Earlier this year, we were invited to try two Ubisoft titles Watch Dogs Legion and more recently Immortals Fenyx Rising. This month, Steve Saylor was invited to try out the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and while the preview version lacked the accessibility options detailed below, you can expect them to be present at launch.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft has confirmed that there will be a dedicated options menu at first launch, allowing you to make any changes to options before jumping right in.
You will be able to have subtitles that are available in 3 different sizes, with the ability to add a background with opacity differences. You can also choose to have speaker names enabled. There are also going to be closed captions that should introduce visual notifications for in-game sounds, and this includes audible pings that ring out when using the feature ‘Odin’s Sight’. This feature finds you being able to scan the surrounding area, and when using this feature with closed captions turned on, the radius of Odin’s Sight increases.
“A big topic for us was menu font size. One of our frustrations with Assassin’s Creed Origins was that we realized way too late that our font size was too small” says Ubisoft Montreal’s User Interface Team Lead Maimouna Brownrigg in an internal interview. This has been addressed and you will be able to adjust the menu font size as well as the icon sizes. Both of these will come with 3 different size profiles to choose from.
You’ll be able to choose what HUD elements you want to be displayed as well as choosing to have a background behind them with different opacity options available. There’s menu narration available with the ability to choose the text-to-speech pace and volume for all settings menus and most of the in-game menus. There is, however, no narration for HUD elements.
Audible pings are also present for blind accessibility and will sound off if your character is stuck at an obstacle. “When your character is not able to move in a direction, we play a small audio cue to notify you that the character is stuck.” Says Franck Murcia, User Experience Director at Ubisoft Montreal, “We asked the programmers if we could do it, and we explained that it’s a request from blind players. It’s in the game, so we’re interested to see how it’s received.”
There are options for gameplay, such as being able to turn off screen shake, tag enemies through the raven similar to the previous two Assassin’s Creed titles with the eagle, make use of an auto-follow road/river feature and have gameplay tips pop up however frequent you want them.
What’s interesting though is that in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla you’ll be able to choose from different difficulty modes for different categories. Fight difficulties will come with 4 different choices to choose from. Stealth comes with 3 settings, and exploration also comes with 3 settings.
There’s also a new “Guaranteed Assassinate” feature which basically means no matter how high the targets level if you perform an assassination takedown, they’ll be assassinated. With this feature off, the system will work similarly to the previous games, and higher levels will only take a small amount of damage from an assassination attempt.
For controls, you’ll find control remapping available for keyboard, mouse, and controllers with controls being customizable for:
- Invert controls for camera, movement, and raven
- Swap sticks for both gameplay and menus on controller
- Sensitivity for camera/movement on controller and mouse
- Mouse acceleration
- Left-handed mouse
- Vibration (Off, Light, Full)
- Auto (On Foot) movement (PC & keyboard/mouse only)
You can assign alternatives for hold inputs, such as aim-toggle, weapon wheel toggles, and UI elements that may require two-step confirmations. If you’re planning on using hold inputs, you’ll be able to adjust the length of interaction holds from 100-1,000 milliseconds. And for Quick Time Events you can choose between having one-time presses, hold, or repeated presses.
There seems to be quick a lot carried over from previous Assassin’s Creed titles with the introduction of some new, interesting sounding features for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Steve does have a video on the way to share his impressions on the preview, but as already stated, the preview didn’t have the above options available.
We’ll be letting you know how these options feel sometime around launch, which will be when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla becomes available on November 10, 2020, for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, PS4, and PS5.