Gaming Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

Hoof The Ball

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I do wish there was a bit more loot in terms of aesthetics for Eivor. The tattoos and haircuts are cool. Hope there's plenty to find.

I think the combat is decent and a bit underrated. While not leaving you feeling amazing about what you just pulled off for the most part, it can be smooth, and takes some skill, and can be quite badass at times.

I must be around 20 hours in now and have still not even finished the Grantebridgescire pledge, which is my first one.
The combat feels weightier compared to both Odyssey and Origins. Weapons have a crunch to them; an impact. Also, I'm loving the advanced assassination skill from the skill tree (Raven) and now I'm walking around one-shotting opponents with red skulls with ease :devil:
 

VeevaVee

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Some of my screenies (no idea how you get one without HUD on Series X)




 

Hoof The Ball

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Some of my screenies (no idea how you get one without HUD on Series X)




Gorgeous!

Ah, when you're in photo mode instead of taking the photo on the game press triangle to remove everything on the screen (including HUD) so that it's just the image and then press share on the dualsense and save it as a screenshot to gallery.
 

VeevaVee

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Gorgeous!

Ah, when you're in photo mode instead of taking the photo on the game press triangle to remove everything on the screen (including HUD) so that it's just the image and then press share on the dualsense and save it as a screenshot to gallery.
What’s photo mode? Is that an PS5 thing? I’m on Series X so I just use Xbox capture. Been wondering how people upload those community screenshots that pop up on the map

Edit: found photo mode. Ffs I’ve missed out there
 
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VeevaVee

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By the way, dunno about anyone else, but I pick holes in the graphics way more, even though I appreciate them being so much better on the whole

“that mug could’ve been more circular”
“that rock there doesn’t look right”
 

VeevaVee

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Ok first go pissing about with actual photo mode



This is that weird as feck ayahuasca type trip where you meet the gods. Managed to make it look like they have 35mm cameras.

Might have to be my new Xbox wallpaper.
 
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NinjaFletch

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I’ve had one crash on Xbox One and the odd glitch. Nothing else so far. I am saving a lot though following some warnings about crashing in reviews.

I’ve loved it so far though. Prefer it to Odyssey and one of my favourite in the series. I’m a sucker for Viking stuff so it’s easy to get into for me. I do find it hilarious how Vikings are portrayed as heroes and Saxons as the less morally good people, when the reality was the opposite.

Raids are great. Love the music too. I like how they’ve limited the amount of armour you get and force you to focus on upgrading what you have too. The skill tree is a bit all over the place.

At about 25 hours in I’d give it an 8/10 so far.
I don't think Vikings can be considered morals when they were raiding villages, stealing their goods, killing their people and maybe even raping their women ? They're cool fighters but they can be viewed in the same sense as sea pirates, cool but not really good people ?

Though I'm not into history that much to argue, but that's how they're almost always presented in media.
By today’s standard every person back them were a-holes, more or less. Making judgments based on the value system we use today makes little sense when looking at the actions of these people. As historians we try to understand the subjects on their terms. I find it funny when we jugde historical characters using today’s motality, ethics and world view.
Might be. As I said I'm not into history that much to argue about that with strong base of information backing any argument I'll make. Maybe I'll try one day to read more about this period of history whenever I have time.
Just picking up this discussion because I thought it was interesting, and the more I play of Valhalla the more I think it becomes a pretty disappointing peon to colonialism and Norse mythology. It sorely needs some attempt to present a balanced view that Vikings were, largely, pretty horrible. You wouldn't exactly have to go far to find material for that, it drips through sources like Abbo of Fleury's Passio Sancti Edmundi, Wulfstan's homilies, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and many many others. The decision to ignore that (and it is a decision, you can listen to the game designer's talk about it) in favour of a whitewashed presentation of the Vikings as this wholesome bunch of lovely dudes on a jolly to England, isn't so much neutral as a very overt act of historical interpretation. It is impossible to do anything other than re-construct the past based on modern values, and Valhalla isn't unique in the fact that it has taken editorial decisions in its portrayal of the vikings.

I do think there is a more serious point at play here. Assassin's Creed has rarely shied away from inserting itself ham fistedly into historical debates that have a cultural relevance in the modern world (the first game taking us to the Holy Land, being the best example), and Valhalla is not an exception here either. Norse mythology and saga accounts are pretty dominant in far right and ethno-fascist thinking (Dorothy Kim hits many of the right notes here, for some background: https://time.com/5569399/viking-history-white-nationalists/ ) and it's irresponsible in the extreme for Valhalla to unquestioningly replicate those themes, talking points and ideas, with its presentation of the era. For most people, it will simply be a game that they'll play and move past, but (unfortunately, perhaps) Assassins Creed has recognisable didactic purposes and will lead some people to greater familiarity with far right thinking. That's worth criticising.

