The Viking Age was vast and far-reaching. These mighty explorers traveled to many places in their time. Whether they raid, conquer, or simply settle down, they have left a huge imprint on the entire Western world. As colossal as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was, the game just couldn’t encompass all of that.
Developer Ubisoft Montreal has been slowly trying to change this with DLC. The The wrath of the druids and Paris Headquarters expansions showed the impact the Vikings had outside of the game’s main narrative. That said, the story still leaves room for more in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Many other events in the Northmen sagas are ripe for adaptation. In fact, a number of them have the dramatic weight and cinematic action to carry quite a game within themselves.
That’s what started it all. When a mysterious group of hairy warriors came from the sea and attacked a monastery in northern England, it sent a message to the European world. They were dealing with a terrifying new enemy, and they should plan accordingly for the next strike.
The raid on Lindisfarne was not the biggest or even the bloodiest of Viking skirmishes, but few events in the history of the Northmen have had this level of impact. He set the standard for their attacks and set a lot of what people know these warriors for. Playing a role in this foundation would shed new light on many systems that Valhalla already has in place.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge
If players know the start of the Viking Age, it’s only fitting that they see the end. What started the ball rolling was the Battle of Stamford Bridge. In this northern skirmish, the English army led by King Harold Godwinson repelled the northern invaders led by King Harald Hardrada.
The battlefield here offers a different flavor to traditional skirmishes or sieges. The units would be limited in their movement as they fight desperately for control of the bridge, which gives the Assassin player a unique advantage with his crossing abilities. Additionally, the entire episode would seamlessly transition to the next DLC.
The Battle of Hastings
This battle took place just three weeks after the last one. King Godwinson rushed his exhausted forces south to repel another attack, this time by the Normans. William the Conqueror led this force and emerged victorious, killing Hiccup and starting England’s greatest Norman conquest.
Not only would the Battle of Hastings function as a sequel to the Stamford Bridge DLC, it is linked to another as well. William the Conqueror is descended from Rollo, the Viking who obtained lands and titles in France after the siege of Paris. This connection would make the whole saga more complete.
The discovery of America
Many attribute the discovery of the New World to Christopher Columbus. While he deserves praise for chronicling the route and opening the doors to further colonization, the Vikings may have beaten him in the fist. The sagas mention that explorer Leif Erikson settled in a place called Vinland.
Historians believe it was in fact North America. The most of Valhalla deals with the men of the North who are fighting for lands already known to all of Europe. Traveling to a whole new place is a whole new ball game, and it could lead to expansions for the village and social mechanics. Not only could players decide on the best way to build a colony, but they would also determine the first contact with the natives. Just keep all references to Connor (or anything in Assassin’s Creed 3) experience. The less we talk about it, the better.
The arrival of the great pagan army
By the time Eivor arrives in England, Ragnar’s sons are already well established. Players transform into glorified race boys for Ivar, Halfdan, and Ubbe, who seemingly do nothing for themselves. It’s a far cry from how they started.
When Ragnar Lothbrok was captured and executed by King Aelle of Northumbria, the sons of the legendary Viking assembled a massive force of Scandinavian armies and launched a devastating invasion of England. They had raided here before, but this attack was so large that they could occupy huge parts of the country, fundamentally changing the status quo. Joining such an event would put any of the base game raids and sieges to shame because of both the sheer scale and the fun of laying the groundwork for such base work.
The battle of Edington
Contrary to what Valhalla shows, Alfred’s story does not end with him as no one in the swamp. Rather, he takes this opportunity to quietly rally his disparate forces into a unified army. Subsequently, he defeated the Northerners so decisively that they never regained dominance. This paved the way for Alfred’s own kingdom to expand and fortify against further incursions, cementing his place in history as Alfred the Great.
Players go on the offensive throughout the game, steadily conquering more territory in the same way. They complete smaller tasks before the inevitable siege; everything becomes very repetitive. Representing the Battle of Edington would radically reverse the storyline and add much more novelty to the conflict in the process.
Charlemagne’s security measures
Another precursor to the siege of Paris, Charlemagne’s clashes with the Nordics took place in a very different way. Rather than risk losing his city (as his grandson did), the King of France preemptively set up coastal defenses to spot and undermine potential invaders long before they reached it. . It showed admirable foresight on his part.
Players could potentially help design and place these coastal structures. This could make a more polished version of the Tower Defense minigame of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Specifically, it would add yet another historical figure to the series’ growing roster.
Expansion in Russia
It should come as no surprise that many Russians are descended from the Vikings. The same is true for several European countries. Although a number of Slavic tribes were already settled in Russia, Scandinavian travelers and traders established resource routes and eventually ruled cities like Kiev.
Not only would a Russia-based DLC offer some aesthetic variety – providing a mix of familiar gear and more specialized Russian clothing it has evolved into – but it could also create a refreshing change of pace with the gameplay. Potential conquerors must appropriate the land through economics rather than brute force.
Settle in Greenland
False advertising is not only a problem in the gaming industry. When Erik the Red was sent into exile, he came to this land and wandered its shores for three years. He then returned with mouth-watering stories to a land rich in fertile ground and endless potential, dubbing it “Greenland” to attract settlers. Unfortunately, the harsh climate and lack of support from other Scandinavian settlements led to its eventual abandonment.
On the positive side, these conditions could pave the way for engaging coping mechanisms. Additionally, the settlement system would be similar to the US DLC, but with much more difficult terrain and a higher level of challenge as a result. Despite its title, Greenland would be a great excursion for players at extreme difficulty levels.
Establishment of the Varangian Guard
The Vikings may have been explorers, looters, and farmers, but they were not above a little mercenary job. Emperor Basil II sought to extend his Byzantine rule, and he asked his ally, Vladimir I of Kiev, to help him in this endeavor. The Russian ruler sent an army of Rus Vikings in response. Basil was so impressed with these formidable fighters that he made them his personal guards.
The climate and appearance of the Byzantine Empire would be quite different from other Viking businesses, but these guys forged a lucrative life and a long international tradition without the usual looting. This would once again change the gameplay enough for the sake of variety while still retaining the core systems. The players would always accumulate vast wealth; they would just use their fighting and crossing skills for a different purpose. Don’t go overboard with escort missions.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla released on November 10, 2020 and is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
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