This post can possibly contain spoilers. Be warned.
When completing the arc in Cent, Valhalla offers a rare and quiet moment to talk to Basim. Basim turns out to be human, after all, but that’s not really what gets me in this interaction. It’s Eivor. Eivor shares a couple of things with game protagonists that I don’t like. They’re stoic, brash, hotheaded and I don’t feel that I’m in control of them at all times. Not feeling in control or that, as a player, I can identify with my character on screen is usually a cardinal sin. I stop playing when that happens. Usually it happens as soon as I open the game up and see a big burly man with 5 day stubble and a nondescript manly face in the lead. Or it happens as soon as said manly lead opens his mouth to say something manly and heroic.
For Eivor it took longer. I’m given the illusion that this is a woman (because I chose to play the female version of Eivor), but really, Eivor feels as if they’ve pasted a feminine visage on a manly man and left it at that.
The moment with Basim changed that feeling for me. Their face. Basim’s face when talking. Yes, it’s a bit trope-y, but the way Basim delivers the trope. The way Eivor delivers their part of the conversation. It’s a beautiful moment.
It’s only a shame I had spent 120 hours playing before then. These games are WAY too long. Also all the FUCKING WHISTLING!
Basim and Eivor, ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between or not at all.