Perhaps more relevant to most people, though, is that its whitewashed presentation of the Vikings is just dull. If for no other reason than story telling, inserting some moral ambiguity, recognising that the Viking 'settlement' was an invasion, inserting some moral dilemmas which go hand in hand with playing an invader, and adding some shades of grey to the story would at least prevent its story being so bland.
 

Eriku

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Just picking up this discussion because I thought it was interesting, and the more I play of Valhalla the more I think it becomes a pretty disappointing peon to colonialism and Norse mythology. It sorely needs some attempt to present a balanced view that Vikings were, largely, pretty horrible. You wouldn't exactly have to go far to find material for that, it drips through sources like Abbo of Fleury's Passio Sancti Edmundi, Wulfstan's homilies, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and many many others. The decision to ignore that (and it is a decision, you can listen to the game designer's talk about it) in favour of a whitewashed presentation of the Vikings as this wholesome bunch of lovely dudes on a jolly to England, isn't so much neutral as a very overt act of historical interpretation. It is impossible to do anything other than re-construct the past based on modern values, and Valhalla isn't unique in the fact that it has taken editorial decisions in its portrayal of the vikings.

I do think there is a more serious point at play here. Assassin's Creed has rarely shied away from inserting itself ham fistedly into historical debates that have a cultural relevance in the modern world (the first game taking us to the Holy Land, being the best example), and Valhalla is not an exception here either. Norse mythology and saga accounts are pretty dominant in far right and ethno-fascist thinking (Dorothy Kim hits many of the right notes here, for some background: https://time.com/5569399/viking-history-white-nationalists/ ) and it's irresponsible in the extreme for Valhalla to unquestioningly replicate those themes, talking points and ideas, with its presentation of the era. For most people, it will simply be a game that they'll play and move past, but (unfortunately, perhaps) Assassins Creed has recognisable didactic purposes and will lead some people to greater familiarity with far right thinking. That's worth criticising.

Perhaps more relevant to most people, though, is that its whitewashed presentation of the Vikings is just dull. If for no other reason than story telling, inserting some moral ambiguity, recognising that the Viking 'settlement' was an invasion, inserting some moral dilemmas which go hand in hand with playing an invader, and adding some shades of grey to the story would at least prevent its story being so bland.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the victims, not the victors, wrote up the accounts about vikings and their raids. If anything vikings have had a reputation that overstates their bloodthirst.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...norse-raiding-berserkers-scandinavia-winroth/

In short, aside from ignoring the taboo against treating monks and priests specially, the Vikings acted not much differently from other European warriors of the period, Winroth argues.
In 782, for instance, Charlemagne, now heralded as the original unifier of Europe, beheaded 4,500 Saxon captives on a single day. "The Vikings never got close to that level of efficiency," Winroth says, drily.
During my brief googling I find others complaining about white-washing, talking about vikings being depicted as mere farmers and merchants. I’ve never heard any depiction of them being just farmers, and leaving out the violence. They can, like most civilisations, be both conquerors and farmers.

Also, I’m a bit confused that you are vigilant against white-washing, and then in the next breath think it irresponsible for the game
to have elements which later made it into the far right. Do you want warts and all, or not? Would a game set in certain parts of Asia be irresponsibly depicting ethnofascist elements if the sun cross is appropriately used?
 
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NinjaFletch

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It’s worth bearing in mind that the victims, not the victors, wrote up the accounts about vikings and their raids. If anything vikings have had a reputation that overstates their bloodthirst.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...norse-raiding-berserkers-scandinavia-winroth/

During my brief googling I find others complaining about white-washing, talking about vikings being depicted as mere farmers and merchants. I’ve never heard any depiction of them being just one or the other. They can, like most civilisations, be both.

Also, I’m a bit confused that you are vigilant against white-washing, and then in the next breath think it irresponsible for the game
to have elements which later made it into the far right. Do you want warts and all, or not? Would a game set in certain parts of Asia be irresponsibly depicting ethnofascist elements if the sun cross is appropriately used?
Well we have a large amount of both. Not only do you have the Norse sagas, but you also have texts like Havelock the Dane, and hagiography's in memory of Earl Siward penned in England into the later middle ages. But my criticism is largely that they've ignored, as you put it, the voice of the 'victims' in favour of a depiction entirely cobbled together from a Viking perspective; that's not a neutral retelling, as has been intimated in this thread, but a very partisan one, and one the designers openly admit to. That's largely fine, although I think in this issue feeds into narratives I've touched on which ubisoft's dev team either were unaware of or decided needn't bother them. It is, however, a retelling, and one based on a decision to discount Anglo-Saxon narratives. All history is a reconstruction, and all history relies on modern judgements, the point is simply that Valhalla is no exception.

