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Assassin’s Creed with Vikings / Activist’s Cries with Rumors

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Earlier this week, a lot of details about the upcoming Triple-A title for the Assassin’s Creed franchise were leaked, from the new backdrop, to the new and returning in-game mechanics, which in all honesty, are damn exciting. A release window was also mentioned, which is causing problems for creator Ubisoft, and pitchforks have been raised yet again at some big choices creatively taken by the studio. So, let’s talk about what we know, one by one. Please remember that the details we currently know are rumored leaks, and I cannot attest to the validity to these details. 

Assassin’s Creed: Ragnarok, codenamed “Kingdom,” had details first leaked in November last year. Players in Ubisoft’s The Division 2 had found an Easter Egg, or hidden secret left by developers inside video games, of a Viking holding the Apple of Eden, an item heavily symbolic from the Assassin’s Creed series, which sparked the discussion all across the gaming community. What would the game be like, and how long until we get our hands on it, were two prominent questions asked, and only clarified later with time, in some of these leaks we’ve only seen just recently. Ragnarok will be designed similarly to the previous two titles, Odyssey and Origins, as a role-playing game with gear to find, create and upgrade. The title will be cross generation compatible, with a date of release in between September and October. Though if that release window stands true, they will be in the same space as Cyberpunk 2077's new launch date, which most could severely hurt sales. The more substantial leaks known describe the protagonist's backstory, and the types of adventures they might partake in. 

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The player will discover their identity as the offspring of a god and harness the powers of both the mythical Mjolnir or Gungnir to hunt giants and others which oppose the will of their gods. Our protagonist will be a Viking who will lead a pack with three other warriors across Europe, who can be NPCs, or players who opt to join your session in progress. Adventures might take them across lands or to the seas, where ocean exploring and combat will return, refined and even more engaging. Before any of those journeys are taken though, players will make the decision of whether their Viking champion shall be male or female, which surprising very few, has created further outrage. The choice to pick your gender won't make most bat an eye, but media activists are unlike the many. Mentioned prior, they're not playing video games for the enjoyment, but for the headlines and the politics. A specific article written as Forbes’ Editor’s Pick on January 11 shows how far someone may move the goalpost, when discussing the same choice from a previous AC title, Odyssey:
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It is truly a shame that anyone missed playing with Kassandra because Alexios was an option. And with a majority male player base, a majority of players stuck with what they knew and picked him. Two-thirds of players, in fact….And yet, if early leaks are true, Ubisoft is playing it safe once again with the female lead being merely optional…What I really want is those two-thirds of players to get out of their comfort zone for a change, and for Ubisoft to fully commit to a female character for once when they have already done that for male characters…
-Paul Tassi 

Originally, the media wanted better representation of women in games and to spotlight women as inspiring figures in storytelling more often, and that's a noble objective. The whole situation is unfortunately so blown out of proportion, most aren't talking about the in-game monetization and pay-to-win mechanics that might sneak into the game on release. Everything we currently know and expect are only rumors right now, so I'm not worried yet, but will be keeping a close eye on what is confirmed over the coming months. 

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Ragnarok will be showcased as the one of Ubisoft’s debut titles for the next generation, having a lot of speculation surrounding its quality, features and story that it will tell. At face value, my expectations are low. I foresee grinding halts in my progression to sell me time savers, overly priced cosmetics, and its launch day being plagued with glitches. I’m still going to play it mind you, because being a Viking assassin sounds absolutely badass, and will give Assassin's Creed the same chance I gave Anthem, just because I truly love to play video games. 

rancollageed1

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