As seen in the cinematic reveal trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, protagonist Eivor uses a conspicuous version of the hidden blade. In fact, this blade is quite a bit less hidden, and is instead on proud display when charging into combat against dangerous Templar enemies . Ubisoft decided to remove the “hidden” aspect of the hidden blade in order to better fit the tone of Valhalla and Eivor’s culture. However, it will still keep with the majority of the series’ games in that it will cause instant death. This function was not found in Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey.
“It is a deliberate decision,” Assassin’s Creed Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt said on Twitter. “It’s something that Eivor feels very strongly about. When he or she gets a hold of this hidden blade, it occurs to Eivor that it would be much more interesting to let people see this weapon, to be conspicuous about it. Vikings were known as having a sense of honor and it was very important that when you killed somebody, that you let people know that you killed them.”
McDevitt continued: “Oftentimes, people would not be punished for murder if they had a small justification, like say somebody insulted you. They would not be punished for the murder as long as they admitted to it, as long as they stated openly that ‘Yes, I killed that person because we got into combat.’ And so having the hidden blade visible is actually kind of an extension of that honor. We want this conspicuous aspect of the blade to be reflected in the way that Eivor presents him or herself to the world.”
As stated before, pretty much all interpretations of the hidden blade have stationed the actual blade on the inner forearm, with the blade extending along the palm of the hand. The one exception is the hidden blade used by Darius in the Legacy of the First Blade DLC expansion for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, implying the earliest hidden blades were as conspicuous as the one that Eivor uses in Valhalla.
Despite the difference in style, Eivor’s hidden blade will behave largely how the weapon did in the earliest Assassin’s Creed games. Unlike Origins and Odyssey, you won’t have to upgrade your hidden blade in order to instantly assassinate targets. Despite an enemy’s level, Eivor’s hidden blade will always instakill when used from stealth.