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Cats are set to play a pretty big role in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. We already knew that the upcoming open-world Viking RPG would let us recruit felines and take them on raids with us. It's now been confirmed that you can both pet and hold any of the cats you might find while exploring Ubisoft's ancient take on England.
Is this the most exciting news in the world? No. Is it a slow news day? Maybe. Is it always good to know whether or not you can give a cat a cuddle in a video game? I'd say so, yes.
A video released by the official Assassin's Creed Twitter account shows the games protagonist Eivor picking up a hefty cat and giving it a stroke before it leaps out of their arms. Presumably to go and leave a particularly stinky crap somewhere on the floor, as cats are wont to do.
Fans have been desperately hoping that cats would feature heavily in Valhalla since it was pointed out over on Twitter that vikings did actually take their feline chums into battle with them.
Jes Martens from the Cultural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, told ScienceNordic in a piece from 2016 that vikings very likely took their cats along for the ride as they conducted numerous raids across Europe while searching for a new home. What's more interesting, however, is that cats had their own role to play in wider Norse mythology.
"Freja, the goddess of love, had two cats that pulled her carriage," Martens explained. "And when Thor visited Utgard, he tried to lift the giant, Utgard-Loki's cat. It turned out to be a serpent, the Midgard Serpent, which not even Thor could lift."
So there we have it. Cats are guaranteed to be a big hit in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and it's about time. For too long dogs have taken the lead in video games as the only animal companion that you can pet. It's time for fresh fur. Between the cats of Valhalla and the foxes that have become such a hit in Ghost Of Tsushima, it's heartening to see so many developers embrace their love of animals and let it shine through in their work.
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