Since the transition to an RPG model, Assassin’s Creed has received plenty of criticism from fans as it moves away from the stealth-oriented action-adventure approach of prior games. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla‘s protagonists have no real connection to the brotherhood, there’s no real stealth missions or even stealth options in some cases, and parkour has seemingly gone out the window. Recently, even, fans were quick to point out how an Assassin’s Creed book is about finding Assassins, who are, in turn, absent from the franchise games. It seems Ubisoft is well-aware of the issue, relying on a new plan to bring many of the iconic features back to the franchise.
This is no leap of faith on Ubisoft’s part either. It know wants fans want: satisfying parkour really not seen since Assassin’s Creed Unity, city environments where traversing the world is not a chore, ways to identify and assassinate targets in unique environments, epic chases that end in satisfying kills, and all with the sheer charm of characters such as Ezio. All of that and more will seemingly take place as Assassin’s Creed moves on from an RPG formula to perhaps the best format for the game yet: Kart Racing.
Assassin’s Kart is not only the next entry in the franchise, but one determined to be the definitive experience. The new game will feature a variety of maps from franchise from Ezio’s Italy to Jacob and Evie Frye’s Victorian-era London, as well as unique gameplay perfectly marrying the go-go action of kart racing with the core mechanics of the franchise. Players will be able to drive across rooftops and through windows to deliver “the best parkour seen in the Assassin’s Creed franchise to date,” while abilities such as getting above or behind another player for an epic assassination will be key to earning a win.
Assassin’s Kart will also feature a story mode where players, as one of the many Assassins of the franchise, seek to race against Templars for control of the Pieces of Eden…and the streets. The below image is first screenshot of Assassin’s Kart and was made available by an anonymous source, simply wearing a hood and going by “Eagle Bearer.” According to the insider, who frequently mumbled “malakas” under their breath, Assassin’s Kart will get a full reveal at the next Ubisoft Forward.
Ubi thinks this is the best way to go about the franchise. Ubisoft heard the cries and shouts from fans about its stealth roots, and what better way to bring those back than with Kart Racing. There’s even something a little special for Basim fans, though I don’t want to ruin that surprise.
There’s still a lot of unknown aspects to the game, but each character will apparently have special abilities depending on their gameplay experiences. These are not apparently designed with winning in mind, per se, but in capturing the approach behind these characters. Listed below are all of the playable characters and abilities revealed thus far:
- Altair – Will instantly drown in water. Always starts out in the first position.
- Ezio – Can double assassinate targets with half of the required ability meter.
- Connor – Gets a speed boost every time the player shouts, “Where’s Samuel Adams?”
- Edward Kenway – Edward’s kart, the Jackdaw, allows him to “board” other Karts.
- Shay Patrick Cormac – Gets a speed boost every time he assassinates an Assassin character.
- Arno Dorian – Parkour is quicker and more stylish.
- Jacob and Evie Frye – Evie Frye has the fastest ability recharge, as well as kart speed, in the game. However, players are cannot spend more than 50% of their time as Evie.
- Bayek of Siwa – Stealth abilities last twice as long for Bayek.
- Kassandra – The Staff of Hermes allows for Kassandra to better counter assassination abilities.
- Eivor – “Male Eivor” appears in the character select and victory screens. Players spend most of their time as female Eivor, though.
Finally, the “Eagle-Bearer” also mentioned the release date for the first Kart entry and the price, with the game apparently releasing April 1, 2022, and costing players their ring finger. When reached out to for official comment, Ubisoft simply responded, “Nothing is true; everything is permitted.”
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.