Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has only shown the male version of Eivor in its first cinematic trailer. It will be possible to choose a female warrior with the same name to experience the entire adventure. The narrative director Darby McDevitt assures in any case that the two stories will be canon, with obvious subtleties to adapt to the sex of the protagonist.
The team is also ready to anticipate any criticism of the choice proposed to play the title as a Viking, when popular representation often describes people of strong and fierce men. In that sense, Thierry Noël, historian and advisor of the editorial research unit on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, justified this decision in an interesting post on the official website:
The archaeological sources are highly debated on that specific issue. But the fact is, and I think what’s really important, is that it was part of their conception of the world. Sagas and myths from Norse society are full of tough female characters and warriors. It was part of their idea of the world, that women and men are equally formidable in battle, and that’s something that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will reflect.
Thus, difficult for the historians to judge whether women were actually present during battles and to be sure that some were even leaders. The Viking legends, in any case, pays tribute to them: they, therefore, had atleast a favorable image, which justifies inviting us to embody a female figure.
The place for female warriors in the world of video games is rather reduced in large productions. Developers wishing to use historical frames are thus faced with a general problem: how to show strong female figures when they have been demeaned in most cultures during the past centuries? Battlefield V had, for example, paid the price by introducing women into the Second World War, an initiative justified by the alternative approach to real events, but which had displeased some players.
We cannot wait to find out how Eivor, women’s version, will integrate with its universe in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, scheduled to release at the end of 2020 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Stadia.