Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Review
Having almost finished Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I was looking forward to the successor, ‘Valhalla' with some enthusiasm.
Having picked it up on launch day, I have invested 25+ hours and am ready to let you know my findings.
Yes, it's compelling but that feeling drifts away as you get further in the game. A new game is always going to contain bugs, and some are downright annoying and that is part of it.
Quests that you can’t complete are my bugbear. It was later when I reached England that I found the first bad one, hopefully, they will fix it in a future patch.
This isn't a complete thorough review (there's enough of those all over the internet), but more of a pick through of the good, the bad, and an overview.
The game is gorgeous to look at and this is on my humble PS4 bottom of the range model. How things have changed from the Sinclair Spectrum days.
So the mountaineering without safety equipment doesn’t last once you get to England, but be prepared to spend around 3-8 hours in Norway depending on how much you want to explore.
You can go back to Norway at any time later, just put the kettle on first and make a coffee (or have a 5 minute power-nap) as the loading times are SLOW.
Levels have been replaced by Power. I liked the levels in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which made it feel like an RPG more than ever.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is still an RPG but don't expect the detail level to be in league with Skyrim or other real RPGs.
You do have armour slots for Back, Head, Torso, Legs, Bracers, and Feet as well as your weapons so we are getting there.
I have not yet encountered Naval Combat which was great in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, so I hope it does exist. This longboat looks ill-equipped for firing cannonballs.
Weapon and Armour drops are much scarcer than in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and so you need to upgrade what you get. This is done in two separate ways, the blacksmith being one, and you gathering raw materials the other.
After all my time playing, I still don’t feel like I have obtained any great drops yet and so I am forced to upgrade these… well basic items.
Not one to spoil the main quest line (which is compelling and excellent), you are your crew are destined to travel to England after several hours and that’s when it gets more interesting.
The map I was disappointed in. This doesn’t look like the British Isles to me! Where is the classic shape?
The size also looked smaller although the developers claim the map-size is larger than Odyssey (which was large).
Quests are also much less frequent than Odyssey and some of them don’t track properly which I found irritating.
On arriving in England, you get to build your own City… Er... Hamlet named Ravensthorpe. The city building is a new feature to the series and adds some bite to it.
Each building you create gives you something extra and you need to raid the local monasteries for the materials to do this.
Bad for monks and good for you as you storm up the path to kill, pillage and rape… OK, so not that last thing as that would be politically incorrect.
The map gets more detailed the more you explore and exploring is a big thing in Valhalla. You can climb the towers to see what's in town but not all is revealed on the map.
Expect to spend hours roaming around, avoiding wolves (yes there were wolves then), and killing snakes (snakes are extremely rare in England but not this England).
Does it look like England? As I live here I can judge and tell you… YES it kind of does, but rolling mountains like these?.... there are not so many turrets, castles and ruins nowadays as in this virtual England.
Some parts of Assassin's Creed Valhalla are quite adult and definitely not for young eyes, and some are downright creepy like this.
Other small side-quests you happen upon can be amusing like Axehead here. I won't say any more, and as you need to find him and this may be missed by players.
Abilities are very mixed, and you need to find them as they are not earned. They can be assigned to your controller and are on a cooldown timer. Great in battle when you need some extra muscle.
The Cultists are back but only after you buy a certain building in Ravensthorpe. I loved this aspect of Odyssey, as you need to research to find these baddies and then take them down. Some of them are tough bastards so don’t expect an easy fight.
The Skill tree I was not so happy about. Why all this star chart shit? It seems rushed and hard to follow. You can reset your stats any time and without a fee. This is no WoW.
As more buildings are added to your emerging town, you will find there are more things to do. The Fishing Hut allows you to fish (exciting eh?). Fish quests give you rewards, and some of them good and besides it's easy.
Look for jumping fish, cast your line and within minutes you will catch something.
Legendary Animals can be tracked, killed, and their heads exchanged for more gear, and keep any Opals you happen upon as they can be traded to the exotic boy for very nice stuff.
I say boy as that is what he is, and he gives out quests for Opals. I got one that appeared to be for my level but on tracking down the bad guy he was red and seriously above my level.
Another bug maybe, but it was an annoying waste of time.
Is it as good as the acclaimed Assassin's Creed Odyssey? Yes, I would say it is but the bugs are annoying if you want to play right now.
If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, rehive, engage me or all of these things.