Assassin's Creed

Valhalla | Utterly unacceptable stealth gameplay

I probably don't need to introduce myself, but I will anyway. I'm Leo K.

I've built my rep on teaching the mechanics of this series to newcomers, intermediate players, and even 'advanced' AC fans who love these games, through a series of video guides. I'm most well-known for my leaning and emphasis on a stealth playstyle, because it's my passion and what I've always enjoyed making work in these games the absolute most. I have always been able to deliver insightful ways to work around AC games' various stealth systems over the years so that anyone from a player who just started playing today, to someone who's been playing for years, can each enjoy these games while being as reasonably sneaky as possible.

I haven't made a post on this so far because while I was upset and disappointed, I wanted to give this game a chance to see if perhaps some of these problems would be repaired over time. They haven't been. They haven't even been listed as known issues, not once. If anything, recent patches have exacerbated them, and made them worse.

There is no way to soften this.

Stealth is horrendous in this game.

I have played stealth games for the better part of my existence, both inside and outside of the Assassin's Creed series. From Splinter Cell to Hitman to Thief to Dishonored, to indies like Mark of the Ninja, Shadow Tactics and Wildfire.

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Many of these games are hard. None of them makes stealth-play outright unfair.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla does.

  • Detection-distances are absurd.
  • Detection-rates are completely ludicrous and non-existent; which is to say, detects are usually instant unless you're very lucky (yes, lucky, due to arcane, unreadable rulesets that seem to change on a whim)
  • Guards sight you through solid geometry.
  • They investigate to precisely where you are (say, hiding in bush) and detect you before getting in range for a safe takedown.
  • This Detection-state then propagates across insane distances nigh-instantly.
  • The height limit for how far upwards guards can see is practically uncapped.
  • Guards telepathically know you've grabbed their ally for a kill, as if they have eyes in the backs of their heads, even when you're nowhere near them.
  • All of these problems compound on each other, and it's not even everything, just the most noticeable stuff the majority of players should have recognized at least once.

Months after release not a single high-profile AC stealth content-creator is producing all that much on this game at all. What? One video? Maybe two? Where are the stealth guides for this game? I'm not the only person who has a vested interest in playing this way, surely others would have come up with reliable methods to sneak. Unless the game was, you know, broken.

In fact, we don't even like to think about it or discuss it among each other. It is that dreadful. When people ask us if we plan to make content on it, we just feel a sense of gloom come over us because we know how any attempt will end. Even the scattering of stealth content on the Internet is hybrid stealth which features unintended detects, with combat. Every once in a while I'll boot it up again and try playing with any degree of intention or consistency, only for it to inevitably crumble to dust through my fingers. Literally any other game in the series (yes, any other) has more reliable ways to run a stealth playstyle and more consistent verbs for the player to take advantage of to remain unseen.

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Now, here's the thing.

Some players are really lucky. These people will comment things like "Well it works fine for me," while heaps and heaps of other players express in various comments sections and Twitter, how exhausting it is to try to play this game in a way that was advertised to be not only possible but empowering.

Something needs to change.

I'm not a 'voice' for anyone.

I'm just one guy.

I love Assassin's Creed with all my heart, always have. I've found something to enjoy about each game in the series, even the ones which disappointed me most. I want to enjoy social stealth in Valhalla. I want to enjoy traditional, line of sight stealth in Valhalla. I want to be able to discuss this game with my friends and notable community figures who love sneaking around in Assassin's Creed, in a way that makes us happy instead of tired.

I want to love this game, so badly.

Please continue trying your best to investigate, patch, and repair these issues, so that I can.

~ Leo K

Additional Links:

You Cannot Build for Stealth In Valhalla

Trying To Sneak In Valhalla


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