on the archetypes present in the base game, as well as potentially new enemy types altogether. Combat looks to be exactly what players would expect from Valhalla, with Odin wielding a variety of weapons and skills. Among the options at Odin’s disposal appears to be the legendary hammer Mjolnir, which could mean that more of AC Valhalla‘s most powerful weapons and items will be accessible in the Forgotten Saga.
Odin is first shown performing an aerial assassination on a hooded figure wearing an animal skull as a mask. He is then surrounded by warriors that appear to be made of molten rock, including a variation on the enormous Goliath enemy type. Oden also faces armored soldiers cloaked in blue energy, undead wolves, and a number of creatures that appear to be the bosses, or at least elite enemies, that will serve as major milestones for the player’s progression through a given attempt. Among the standouts are a heavily armored warrior with a blue aura, a molten warrior with horns and a full face mask, and a dragon that breathes beams of green energy.
Standing at the helm of that imposing collection of foes will be an iconic figure in Norse mythology: Hela, the goddess of death and ruler of Niflheim. Odin can be heard calling out the daughter of Loki for hiding behind her monstrous forces, and is later seen locked in combat with a many-horned woman that controls plant life to deadly effect. Since Dawn of Ragnarök might’ve been Valhalla‘s last expansion, Hela’s role as the Forgotten Saga’s final enemy could make for a fitting finale of this chapter of the game’s mythic narrative, and potentially set up a sequel that tackles the events of Ragnarök itself.
Roguelikes typically have progression tracks both within and across individual attempts, and some have narrative elements that develop as the player gets closer to completing their goal, which appears to be the case with The Forgotten Saga as well. In the trailer, Odin can be seen conversing with Thor, whose dialogue implies that the scene takes place after Odin has already been to Niflheim at least once. Between the player’s attempts to rescue Baldr, they will be sent back to Asgard, where they will likely be able to improve Odin’s abilities in a variety of ways and converse with the returning cast of Aesir characters. Since the Forgotten Saga will once again put the spotlight on AC Valhalla‘s versions of Norse myths, it should allow for more interactions between them and Odin in order to draw players further into that part of the world.
The roguelite gameplay of the Forgotten Saga is set to introduce a refreshing change of pace to the mountain of content already available in Valhalla, whether it simply takes inspirations from the genre or offers an overhaul of Assassin’s Creed‘s formula. Based on the trailer for the Forgotten Saga update and comments from series producer Jose Araiza during the 15th anniversary livestream, this new game mode will be an exciting step towards the future of Assassin’s Creed. As more details about the update are revealed, it will be intriguing to see exactly how a balance is struck between roguelite mechanics and the signature style of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
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