You're right, though, I do think you're a bit confused by the second point. The issue is not the inclusion of symbols or norse mythology, which would be tantamount to suggesting you shouldn't make games about the Vikings at all, but their inclusion in a game which portrays those elements as so obviously and unambiguously superior. As it happens, Anglo-Saxon England has it's own Nazi problem (the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists recently changed its name precisely because of the use of 'Anglo-Saxon' to refer to a homogeneous white, christian society in far right circles), so an inversion of the game's glorification of Vikings simply opens up a different can of worms.

Which brings us on to the point where do agree, and where Valhalla falls short, which is on the matter of balance. There's no dispute you can find accounts of positive depictions of Vikings, nor dispute that you can find critical depictions of Anglo-Saxon failings (a common moralising topos was the idea that God had sent the Viking armies as punishment for sin), nor is their dispute you can find depictions of Vikings as merchants, settlers, honourable warriors, rapacious pillagers, heroes, or villains (and heck, that's basically just Harald Hardrada, man would a game about him have been good). The criticism is rather that Valhalla makes no attempt to strike a balance that in favour of what is a pretty dull tale of Vikings doing great Viking things to Anglo-Saxons who basically had it all coming for being babies (and as the quote you pointed out highlights, this is a martial time where there's a fair amount of bloodshed, the game's depiction of Anglo-Saxon kings as effeminate, weak leaders is weirdly at odds with what was a martial society too).

By all means like the game if you like the game, it's still pretty fun in my books and ahistoric story telling really shouldn't bother anyone too much. I just think ubisoft's design choices here are frustrating, not only for the fact that this is an area where medieval history has a modern resonance, but because a more balanced portrayal is vastly more interesting to play through.
 
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Eriku

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Well we have a large amount of both. Not only do you have the Norse sagas, but you also have texts like Havelock the Dane, and hagiography's in memory of Earl Siward penned in England into the later middle ages. But my criticism is largely that they've ignored, as you put it, the voice of the 'victims' in favour of a depiction entirely cobbled together from a Viking perspective; that's not a neutral retelling, as has been intimated in this thread, but a very partisan one, and one the designers openly admit to. That's largely fine, although I think in this issue feeds into narratives I've touched on which ubisoft's dev team either were unaware of or decided needn't bother them. It is, however, a retelling, and one based on a decision to discount Anglo-Saxon narratives. All history is a reconstruction, and all history relies on modern judgements, the point is simply that Valhalla is no exception.

You're right, though, I do think you're a bit confused by the second point. The issue is not the inclusion of symbols or norse mythology, which would be tantamount to suggesting you shouldn't make games about the Vikings at all, but their inclusion in a game which portrays those elements as so obviously and unambiguously superior. As it happens, Anglo-Saxon England has it's own Nazi problem (the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists recently changed its name precisely because of the use of 'Anglo-Saxon' to refer to a homogeneous white, christian society in far right circles), so an inversion of the game's glorification of Vikings simply opens up a different can of worms.

Which brings us on to the point where do agree, and where Valhalla falls short, which is on the matter of balance. There's no dispute you can find accounts of positive depictions of Vikings, nor dispute that you can find critical depictions of Anglo-Saxon failings (a common moralising topos was the idea that God had sent the Viking armies as punishment for sin), nor is their dispute you can find depictions of Vikings as merchants, settlers, honourable warriors, rapacious pillagers, heroes, or villains (and heck, that's basically just Harald Hardrada, man would a game about him have been good). The criticism is rather that Valhalla makes no attempt to strike a balance that in favour of what is a pretty dull tale of Vikings doing great Viking things to Anglo-Saxons who basically had it all coming for being babies (and as the quote you pointed out highlights, this is a martial time where there's a fair amount of bloodshed, the game's depiction of Anglo-Saxon kings as effeminate, weak leaders is weirdly at odds with what was a martial society too).

