Ubisoft has repeatedly assured in the past few months that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will have a ton of side activities for players to pursue. The assurance was hardly surprising since both Origins and Odyssey were hailed as well as criticized for having too much on the board. While not reducing in terms of scale, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will come with a unique solution against the menace of bloated and downright unwarranted side activities.
Speaking with GameSpot in a recent interview, narrative director Darby McDevitt revealed that side quests, at least the traditional ones, have been mostly removed and are “almost nonexistent” in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
They have been replaced with world events where the protagonist Eivor will randomly come across side activities to do. McDevitt specifically noted that players will not necessarily have to seek out side quests on the map and that optional activities will most often appear spontaneously as Eivor follows the main storyline of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
McDevitt explained that the design choice aims at promoting exploration, which will also be encouraged by longer story arcs that need to be completed as part of the main narrative. Hence, players will be traveling all across the map. Just not specifically to accept and complete hundreds of side activities scattered about.
For those who love to defog and clear out their maps of all actionable icons, which is incidentally pretty common with role-playing fans, the change to side quests in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will probably come as a blessing. Origins was frustrating enough. Odyssey turned the dial all the way to the end with not only a larger in-game world but also so many optional side activities that players had to spend nearly a hundred hours to go through them all.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will officially release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17, 2020. The game will also land on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Ubisoft will confirm the release dates, as well as detail any new improvements, once the next-generation consoles have launched at the end of the year.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla promises to be the ultimate Viking fantasy similar to how Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, also credited to McDevitt, succeeded in creating a pirate fantasy.