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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla includes this heartwarming feature

The history of animals in Assassin's Creed includes skinning them for resources in Assassin's Creed 3, riding camels across the Desheret desert in Assassin's Creed: Origins, and the mysterious group of boat cats in Assassin's Creed: Unity. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla takes a different approach by letting payers pet cats and dogs.

Valhalla goes above and beyond when it comes to petting animals. Instead of simply patting their heads, Eivor can pick up and cuddle cats until they jump out of their arms. Similarly, the player can ruffle a dog's ears and hug the canine. The dog will return some love by putting a paw on Eivor's shoulder and briefly following them around. Thanks to Polygon's preview of the game, we know that petting animals is as easy as pressing the interact button when the player gets close. 

Animals are a major part of Assassin's Creed, with the iconic symbol of the eagle. The bird was at the forefront of numerous trailers and the name of a prominent Assassin ability: Eagle Vision. Ezio Auditore also collected eagle feathers in memory of his little brother. When Assassin's Creed: Origins revamped the series into an RPG formatthe eagle became the player's companion. It can be used as a scouting mechanism to replace Eagle Vision — Valhalla will have a similar mechanic, albeit with a raven

Of course, horses were a primary source of transportation throughout various Assassin's Creed games. Cats and dogs, on the other hand, were present in the open worlds but not too interactive. Players can pet cats and dogs in Assassin's Creed: Origins but not nearly to the extent of Valhalla. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey allowed players to tame animals, which let Alexios/Cassandra pet their new friends.   

For the most part, though, animals in recent entries are vicious. Assassin's Creed: Origins had players fight elephants and crocodiles, while Odyssey had players fight bears and lions. Valhalla will also be a violent game, featuring dismemberment to illustrate the brutality of the Vikings. Hopefully, the extended focus on cat and dog interaction will ease its gruesome nature. 

Animals in video games have been a popular subject this year. Animal Crossing: New Horizons required the player to go fishing, build doghouses, and capture bugs. PETA took offense to this and created a vegan game guideThe Last of Us Part 2 heavily featured dogs, either as companions or enemies. Fans took offense to the graphic nature of dog deaths, especially since their owners had realistic reactions to them. Ghost of Tsushima had a more peaceful approach to animals. Foxes would guide the main character, Jin Sakai, to collectibles and allow him to pet them. In response, they would jump in joy.

Assassin's Creed and video games in general have a long trend of including animals in the gameplay. Most gamers are passionate about innocent interactions with these animals, such as petting dogs. One Twitter user, aptly named @CanYouPetTheDog, keeps track of every video game that allows players to pet dogs. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla will surely make the list. 

Valhalla is the 12th mainline Assassin's Creed entry, and it features Eivor, who can be male or female, a Viking in ninth-century England. A large part of the story will be about Eivor and their clan of Vikings traveling to England in need of resources, according to GamesRadar. Eivor can find resources and build settlements by going on raids, but they find opposition in King Aelfred of Wessex, who thinks the Vikings are a threat to civilized England. On the gameplay side of things, Valhalla will include more in-depth customization compared to Odyssey. This newest entry will allow players to customize hair, tattoos, and war paint, whereas Odyssey had zero customization for character appearance outside of armor. The settlements in Valhalla will play a major part in the game, serving as a home for clanmates and an embodiment of player choice consequences, according to lead producer Julien Laferriere.

The game will also rely heavily on RPG mechanics and player choice as established by Odyssey. At the same time, Ubisoft is bringing back social stealth, a mechanic used in the earlier Assassin's Creed entries. This allowed players to hide from enemies by blending into crowds or sitting on benches.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, the family of Xboxes, PC, and Stadia when it releases on November 10 (November 12 for the PS5).