[UPDATE: It appears the screenshots are fake, as evidenced by the use of free assets from the Unity game development engine.]
The Assassin's Creed franchise may be taking a break in 2019, but that won't stop leakers from keeping fans informed about the rumored Viking-themed Assassin's Creed Ragnarok project. A new major leak has been dropped featuring seven screenshots from what looks to be pre-alpha gameplay, as well as new details about Assassin's Creed Ragnarok's ongoing development. Note that this information has not been corroborated and so should be considered a rumor until officially confirmed.
According to the leak, which was posted to an anonymous image board, the codename Assassin's Creed Kingdom project has officially settled on the Assassin's Creed Ragnarok title. Ragnarok, as previous rumors have said, will be Viking-themed and focus on longboat raiding and looting in the Baltic Sea through to Great Britain.
Northern Europe, including Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, and Iceland as DLC, will apparently all be split into several "Kingdoms," which may be where the codename comes from. Kingdoms then are split into regions, each holding settlements. Settlements then can have some degree of customization and economy.
The player will take on the role of Ragnar Lodbrok, a member of the Great Heathen Army who becomes an assassin and equips a hidden blade, naturally. Returning gameplay will involve RPG mechanics, an eagle, and ship combat. However, Ragnarok marks a shift for the Assassin's Creed franchise by focusing on open world exploration, removing map question marks and encouraging players to discover more on their own.
The leaked Assassin's Creed Ragnarok screenshots are very likely to have come from a pre-alpha build of the game. They show a clearly in-development build that's unfinished in virtually every way. That said, they do show off some of the game's features. The player is shown in a variety of armor, horseback riding into a settlement, sailing a longboat, and even playing alongside what may be a co-op partner.
While such early screenshots may not serve to build up much hype as they might if the game was near to release, they do serve one major purpose. They provide the leak credence. Without these screenshots, it'd be difficult to call these rumored details reliable. With the screenshots, this information is tough to ignore. Assassin's Creed Ragnarok may be more than a year out from release, but fans now have something tangible to look forward to.
Assassin's Creed Ragnarok is rumored to launch in 2020 as a cross-generation title.