Plunder on hold.
If history should teach us anything, it's that overhyping a game before its release is a very dangerous game to play, as many titles we thought would be tremendous, released in a state slightly or drastically below our expectations. Despite this, I, and many others, have already boarded the hype train for AC: Valhalla, with some taking their seats upon the games announcement, and others from the gameplay reveal. The latest entry in the long running series looks to be a doozy, but we've still got a while to wait before we can get our hands on it, and for those who are extremely hyped, the long train ride to release may prove too much. So, here's a few ways you can prepare for, and pass time until the release of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.
Play Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
This one is pretty much a no brainer, but not everyone getting AC: Valhalla will be series vets, some might've saw the trailer, gameplay or even setting and instantly gained interest. So to newcomers and AC veterans alike, there's arguably no better way to prepare or Valhalla's release, than to play its predecessor. Taking place in Ancient Greece, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey has you playing as the grandchild of Spartan hero, Leonidas (as seen in movie, 300), who as a child, was left to die as a result of some cult prophecy. As the story progresses you learn more about who you are, meeting various historical figures, battling mythical beasts, and taking part in the historic Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. The game is without a doubt one of the series' best, offering a gigantic open world for you to explore, a multitude of quests and storylines to play through, and some action-packed gameplay. Considering AC: Valhalla will be a refinement on what Odyssey and its's predecessor, Origins, brought to the table, much of what you'll play in Odyssey should give you an idea of how Valhalla will play too; from the combat, loot system, and general scale of the game overall. While Valhalla will have improved on many of Assassin's Creeds new mechanics and features, giving Odyssey a bash, whether you've never played it, or played it to death, should do well to preserve your patience and resolve.
Aside from what you can play to prepare for AC: Valhalla, there's a good couple of series that will better introduce you to the Viking age setting of Valhalla, while educating you a little along the way. The first of these would be History channel series, Vikings, which even if you won't be getting Valhalla, I'd highly recommend. Vikings tells the story of Norwegian Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, and his quest to become the most famous Viking the world has ever known. How does he do this? by sailing west to none other than Britain, where he sets in motion events that will cause him to rise from simple farmer, to Nordic hero. It's a series that will have you engrossed in its storytelling, invested in its characters, and on the edge of your seat with some spectacular action sequences and battles. The series will no doubt leave you amped up and ready for some pillaging, but, additionally, it's also been confirmed that there'll be a small side quest within AC: Valhalla involving some of Lothbrok's original crew members, of whom you'll get to meet when the game launches this November. So for those excited about Valhalla's Viking setting, this is the show for you, giving you a glimpse at some of the games influences and aesthetic, and with a total of seven seasons for you to work through, Vikings will have you more than ready to raid the British coast; monasteries and all.
Watch The Last Kingdom
Speaking of setting, where Vikings gets you pumped up for some Viking style action, The Last Kingdom on Netflix will have you better acquainted with the time period in which Valhalla will be set. The Last Kingdom tells the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who as a young boy, is captured by Danish raiders and raised as one of their own. As a grown man, Uhtred is conflicted by his upbringing as both a Saxon and a Dane, a trait which often results in a series of hardships and struggles for him throughout his journey, as he seeks to claim his rightful home of Bebbanburg. With four seasons currently streaming, The Last Kingdom is great, with a unique and compelling story that also does well to incorporate historical accuracy into what's otherwise a fictional tale. A lot of what goes on in the series is based on events and battles that transpired during the time period in which it is based (some of which we may even see in AC: Valhalla) and there's a variety of historical figures present in the series, including King Alfred the Great of Wessex, one of the four Saxon kingdoms of England. In the announcement trailer for AC: Valhalla, we actually see Alfred, suggesting that at some point players will come into contact with him; on what terms, we don't yet know. If you want to get clued up on the historical setting of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla before launch, The Last Kingdom is a must watch, and will know doubt have you calling out every reference when the game launches in November.
These are only a few suggestions for how to better prepare yourself for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, but ones that should definitely tide you over until launch. Odyssey is definitely a time consumer, with a world so vast and story so long that you'll be playing for weeks; Vikings with six seasons available is a fair binge, and one that will only serve as fuel for your already burning excitement for Valhalla; and for those who want to be a little more clued up, The Last Kingdom will have you more than ready to get invested in Valhalla's setting and world. It's still a while before the hype train reaches its final destination, but with these suggestions, the wait will be a lot less tedious.