By all means like the game if you like the game, it's still pretty fun in my books and ahistoric story telling really shouldn't bother anyone too much. I just think ubisoft's design choices here are frustrating, not only for the fact that this is an area where medieval history has a modern resonance, but because a more balanced portrayal is vastly more interesting to play through.
No doubt Ubisoft did their part to make the protagonists more palatable to the player. I’m not so much talking about the game as about some of the statements you’ve made. Vikings were largely horrible, you said. As in, mostly, or on the whole horrible. Most vikings never went on a raid you know? Everyday life of vikings consisted of way more than bloodthirst, and perhaps there’s been overcompensation in rectifying that image, but I’d say you’re guilty of the same in your descriptions.

You say you’re not happy with the way certain elements were depicted and how they may prop up right wing ideologies. How exactly might those elements have been included in a way that’s more benign and still truthful to the source? I’ve not gotten that deeply into the game, so maybe I’m missing something, but then I reckon we’d be hearing it from all angles if a video game is guilty of bolstering those kind of ideologies?
 

NinjaFletch

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No doubt Ubisoft did their part to make the protagonists more palatable to the player. I’m not so much talking about the game as about some of the statements you’ve made. Vikings were largely horrible, you said. As in, mostly, or on the whole horrible. Most vikings never went on a raid you know? Everyday life of vikings consisted of way more than bloodthirst, and perhaps there’s been overcompensation in rectifying that image, but I’d say you’re guilty of the same in your descriptions.

You say you’re not happy with the way certain elements were depicted and how they may prop up right wing ideologies. How exactly might those elements have been included in a way that’s more benign and still truthful to the source? I’ve not gotten that deeply into the game, so maybe I’m missing something, but then I reckon we’d be hearing it from all angles if a video game is guilty of bolstering those kind of ideologies?
This might be a confusion in Scandinavian/English discourse on the issue, but certainly in English speaking academia the etymology of 'viking' has been the subject of much debate. The upshot of that debate being that although 'viking' is often used to characterise the period as the whole ('the viking age') and occasionally used to refer to Scandinavian society in general it is in fact derived from an Old Norse word 'víkingr' which refers specifically to the act of seafaring, marauding, raiding, and piracy. I'm not sure if that same thing discourse is prevalent in Norway, but that's the intellectual lineage that I am coming at it from. Sorry if it wasn't clear that I was talking specifically about those who did raid and settle, rather than norse or Scandinavian society as a whole.

Haven't I already answered the second question at some length now? But as to the final question, there's definitely discussion of it if you know where to look. Medieval history is small field, but there's a fair amount of discussion about the use of medievalism by the far right, and their appropriation of viking culture in particular. It's not hard to find, the far-right don't attempt to hide it, and it's not a new phenomenon. In fact, one of the big debates in the field at the minute is that a lot of the resurgent interest in medieval history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was spurred by nationalists who wanted to create exclusionist narratives as part of wider nation building efforts. The reality is, though, that it's a slow moving field, and the overlap between those in it and those who like Assassins Creed games is small (Matthew Gabriele has some general thoughts on AC here which might be of interest: https://medium.com/@prof_gabriele/video-games-as-historiography-dd047aab3b52). You're just all unlucky that one of them happens to post on redcafe and is procrastinating hard from prepping what I'm supposed to be teaching the undergrads this week!
 

Eriku

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This might be a confusion in Scandinavian/English discourse on the issue, but certainly in English speaking academia the etymology of 'viking' has been the subject of much debate. The upshot of that debate being that although 'viking' is often used to characterise the period as the whole ('the viking age') and occasionally used to refer to Scandinavian society in general it is in fact derived from an Old Norse word 'víkingr' which refers specifically to the act of seafaring, marauding, raiding, and piracy. I'm not sure if that same thing discourse is prevalent in Norway, but that's the intellectual lineage that I am coming at it from. Sorry if it wasn't clear that I was talking specifically about those who did raid and settle, rather than norse or Scandinavian society as a whole.

Haven't I already answered the second question at some length now? But as to the final question, there's definitely discussion of it if you know where to look. Medieval history is small field, but there's a fair amount of discussion about the use of medievalism by the far right, and their appropriation of viking culture in particular. It's not hard to find, the far-right don't attempt to hide it, and it's not a new phenomenon. In fact, one of the big debates in the field at the minute is that a lot of the resurgent interest in medieval history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was spurred by nationalists who wanted to create exclusionist narratives as part of wider nation building efforts. The reality is, though, that it's a slow moving field, and the overlap between those in it and those who like Assassins Creed games is small (Matthew Gabriele has some general thoughts on AC here which might be of interest: https://medium.com/@prof_gabriele/video-games-as-historiography-dd047aab3b52). You're just all unlucky that one of them happens to post on redcafe and is procrastinating hard from prepping what I'm supposed to be teaching the undergrads this week!
I was wondering about the usage and whether that might be a source of confusion. We in Norway also refer to the period as "vikingtiden", or the viking times, and etymologically there’s a case for it meaning people who dwell in a "vik", or bay. At any rate, seeing as you’ve clarified that you meant the ones taking to the sea, even if we stick to only that group then there’s plenty to point to that is not just about bloody conquest. Heck, the reason they turned from paganism was in part due to it being a hindrance in their trade with Christian nations. I guess the main thing that set me off is the notion that they were largely horrible as a whole, when they also explored, settled, and engaged in trading.

