I just finished listening to a podcast on Dark Age England and I am very curious as to how the game is going to handle the politics of the time. No matter how Ubi tries to finesse it, the Vikings were invaders and their reputation for raiding and the resultant brutality was well earned. Sure, they were farmers and traders and sailors and they had families. But they also went out on bi-annual raids to seize what they could seize, whether it would be gold, property even slaves. Being on the receiving end of a Viking raid was not a pretty thing.
To add to the mix, this is taking place during the reign of Alfred the Great, who at least by my reading of history, seems to be one of the really “good” guys of history. He was the fifth son of his father, and probably never expected to be a king. In fact given his piety, he most likely would have ended up in the church. Yet his brothers kept dying, and finally, there he was, king of the West Saxons. He was a scholar, who valued books and education, so much that he even required his ealdormen to learn to read/write in order to hold their positions, which is fascinating to think about (I just keep thinking about a bunch of rough hewn warrior types sitting down with tutors learning to read/write). He was also sincerely religious and supported the church (though I know that seems to have lesser value today), but it was important for society at that time. He could also be merciful - he captured in battle the wife and children of a rebellious Viking lord who had submitted Alfred to baptism and for whom Alfred was their godfather - yet Alfred did not hold them hostage or harm them - he instead sent them back to the rebel Viking lord because he was their godfather. He was a warrior, though probably a reluctant one, but an effective one. He was a great strategist, who developed a basis of defense that enabled the Saxons within just a generation or two to beat back the Viking threat, and indeed, reconquer and unite England. And that was the result in the end - the Vikings were beaten back and submitted to the Saxons/English.
The reveal trailer seemed to make him out as some scheming type king but that doesn’t seem to be the Alfred of history. So I’m wondering if that is a misdirection in some way. In the gameplay we do see Eivor apparently allying with a Saxon noble so there’s that.
Anyway, I am very interested in what they are going to do with respect to the history.