Sail across the icy North Sea to discover and conquer the broken kingdoms of England. Immerse yourself in activities like hunting, fishing, dice, and drinking games, or engage in traditional Norse competitions like flyting – or, as it’s better known, verbally devastating rivals through the art of the Viking rap battle.
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Flyting was a battle of insults, akin to modern-day rap battles, allowing you to quite literally add insult to injury against all those who oppose the main character Eivor during Valhalla’s story. Flyting comes from Old English and is translated as “to quarrel,” and examples of it have been found in Norse, Celtic, Old English, and more writings. If it sounds like a far cry from the stereotypical activities you hear Vikings would embark on — namely, a lot of raiding and pillaging, well, you’re not alone in that belief. But Thierry Noël, historian and inspirational content advisor of the Editorial Research Unit on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, spoke to Ubisoft about the unexpected gap in how Vikings actually lived compared to their perceived lives.
“The gap between the reality of Norse society and the image we have of the reckless Viking was really interesting to me. They were a fascinating society in terms of culture and pretty fair in the way they treated women, who had important rights at the time. It was certainly contradictory to the common image we have of Vikings,” Noël told Ubisoft.
And given that Valhalla is leaning into the player choice the series has recently adopted, including adding new character customization options and important dialogue choices, it only seems fitting we’ll be able to choose how to verbally devastate foes in between raiding parties and settlement upgrades.
Speaking of settlements, Valhalla is placing a big emphasis on building and shoring up Eivor’s Viking settlement in the new Assassin’s Creed, as game director Ashraf Ismail told IGN in a recent interview, which you can watch below.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set to be released this holiday season on PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC exclusively on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store, Google Stadia, and UPlay+.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Debate with him which is the best in the series on Twitter @jmdornbush.