I’m well-aware of the right wing attempting to co-opt Norse mythology or history, we are taught about WW2 here as well, and anybody who’s taken a look at certain racist right wing groups will likely have seen homage paid to it. My question is if that should have any bearing on whether you give vikings a sympathetic angle at all? The people who’d take that to legitimise right wing ideology are people who are already steeped in that sort of thinking.

This is not to claim that AC struck a good balance there, but they of course want people to feel like they’re playing the hero. It’s less problematic to me than, say, American Sniper.

Just a little disclaimer at the end, obviously you’re in the historical fields, right? No doubt I’m somewhat Dunning-Krugering it, just want to acknowledge that :lol: I appreciate the links btw.
 

VeevaVee

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I don’t think AC is doing anything dangerous, by any stretch, but they should have played up the horrible side just for entertainment, to be honest.
 

NinjaFletch

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I was wondering about the usage and whether that might be a source of confusion. We in Norway also refer to the period as "vikingtiden", or the viking times, and etymologically there’s a case for it meaning people who dwell in a "vik", or bay. At any rate, seeing as you’ve clarified that you meant the ones taking to the sea, even if we stick to only that group then there’s plenty to point to that is not just about bloody conquest. Heck, the reason they turned from paganism was in part due to it being a hindrance in their trade with Christian nations. I guess the main thing that set me off is the notion that they were largely horrible as a whole, when they also explored, settled, and engaged in trading.

I’m well-aware of the right wing attempting to co-opt Norse mythology or history, we are taught about WW2 here as well, and anybody who’s taken a look at certain racist right wing groups will likely have seen homage paid to it. My question is if that should have any bearing on whether you give vikings a sympathetic angle at all? The people who’d take that to legitimise right wing ideology are people who are already steeped in that sort of thinking.

This is not to claim that AC struck a good balance there, but they of course want people to feel like they’re playing the hero. It’s less problematic to me than, say, American Sniper.

Just a little disclaimer at the end, obviously you’re in the historical fields, right? No doubt I’m somewhat Dunning-Krugering it, just want to acknowledge that :lol: I appreciate the links btw.
Oh don't get me wrong, I certainly agree that vikings weren't unique in that regard. You've already pointed to Charlemagne, who of course went on a yearly campaign (and as an aside the EU's decision to name a 'European unity' prize after a, lets face it, murderous warlord, is particularly amusing) and Anglo-Saxon society was in no way 'better', which for its own reasons would have been an issue. It's for my money, a period where lots of people did pretty horrible things to each other - especially the ones whose names sources have preserved to us.

I think in terms of creating sympathetic stories and characters there's enough to work with there. If you're not familiar with it check out Havelock the Dane's wikipedia page for a story which we think probably owes its life to an oral tradition passed down by Viking settlers which has both a sympathetic hero, and plenty of people being dicks. Hell, if the AC game designers had just nicked the basic plot of that they'd have had a better story, although the ending is a bit twee by modern standards. I just think you can do that in a more nuanced framework, and more vibrant portrayal, of the period.

And yes, I'm (just about) stupid enough to be clinging on to precarious employment in academia. If I'm not going to use my degrees to have pointless debates on redcafe, I'm not sure where I can find a use for them!

I don’t think AC is doing anything dangerous, by any stretch, but they should have played up the horrible side just for entertainment, to be honest.
Oh dangerous, no, probably not. But I do think it's a depiction that will be met with approval on Stormfront and similar cesspits. And it is a depiction which is both ahistorical and a bit dull, and which ubisoft could easily have avoided if they'd spoken to more subject experts. When the end result of that is a more interesting story that Stormfront will hate it's a win win.
 
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Hoof The Ball

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Oh dangerous, no, probably not. But I do think it's a depiction that will be met with approval on Stormfront and similar cesspits. And it is a depiction which is both ahistorical and a bit dull, and which ubisoft could easily have avoided if they'd spoken to more subject experts. When the end result of that is a more interesting story that Stormfront will hate it's a win win.
Are there any primary reliable historical sources that detail opinions and feelings of moral conflict from the viking consensus with regards to raiding and occupying?
 

