Assassin's Creed Valhalla Brings Back A Classic Mechanic From The Original Game

Monks are back, and with them, social stealth.

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Over many years and many iterations of the Assassin's Creed franchise, the iconic assassin's outfit slowly became more ostentatious and less useful for, say, hiding among a group of white-robed monks. The next game in the series, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, is bringing hoods, hidden blades, and social stealth back.

While the first hands-on demo GameSpot previewed for Assassin's Creed Valhalla was very action-heavy, the developers have promised that the entire game doesn't follow this mould.

"We do bring social stealth back in a lot of our quests and a lot of parts in our world," said assistant level design director Laurence Letalien in an interview with GameSpot's Jordan Ramée. "We do have this mechanic of disguise where you can put your hood on and in different locations where you want to blend in more get less detected, you can put it on and it's a mechanic you can use to social stealth between crowds. We are also bringing back the social stealth of the monks walking around you can blend with them."

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The new-old mechanic was shown off in the Valhalla section of the Ubisoft Forward presentation, showing protagonist Eivor pulling up the hood of their cloak to blend with a crowd of people. While this mechanic was used extensively in the first three Assassin's Creed games, it fell out of favor as the games took on more of a focus on combat and RPG elements. Now, it's coming back to make Valhalla feel more like a classic Assassin's Creed game.

Of course if stealth isn't your jam, the option to fight your way into and out of any situation is still available.

"Stealth was a super important part for us to bring back and focus on," Letalien said. "And we do have both approaches… the demo was a bit more action-y but you could, before the raid, before calling your crew, go alone and take out enemies stealthily before calling your crew to the battle."

Valhalla will release on November 17 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. It'll also be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when the consoles release, with players who buy the game on current-gen getting an upgrade to the next-gen edition for free.

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