Those of you who read my Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review may remember that I reviewed the PS4 version, and was looking forward to getting my hands on the PS5 upgrade. On November 12, the PS5 launched, and so did a variety of free game upgrades. I downloaded the shiny new PS5 version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and jumped into the game. Right away, I noticed one huge benefit and one huge drawback: Your save files carry over, but your trophies don’t.
On the one hand, it feels somewhat churlish to complain, because Ubisoft has actually achieved something remarkable in terms of save transfers. By using Ubisoft Connect, your Assassin’s Creed Valhalla saves won’t just transfer from PS4 to PS5; they’ll also transfer to Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. You can pick up right where you left off on any platform, and all you need is an Internet connection. This is a remarkable advance in cross-save technology, and I hope that other developers can follow Ubisoft’s sterling example in the future.
On the other hand, losing trophy progress is a huge inconvenience, especially in a massive game like Valhalla. As in previous Assassin’s Creed games, you get trophies for completing plot objectives, as well as defeating tough opponents, completing stealth challenges, discovering hidden secrets and combining skills in novel ways. You can earn some of these trophies only once per playthrough; others are simply extremely difficult to replicate.
As such, if you started Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the PS4, you’ll either have two games with incomplete trophies, or you’ll have to play through the whole game twice. Since the whole experience can easily take 50-80 hours, that’s a pretty tall order.
Unfortunately, there’s no real solution to this problem, since having separate PS4 and PS5 trophies for the same game seems to be by design. My personal solution has been to just stop caring about trophies for this particular game. It’s a shame, since I put a lot of time into getting a Platinum trophy for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and was hoping to do the same here. But trophies have always been a fun extra feature; the core Assassin’s Creed Valhalla experience still works fine on PS5.
The other option is to continue playing the PS4 version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, even if you have a PS5. It’s entirely possible to install both games, and you can select which one you want to play each time you start the application. In my personal test, the performance differences are mild, coming down mostly to slight variations in frame rate and subtle lighting effects.
There are bound to be some redundancies and inconveniences at the beginning of any new console generation, and it looks like the PS5 is no exception. At least you can take your save data with you.