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Just picking up this discussion because I thought it was interesting, and the more I play of Valhalla the more I think it becomes a pretty disappointing peon to colonialism and Norse mythology. It sorely needs some attempt to present a balanced view that Vikings were, largely, pretty horrible. You wouldn't exactly have to go far to find material for that, it drips through sources like Abbo of Fleury's Passio Sancti Edmundi, Wulfstan's homilies, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and many many others. The decision to ignore that (and it is a decision, you can listen to the game designer's talk about it) in favour of a whitewashed presentation of the Vikings as this wholesome bunch of lovely dudes on a jolly to England, isn't so much neutral as a very overt act of historical interpretation. It is impossible to do anything other than re-construct the past based on modern values, and Valhalla isn't unique in the fact that it has taken editorial decisions in its portrayal of the vikings.

I do think there is a more serious point at play here. Assassin's Creed has rarely shied away from inserting itself ham fistedly into historical debates that have a cultural relevance in the modern world (the first game taking us to the Holy Land, being the best example), and Valhalla is not an exception here either. Norse mythology and saga accounts are pretty dominant in far right and ethno-fascist thinking (Dorothy Kim hits many of the right notes here, for some background: https://time.com/5569399/viking-history-white-nationalists/ ) and it's irresponsible in the extreme for Valhalla to unquestioningly replicate those themes, talking points and ideas, with its presentation of the era. For most people, it will simply be a game that they'll play and move past, but (unfortunately, perhaps) Assassins Creed has recognisable didactic purposes and will lead some people to greater familiarity with far right thinking. That's worth criticising.

Perhaps more relevant to most people, though, is that its whitewashed presentation of the Vikings is just dull. If for no other reason than story telling, inserting some moral ambiguity, recognising that the Viking 'settlement' was an invasion, inserting some moral dilemmas which go hand in hand with playing an invader, and adding some shades of grey to the story would at least prevent its story being so bland.
My point was exclusively about the anachronistic nature of making judgments like ‘OK, the Anglo-Saxons were pretty bad, but vikings much worse, m’kay?’. It’s pointless, and not interesting at all in historical discourse. Both tribes had their own world view, their own religion, their own cultural nuances and societies.

In a historical perspective it’s akin to accepting the romans account of the ‘barbarians’, which, for the romans originally referred to nomads (and the greeks for that matter). In a historic comparison you’d put their societies pretty close, i.e. farmers who dwelled in fixed locations.

Not to forget that about half of the genetic material or more came from raiding and conquering saxons a couple of centuries before. The main difference between the Saxons and the vikings? The Saxons, for whatever reason, assimilated with the populace and adopted Christianity.

The long and the short of it is that both the Anglo-Saxons and the vikings regarded the other as inferior, with inferior gods and inferior culture. The viking’s much more warlike culture saw every free man trained at arms from a very young age, making the standard viking warrior an elite warrior of the time, certainly compared to the Anglo-Saxon soldier who were mostly farmers conscripted in times of need, at least up until Alfred the Great’s time. Add to this their ultimate goal was a paradise reached by dying in combat and it’s clear the judgments on their morality is pointless.

To finish I’d also like to add a little fact about the lines we can draw from the viking societies, Norway especially, where the individual freedoms weighed heavy, and the social mobility was much more open than in Anglo-Saxon society, most farmers owned their own farms. A sense of pride and ownership that stretches right through history til today’s society. The nobility was almost non-existent as well, which most notable Norwegian historians connects to our very free and fair society today, while Torys are still a thing in England.

It’s also interesting seeing this debated without mentioning the very reason the vikings went on raids, which was to find land to settle and farm, because Scandinavia was overpopulated at that point, relative to food production.
 
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Shamana

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Learning history through videogames has always been interesting. I think Age of empires was my intro and then the total war games.
 

NinjaFletch

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Are there any primary reliable historical sources that detail opinions and feelings of moral conflict from the viking consensus with regards to raiding and occupying?
That's a great question, and I can only have an educated guess at the answer as I haven't trawled through everything, but I think you would be very unlikely to find any concrete examples of raiding as a whole being condemned given our source base. You may well find groups of specific raiders condemned for specific failings which could reveal debates which lay beyond the surviving sources, but that would probably be the best you will get in written sources. The best example I can think of that sort of answers your questions is a weird example from East Anglia where within 30 years of killing King Edmund the viking settlers converted to christianity and minted memorial coins in honour of the king they now regarded as a saint. There's politics at play there too, so it's not a clear cut example of regret, but our sources for this period aren't great and we have to work all our evidence bloody hard.

