Assassins Creed Valhalla – Review

I love the Assassins Creed franchise, it is possibly my favourite franchise to play through, I love history, I love learning about how the world we live in got to where it is today, how did our ancestors live, how did they get by not knowing the technological advances that we have today? For me, Assassins Creed games give me that little bit of incite, they allow me to get a feel for how the world was hundreds of years ago, yes, it may not be accurate in the sense of the world, but how people behaved and how they reacted to the world around them can be pretty spot on.
Valhalla is no exception to that, Vikings coming across to England for a new life, wanting to take the land for their own gains and not just their own little spot, they wanted the country and they were going to fight tooth and nail for it.

Now, in Assassins Creed Valhalla you play as Eivor, and just like Odyssey you get the choice of whether Eivor is a man or a woman, but, there is a third choice here as well which is depending on the strength of the animus stream you can play as both, so the character will switch between male and female Eivor. My choice was female Eivor, however, I did notice in dialect throughout the game that it is set male Evior, the use of calling her brother and not sister, and the use of masculine phrases showed that although you had a choice between sex, the dialect wasn’t fully adapted for this. Maybe the choice wasn’t there to begin with and it was only going to be Male Eivor in the game and that was changed later on? Not sure. Didn’t really bother me, it was just very inconsistent with the game I was playing.

The first thing that I want to talk about is how the game looks and my word, this game is a stunner, I don’t think that I’ve used a photo mode so much within a game, from the snow-topped mountains in Norway to the rolling green hills of England, every bit of the game was simply stunning to look at. I have put a few images below to show the beauty that this game offers.

This may be one of the reasons why I played the game right through and finished it. It was such an Immersive world to get lost in, yes there were times that it felt a little barren, but there was always somewhere to explore, something to find, every time you opened the map there would always be a marker of some sort around, whether it was wealth, a mystery or an artifact, there was always something to keep you busy. 

I have to admit though that I didn’t enjoy everything that the game had to offer, one of those things was Orlog, I was glad when I finally managed to beat all the players In the game as some of them I felt were horrible to play against and that the game was always in their favor. However, the more I played it and beat other players to win god favors the more I was able to adapt my strategies. God favors are tokens that you can take into games which If you have enough tokens can give you an edge. The favors range from healing yourself, forcing your opponent to re-roll a certain number of their dice, or just having some extra firepower to try and run down your opponent’s lives.

How does Valhalla feel to play? To me it feels very good, the motions and movements are fluid especially when playing in performance mode on my Xbox Series S. There isn’t much of a difference between performance and graphical mode, but with the switch in frame rate, you can definitely feel it when you’re playing. 

One of the things that I found daunting when I first saw it was the skills tree and I was looking at it thinking “where do I go from here?”, and when more and more options open up and you see the sheer size of it. At first, you do have to be quite methodical in what you’re unlocking on it as I feel you’re best off trying to strengthen your play style, but as you get towards the end game and level 280, it starts to not matter much. At this point, you’re powerful and can take most down and I believe there is only one area that has a higher requirement than this. Although, if you’re confident in your abilities then it shouldn’t really matter much, it just might still be a bit of a challenge.

Combat within Valhalla was very enjoyable and stringing together dodges, blocks and timing hits right was very satisfying, plus some of the finisher animations were absolutely brutal. There are a wealth of weapons in the game to collect from hammers, axes, swords, daggers, each with their own little properties as they get leveled up. Once I had Thor’s Armour and finished the story I went back to Norway and found Mjolnir which made me very happy(and worthy according to the game 🤣). Another thing I love about AC games is the little nods to history they put in such as this nod to Norse mythology, but also when I found Excalibur in a cave as well. Absolutely brutal sword, but still didn’t shine as much as Mjolnir… Quite literally.

The inventory system in Valhalla was a little confusing, well, I say confusing, it was slightly different, whenever you picked up armour or weapons you couldn’t sell them or break them down for materials. Apparently, it was because everything belongs to something within the game, which I can understand with the armour as you collected pieces throughout the world and there all sets, but most of the weapons are just random in some form, although I guess each has their own uniqueness within the game.
As I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot these days for me to play a game of this size and finish it, either other games come along that I get invested in or I burn myself out, but putting 125 hours+ into Valhalla didn’t feel like a chore to me, it felt natural, the world felt alive and this kept me gripped on the game wanting to try and find everything that I could.
I can’t deny that I absolutely loved this game and that it is up there as one of my favourites. 

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