What do you call a bisexual Norseman or Norsewoman?
…But, according to Ubisoft’s Youssef Maguid and Darby McDevitt, you could also call them “Eivor.”
Speaking to IGN, both UbiForward host Maguid and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla narrative director McDevitt confirmed that the gender of player character Eivor would not restrict in-game romance options. Maguid stated that “there are multiple people you can romance in the game, and you can romance all of them as either gender.”
McDevitt explained that the Valhalla team’s goal was to expand on the romance system implemented in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. While both player characters of Odyssey, Alexios, and Kassandra, could romance and sleep with male and female characters, the “romances” were primarily of the one-night stand variety, lacking major storylines or lasting impact on the game’s plot. These brief amorous subplots also received criticism for their overly humorous tone and minimal emotional severe content.
Ubisoft has confirmed that Valhalla will feature both one-night stands and lasting, committed romances which continue as the game progresses. Describing the system, McDevitt said, “There’s also going to be some longer-term relationships…If you want to be monogamous and have a single, ongoing relationship with somebody, you can do that.”
This approach to romance is especially interesting because the footage was shown during the recent UbiForward event, seemingly confirmed that you could switch Eivor’s gender at will at any point during the story. Will romantic partners react differently to a male or female Eivor? Will they recognize their lover in their new form, or will you have to court them all over again?
The reason behind Eivor’s appearance-swapping powers is being kept a carefully guarded secret. McDevitt provided fans with only a single, cryptic hint: “The whole reason for why you can switch [Eivor’s gender] back and forth fully embraces the often-overlooked science fiction nature of our series.” It was also teased that this ability of Eivor’s might be connected to the series’ long-running “Animus” mechanic.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will release on November 17 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Later PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X releases are also planned.