My point was exclusively about the anachronistic nature of making judgments like ‘OK, the Anglo-Saxons were pretty bad, but vikings much worse, m’kay?’. It’s pointless, and not interesting at all in historical discourse. Both tribes had their own world view, their own religion, their own cultural nuances and societies.

In a historical perspective it’s akin to accepting the romans account of the ‘barbarians’, which, for the romans originally referred to nomads (and the greeks for that matter). In a historic comparison you’d put their societies pretty close, i.e. farmers who dwelled in fixed locations.

Not to forget that about half of the genetic material or more came from raiding and conquering saxons a couple of centuries before. The main difference between the Saxons and the vikings? The Saxons, for whatever reason, assimilated with the populace and adopted Christianity.

The long and the short of it is that both the Anglo-Saxons and the vikings regarded the other as inferior, with inferior gods and inferior culture. The viking’s much more warlike culture saw every free man trained at arms from a very young age, making the standard viking warrior an elite warrior of the time, certainly compared to the Anglo-Saxon soldier who were mostly farmers conscripted in times of need, at least up until Alfred the Great’s time. Add to this their ultimate goal was a paradise reached by dying in combat and it’s clear the judgments on their morality is pointless.

To finish I’d also like to add a little fact about the lines we can draw from the viking societies, Norway especially, where the individual freedoms weighed heavy, and the social mobility was much more open than in Anglo-Saxon society, most farmers owned their own farms. A sense of pride and ownership that stretches right through history til today’s society. The nobility was almost non-existent as well, which most notable Norwegian historians connects to our very free and fair society today, while Torys are still a thing in England.

It’s also interesting seeing this debated without mentioning the very reason the vikings went on raids, which was to find land to settle and farm, because Scandinavia was overpopulated at that point, relative to food production.
Ah yes, the old lebensraum defence, hey, who else used that to justify invasion. ;)

But seriously, I think I've addressed a lot of those points in subsequent posts. The real issue I have with your post in that reply was the idea that the presentation we were given was somehow immune to modern judgements, or in someway neutral. It isn't, it's not what the Valhalla team were trying to achieve, and it isn't possible. There's no attempt to argue that vikings were somehow worse, or Anglo-Saxon society superior, but simply the more basic point that those being murdered were alive at the time and didn't much approve of it. There isn't an objective truth to get at here, simply our own subjective judgements of how to interpret, weight, and value our evidence, and the AC team decided on providing a very sympathetic, pro Viking account of the period. You might be convinced that that's supported by the surviving sources we have; I just can't share that judgement.
 

One Night Only

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Learning history through videogames has always been interesting. I think Age of empires was my intro and then the total war games.
Yep, history in school sucked. History in video games rule.

Add in Sabaton and history in music is also a winner too.
 

dannyrhinos89

OMG socks and sandals lol!
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I’ve got 100% on about 5 sections now. Just doing Kent as I’m down there in the story at the moment. I have about 50% of trophies done too.

The grind is going to be a very long for the Platinum trophy but I’m committed now.
 

el3mel

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I'm 50 hours and half in it though and I feel I'm just past the midline of plot or something. There're still about 4 or 5 areas to pledge in England map. It's way too long.

I want to say though, in terms of exploring the world this is the best AC in this regard since Unity. The world is just fun to explore. Searching for wealth and mysteries to do is just pure fun and addicting. This system is ten times better than the normal routine side quests from the previous 2 games.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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Has anyone from the UK been to the spot they live in? Proper nerdy question but how is the topography? I saw that the White cliffs of Dover were in and they looked great but I'm just wondering how accurately they actually mapped the lay of the land.
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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Has anyone from the UK been to the spot they live in? Proper nerdy question but how is the topography? I saw that the White cliffs of Dover were in and they looked great but I'm just wondering how accurately they actually mapped the lay of the land.
Asgard is really accurate
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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Yep, history in school sucked. History in video games rule.

Add in Sabaton and history in music is also a winner too.
History in school was fecking great. Although history in high school could definitely be livened up, maybe chuck some archeology in there. Could then get more specific as you go in to further education where you can focus more on politics or whatever
 

Bojan11

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CONTENT
Graphics/Performance Mode Introduction

Added an option to the game that allows players to choose between Performance or Visual Quality.

