Assassin’s Creed Valhalla won’t have loot boxes or random gear

Following the AAA sequel’s big reveal last month, we’ve come to learn more about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and where Ubisoft intends to steer this latest entry in the franchise.

Since 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins the series has settled into a new formula, heavily inspired by action roleplaying games such as The Witcher III. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey went on to refine that template and despite its overwhelming size, it has quickly become a franchise favourite among AC fans.

Instead of emulating its predecessor, Valhalla will be making some pretty significant changes according to some of the details that have slipped since its announcement. One of these changes includes a shake up to the loot system.

In the July 2020 issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine they talk to Valhalla’s Narrative Director, Darby McDevitt, who talks about the new changes, including the removal of loot boxes:

Every piece of gear is unique in the game and [can be] upgraded extensively so that when you find a piece of gear, you’re excited and you celebrate it, and that can stay with you for quite a long time. It can be viable for quite a long time. So it’s quite a different approach than the previous games took.

The lootbox system that featured in Origins and Odyssey appears to be gone; instead new unique weapons and gear are earned and valued, and most can be used throughout the entire game.

For those who struggled with the randomised loot in those past two games, this should come as welcome change, eliminating the need to grind away for precious loot drops.

Although we were promised Valhalla gameplay during the recent Xbox Series X showcase, what we got instead was some flashy in-engine footage. Hopefully we’ll actually get to see a portion of the game being played during Ubisoft’s upcoming Ubisoft Forward presentation on July 12th.

Source: Official PlayStation Magazine UK 176 (via PSU)

Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.


  1. Was Odyssey really a fan favourite? Critics seemed to like it even more than Origins, but a lot of people weren’t as convinced. It’s not really an AC game apart from having the name on, and that huge map is just getting far too big now.

    But if Valhalla ends up being smaller and drops all that RPG stuff that doesn’t belong in an AC game, it could be the best one since Syndicate. Chances are critic reviews won’t be so kind to it.

    • Unfortunately Valhalla’s map is supposed to be even bigger.

      I don’t know that RPG elements don’t belong in an AC game. The series has evolved – this many games in who wants to be playing the exact same format with *no* impactful changes?

    • Origins and Odyssey weren’t really an evolution of the AC formula though. They were more like a whole new thing with the AC name slapped on.

      They weren’t bad games though. Apart from that incident with the DLC and the mandatory child. But they weren’t really AC games. They encourage too much rushing straight in and slaughtering everyone, rather than sneaking around and assassinating people. Like an assassin would do.

      On the other hand, Alexios running around in his pants all the time was fun.

      After so many games slowly evolving the gameplay over 8 years, what was wrong with giving people more of what they were clearly enjoying? Why the need to do something completely different with Origins? More of the same isn’t a bad thing. Something new isn’t a bad thing either. Giving people something new and not having the confidence in it to let it stand on it’s own and pretending it’s something else is less than ideal.

      • The thing was, they weren’t enjoying them.

        Unity’s bugs meant Syndicate was fighting an uphill battle. It’s the second worst selling game in the series behind Rogue (which wasn’t a mainline entry, and appeared on dying consoles).

        They had to change it, at least based on the reception of the previous two.

      • Syndicate didn’t do so well after the slightly dodgy Unity launch, sure.

        But Origins and Odyssey seem to have sold about 10m each. Black Flag did 15m.

        So the new not-AC games are selling better than the one that was a bit broken at launch (but pretty much fixed by christmas) and the one that players punished for the previous one.

        But not as well as the first one to launch on the current generation.

        So they’ve fixed the problem they caused, I guess. And while sales for Syndicate weren’t so good, people generally seem to like it, don’t they? And Unity (once it was fixed) seems quite well liked.

      • Purely from a personal standpoint, I don’t really know anyone that thought it was that good. I actually skipped it, as I felt burnt out after Unity (which I guess seems to have been the case for many).

        Black Flag is of course the best one, because the sea shanties are better, but it probably benefitted from straddling two generations as well as hitting the pirate zeitgeist at the time.

        Still, I’ll be buying Valhalla, mainly as I’ve really enjoyed Odyssey, and whatever they’re doing with the series, I like it. Apart from making it bigger. That sucks.

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