Writer and developer Darby McDevitt advises AC Valhalla players to clamber out of the Animus occasionally to see what’s going on in “real life.”
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla just came out yesterday, along with the release of the Xbox Series X/S, and right from the start, writer and developer Darby McDevitt wants to remind fans not to forget about the modern day story. It’s easy to get lost in the historical worlds that Assassin’s Creed so vividly recreates, but every so often players should step out of the Animus and see what’s happening in the “real world.”
Although using the Animus to travel back and forth through time is an integral part of the narrative and has been featured in every Assassin’s Creed game, it has become weaker with every entry to the series, leaving players wanting to stay in the past rather than being jerked back into the present. The first three Assassin’s Creed games at least made an attempt at a compelling story and fun gameplay in the contemporary timeline, with some platforming segments and digging through Abstergo’s emails to fill in story details, but after this, the modern day started to feel like an afterthought tacked on to the story set in the past. This makes players unwilling to step out of the Animus, but it seems as though Ubisoft has finally gotten the message and has fleshed out the modern day world in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt tweeted a tip for players on launch day, alluding to there being more to the present day than recent Assassin’s Creed games. He advises players who enjoy the modern day to get up and out of the Animus every so often, especially after major events in the main storyline, as McDevitt says Layla’s dialogue with her colleagues is updated “quite a few times.“
Hot tip for AC Valhalla players who enjoy the Modern Day.
We don’t kick you out of the Animus often, BUT we do update Layla’s dialog with her colleagues quite a few times, usually after major events in the Eivor-Sigurd storyline. So hop out every so often and keep them company.
— Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) November 10, 2020
The Animus is a very sci-fi concept in a game about historical stories, and it seems the Assassin’s Creed film that was released in 2016 struggled to move the concept from the video games to the screen. Michael Fassbender, who plays the protagonist in the film, explains that the Animus was changed from a simple chair that the protagonist lies down in to a huge rig that plugs into the neck of the protagonist and lifts him into the air because it was meant to look more dramatic. The design better illustrates the idea of someone living a virtual life as he is able to move around, and furthers the concept that Fassbender retains some skills from his past lives, while focusing the story more on action. An upcoming TV series about the Assassin’s Creed universe will hopefully deliver the concept of the Animus more accurately, and with less theatrical whimsy.
McDevitt conceded that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla doesn’t wrench the player out of the past very often; rather it seems that the game allows players to jump between past and present at their will. This probably means that many players will avoid the modern day as far as possible. Perhaps players should take McDevitt’s advice and hop out of the Animus occasionally to see what Layla and the gang are up to, as it seems there might be something to this storyline this time.
Next: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Drops Some Microtransactions, But Not All
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and will be available on PS5 at launch.
Source: Darby McDevitt/Twitter
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