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Ubisoft's comments on Assassin's Creed map are turning heads

Assassin's Creed Valhalla has already been something of a controversial game. Fans are waiting anxiously to see if the latest installment in the long-running action series will live up to expectations. However, we now know one way in which it will certainly surpass previous entires in the franchise.

In a recent interview with YouTuber Julien Chièze (translation via Reddit), Ubisoft producer Julien Laferrière had some interesting comments regarding the size of the new game.

"I would actually say in terms of range it is probably a bit larger than Assassin's Creed Odyssey," said Laferrière. "I do not have the exact figures at this stage, but we have not only created the whole country, which is in this case England, but also to a good part of Norway too."

It's exciting to hear how much work has gone into recreating famous landmarks and regions in the new game. However, that's not all there is to Valhalla. According to Laferrière, the game has plenty of other surprises in store for fans. 

Laferrière continued, "There are other secret worlds, which I can not speak about today, which contributed to the size of the game. It's not a small game, it is a game which is clearly ambitious, which will offer many many hours of gameplay for the players."

With all of those "secret worlds" within the game, it appears that we've truly only seen the tip of the iceberg in the game's marketing. Laferrière's comments are particularly interesting when one considers previous statements regarding Valhalla. 

Malek Teffaha, Ubisoft's head of communications for the Middle East, raised some eyebrows when he hinted that the game is significantly shorter than previous games in the franchise. When a fan on Twitter asked about the length of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Teffaha replied, "FYI, it won't be the longest or biggest game in the series. They addressed criticism on this one."

That tweet has apparently been deleted since then, which suggests that Teffaha may have spoken a bit out of turn. Still, it's an interesting thing to think about, particularly when you consider what came before in the series. Teffaha was likely referring to the criticisms surrounding the overstuffed length of the last game in the series, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Odyssey was frequently slammed by critics for its length. In Newsweek's review of the game, writer Bob Kefete said, "The failure of Assassin's Creed Odyssey boils down to there simply being too much game— an excess of sprawling, unfocused content ... with a host of impossible missions that fill up your quest log that you can't attempt without hours of grinding first, playing Odyssey feels less like a fun game and more like a slog."

Fans seem to be confused by the conflicting reports regarding the size of the game. However, one of the theories here is that Teffaha's comments referred to the length of the game's campaign or the amount of content. It could be that the map in Valhalla is larger than in Odyssey, but the overall content has been focused a bit more. Maybe the story is shorter and there are less side missions to grind through. After all, Odyssey essentially juggled three separate narratives, which partially led to its unwieldy nature. That could be one of the "criticisms" Teffaha is referring to as having been addressed.

Other fans hope this means that there will be less focus on sea combat in Valhalla. Previous games like Odyssey and Black Flag featured massive battles on the ocean, which didn't work entirely for some fans. 

One fan on Twitter remarked,"I really hope the map has a bit more land this time around, although it made sense in Odyssey's case to have a 50/50 between land and ocean, I was never truly attracted to the ship mechanics and its combat."

It appears as though Ubisoft is making some interesting choices regarding Valhalla's direction. Whether it's in response to fan feedback or just a desire to do something different, Valhalla appears to be shaking things up a bit. Players will be able to choose between a male of female version of the protagonist, Eivor. In an interesting twist, the game's director promises that both versions of the character are canonical. This suggests some possible new wrinkles to the series' long-running historical narrative (not that historical accuracy has always been the series' strong point).

It appears as though fans are still somewhat divided when it comes to Assassin's Creed Valhalla. One thing is for sure, though: the game has continued to throw curveballs at us before it has even been released. We'll just have to wait until Valhalla is released later this year to find out what else it has in store for us.