Feature breakdown:

  • This option is available for Xbox Series X|S & PlayStation5.
  • Choosing Performance allows the game to adapt the resolution and graphic settings to maintain 60 FPS.
  • Choosing Quality enables the game to run maximum resolution and graphic settings while maintaining 30 FPS.
  • Default values since the launch of the game are as follows:
  • Xbox Series X / PlayStation5: Performance
  • Xbox Series S: Quality

Miscellaneous

  • Added a new background image to the title screen.
  • Added various VFX to enhance visuals.
  • Added an option that will automatically assign all nodes on the path when acquiring a central skill.
  • Added rune categories to the rune menu. All runes are now categorized in Weapon & Armor runes.
  • Added a warning when switching from a language that supports TTS to one that doesn't.
  • Sliders can now be moved with left/right arrows on M&K and controllers.
  • Increased fabric limit to 82.
  • Added fabric to traders once the settlement has reached Level 6.
  • Added offering altar requirements to the world map.

Balancing

  • Updated gear quality and gear to their correct values.
  • Added Assassination damage stats on the character stats page.
  • Removed duplicate gear from inventory.
  • Heavy and light attack stats will now adjust correctly based on acquired skill nodes.
  • Heavy attack modifiers will no longer be applied to range attacks.


Game improvements

Performance and Stability

  • Improved stability and performance.
  • (Xbox Series) Improved experience on Xbox Series S | X consoles including screen tearing
  • (PC) Addressed a VRAM/RAM leakage issue when alt tabbing to desktop.
Many more fixes at the link. They should have given performance option at the start.
 

Hoof The Ball

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Many more fixes at the link. They should have given performance option at the start.
It's worded in such a way as to give the impression that you're not getting performance mode already. It's already performing at a locked 60fps, so in reality everyone is already playing performance mode. What you're getting now is the option to play at 30 fps with increased fidelity and visuals.
 
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VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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Just tried switching it to the fancy graphics/low fps mode. It’s making my eyes kinda feel funny moving the view around. Is that normal?

Guess I’m a full fps convert now then.
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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Just lost an hour or two of playing because I couldn’t save or fast travel. Horrible bug. Had to load up a save way down the list to get it back.
 

Iron Stove

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I've ran into a couple of bugs too. Save file got corrupted, lost 2 hour progress, then a quest bugged out and couldn't be finished so I had to reload again. Weirdest one being slung up into the air across the whole map when I tried jumping to grab onto a zip line.
 

Paxi

Dagestani MMA Boiled Egg Expert
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Just tried switching it to the fancy graphics/low fps mode. It’s making my eyes kinda feel funny moving the view around. Is that normal?

Guess I’m a full fps convert now then.
It just feel choppy doesn't it? Can't bear to play 30fps anymore.
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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My game is fecked. Can’t manual save, and it’s not auto saving. Can’t fast travel. Seems loads of people have the same issue looking on Reddit.

edit: finally found a fix. Anyone has the same issue lemme know
 
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VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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It just feel choppy doesn't it? Can't bear to play 30fps anymore.
Yeah it’s weird. Although someone did say it’s more like 20-25fps so they obviously fecked something up in the patch. Apparently lots of stuff supposedly in it hasn’t actually happened too.

I actually prefer the graphics in performance mode as well though. Don’t see any noticeable texture changes and the resolution makes the foliage look too defined.
 
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Paxi

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Yeah it’s weird. Although someone did say it’s more like 20-25fps so they obviously fecked something up in the patch. Apparently lots of stuff supposedly in it hasn’t actually happened too.

I actually prefer the graphics in performance mode as well though. Don’t see any noticeable texture changes and the resolution makes the foliage look too defined.
That can have an effect. Smoother gameplay often looks more pleasing on the eye despite having worse texture. I definitely heard other people agreeing to that.

24-25 fps drops render the game unplayable for me.
 

One Night Only

Prison Bitch #24604
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I barely look around much when playing, just focus on my target mainly so performance mode would definitely be my choice for sure.

Never use photo mode in any game ever apart from to get a trophy.
 

DWelbz19

Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016
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I'm 50 hours and half in it though and I feel I'm just past the midline of plot or something. There're still about 4 or 5 areas to pledge in England map. It's way too long.
That’s the biggest issue. They needed to take out at least 3 of the total 12(!) pledge areas and concentrate more on the main storyline. (Sigurd and Eivor’s stuff).
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
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I'm fine with the length. It is an rpg these days after all. Better than flying through it in a week.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I’ve got 100% on about 5 sections now. Just doing Kent as I’m down there in the story at the moment. I have about 50% of trophies done too.

The grind is going to be a very long for the Platinum trophy but I’m committed now.
What's the motivation for platinum-ing game? Never understood it.