Discovery Tour: Viking Age plunges players into a unique interactive experience. Within this recreated version of Scandinavia, players will learn about the history, traditions, and famous characters of the Viking era that spans from the 9th to the 11th century.
It serves as a companion piece to Assassin’s Creed Vahalla and the third game in Ubisoft’s Discovery Tour, focusing more on the historical aspect of Assassin’s Creed as opposed to the assassin aspect. If you’ve bought ACV, you will actually be able to get this game for free as DLC. It will also be released as a separate game on its own on PC.
This time we go to the ancient nordic world of Vikings, from Norway to England, players will step into the shoes of Viking and Anglo-Saxon characters of the time from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (ACV) and live their big and small stories. During their memorable adventure, they will interact with the world and its inhabitants, while discovering many details and anecdotes about the time period.
Exempt of violence and adapted to all audiences, Discovery Tour: Viking Age has been developed in close collaboration with historians, archeologists, and teachers, who have helped make it a fun and efficient tool for all who want to know more about the influence and legacy of the Vikings.
Living the Viking Life
Discovery Tour: Viking Age leverages all the educational aspects by putting narrative at the core of the experience. Players step into the shoes of 9th-century northern European peoples – a couple of Norse merchants, a young monk, and King Aelfred of Wessex – to live their stories from their perspective. While moving from one objective to the next (indicated by green beacons like in the base game while learning experiences are yellow/gold), players are exposed to tailored historical content that tells them more about the traditions and cultures of the Viking Age.
Discovery Tour: Viking Age makes the most of the video-gaming medium by offering an interactive experience where players are actors rather than spectators. The Viking Age is all about interacting with the world and its inhabitants. Those expecting the combat of Assassins Creed will be disappointed as those not featured here, but that’s not really the point of the game. Think of it more like an old point-and-click adventure game but now in 3D with top-notch visuals.
The content of the Discovery Tour focuses on 8 categories that together give a global understanding of the Viking Age:
- War & Politics
- Daily Life
- Religion & Magic
- Myths & Legends
- Law & Justice
- Art & Culture
- Trade & Economy
For instance, while players help Brother Ealric find a cure for a fellow monk’s illness, they discover interesting facts about monastic life and the medicine of the time!
For instance, when Thorsteinn, the Viking merchant, needs to get a longboat to cross the sea, players will follow him along with the different steps of creating such a vessel: choosing the designs for the hull and the mast, preparing the wood for use and even selecting their favorite prow.
By completing those tasks. Players progressively learn about the importance of seafaring for Vikings all while being immersed in scenes of daily life and progressing in the story.
Every bit of historical information that players discover in the game is accessible from the Codex menu which works as a database and can be opened at any moment.
Not only that, Discovery Tour: Viking Age also includes 25 Behind-The-Scenes stations (represented by a blue waypoint), all narrated by Shaun Hasting, the Assassin’s Creed’s Present Day character and historian. They provide information and anecdotes about key development elements for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Assassin’s Creed and video-game fans will have the opportunity to learn about the production process of Valhalla and discover interesting facts and anecdotes about the video game-making process, including the creation of Eivor, the design of the in-game sounds, or the way the color palettes for the different regions were chosen.
Not just Eivor this time, everyone can be used
Over the course of their adventure, players embody four different characters, each with their own personality, desires, and background stories. First is Thorsteinn and Gunnhilda, merchants in a timeline that shares how to migrate to Norway so no spoilers here, a monk named Brother Ealric, and Aelfred, the King of Wessex who plays a huge role in the main ACV game.
The main content of Discovery Tour: Viking Age is divided into 8 quests that together form a global story following the endeavors of the playable characters across several decades. The quests take place in 4 different worlds: Norway, England, and the mythological realms of Jotunheim and Asgard. The quests can be played in any order and each of them focuses on several key historical events, developed in collaboration with specialists and reviewed by historians.
While five of the quests tell a Viking saga focusing on the adventures of Thorsteinn and Gunnhilda, the other three are built like Anglo-Saxon chronicles seen from the perspective of Ealric and Aelfred.
Last but not least, players will progressively unlock a wide variety of Assassin’s Creed characters that they can use to explore the world of Discovery Tour: Viking Age freely, outside of the narrative quests. Some of those characters, such as Thor or Eivor, are directly linked to the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla universe while others – Layla Hassan or Shaun Hastings for instance – are taken from the global Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Extra: We know that Eivor is the only one who’s capable of running through city streets, climbing up buildings, and calling on Synin to give you a bird’s eye view of your surroundings. Don’t worry, all the characters here can do that so you won’t have any traversal issues.
A True Guide Through Valhalla
For me, what’s really special about Discovery Tour: Viking Age is how all this information is presented to the player. The voice actors for each tour guide maintain their personality and charm from Valhalla’s story where the narration during each guided tour is also expertly done as if it were from a professional documentary.
Discovery Tour: Viking Age manages to capture the size and depth of ACV into a full-blown learning experience. At the same time, the game can appeal to a wide demographic, which means you don’t have to play or be an avid fan of Assassin’s Creed. When viewed as an entertaining virtual tour, Discovery Tour: Viking Age is perhaps one of the finest educational tools available and it can even be incorporated in schools or museums.
The attention to detail, the connections to ancient literature and art history, as well as the explanation of the cultural findings help create an immersive learning experience.
As a hardcore AC fan, it provided me with an incredibly surreal experience. To walk the mountains and villages of Norway and to wander to the streets of historical England – which I have spent 100+ hours playing – provided so much more context to the game than I could have ever imagined possible.
After walking the streets and seeing people interact with one another, I was able to gain a better perspective of the history and the development process which enriched the way that I think about this game. Back to playing ACV, I guess.
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Discovery Tour: Viking Age
- Graphics is so clean and adds up to the experience
- Excellent learning tool for the whole family
- Adds more context even for avid AC fans like the history of Eivor’s parents
- Not for those who wants an “-action fueled game”
- Might need a high spec system if you really want to appreciate what the game can give.