Editorials PlayStation Xbox

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Trailer Showcases The Problem Between Cinematics And Gameplay

The last two days have been very eventful for Ubisoft with the official revelation of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla as the next major installment in their popular action RPG series. From Wednesday’s brilliantly orchestrated BossLogic setting reveal live stream to yesterday’s visually breathtaking cinematic world premiere trailer, it’s evident based on fan reactions that Ubisoft Montreal has succeeded in getting many excited to explore the trials and tribulations of a male or female Viking raider in 873 AD.

With a release window set for Fall 2020 and expected next-gen launches on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla certainly seems poised to be the talk of the town this holiday season. However, the trailer we all watched yesterday did succeed in highlighting an ongoing problem within the gaming industry when it comes to new video game reveals in general.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla world premiere trailer was brutally stunning from start to finish.

As an independent artist and animator myself, I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for the talented team behind this visually captivating video. A great deal of time and attention to detail goes into making these mini-movie masterpieces such as this one. Truthfully, these cinematic trailers have been a common practice for a large majority of game studios for the longest time as a means of introducing an exciting concept to fans to give them an idea of what to expect.

Where the problem lies today is in the fact that cinematic visuals aren’t accurate representations of how the final product will actually look by the time it hits stores. Being a gamer for my entire life, I’ve grown accustomed to knowing the difference between a cinematic cutscene and gameplay, and yet still these videos are hyped as though we just got through watching gameplay for the very first time.

When you add the fact that Assassins Creed Valhalla is one of the first major next-gen titles that we know about, that makes it even more puzzling for me as to why they would choose to debut a cinematic trailer first as opposed to a proper gameplay showcase. PS5 and Xbox Series X will succeed in being great consoles but I highly doubt that we will see a significant graphical jump when compared to PS4 and Xbox One. While I do know many intelligent gamers both in and outside of the industry, I also know for a fact that there are some people out there that believe this game will look exactly like the trailer and those individuals will be highly disappointed once they find out the truth.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
However, history has taught us that the cinematic reveal trailers never actually look like the gameplay we experience from the final product.

The one positive note about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is that we should finally get to see the highly anticipated title in action next week during a special episode of Inside Xbox focused on next-gen third-party games. Am I still interested in the game and do I plan on picking it up this Fall regardless of what we see next Thursday? Absolutely. I just want people to take a moment to acknowledge that the first trailer isn’t a fair representation of the final product. We can certainly still be excited about the game but we definitely need to see gameplay to get a better perspective on what the overall experience has to offer.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launches this Fall on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and Google Stadia. Where any of you sold on yesterday’s reveal trailer? Do you agree with my point that we need to see more gameplay before getting hyped? Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on these topics and more in the comments section below.

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