After travelling to the sandy expanses of Ancient Egypt and traversing the lush Mediterranean landscape of Ancient Greece, we’re finally heading north for the snow-capped tundra of Norway. Grab your horns and ready your longships friends- we’re setting sail with the Vikings in Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Note: This review is spoiler-free.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is very much a continuation of the established formula we’ve seen in Origins and Odyssey. This time around you assume the role of Eivor, a Norwegian warrior hardened by their past who sets out with their brother Sigurd to expand their clan to England. Eivor can be male or female depending on your preference, or you can let the game dynamically change between them throughout your playthrough. Layla Hassan also returns as the playable modern-day protagonist, but like previous titles, has very little screen time compared to our new Nordic pals.
Upon your arrival to England, Eivor and the clan will establish a settlement called Ravensthorpe which serves as your home base. This is essentially an upgradable village that you will need to manage and gather resources for in order to build facilities such as a trader shop, blacksmith, and even a tattoo and barber shop. I was initially hesitant upon hearing about this feature due to my lukewarm response to Prosperity in Far Cry: New Dawn, but I am pleased to say that the execution is far better this time around. There is a certain level of satisfaction in building up your home and seeing new characters populate it, and the payoff is having many useful shop owners and amenities available in one safe area. You can also personalize it with decorative elements to make it feel like your own, which is something the interior decorator in me has spent too much time caring about.
For those who were intimidated by Odyssey’s massive map, Valhalla may initially seem more palatable, but don’t be mistaken - this game is huge. While England makes up your main playable area, there are other regions to be explored that compound to make up some beefy playtime. The game has done away with a traditional side quest system in favour of small, colour-coded dots on the map which signify various events - wealth, artifacts, and mysteries. This does a nice job of decluttering your quest log, but when you climb up a tower to unlock map regions and the game highlights just how many of these are scattered around you, you realize that there is still plenty of content to chew on here.
For those who were intimidated by Odyssey’s massive map, Valhalla may initially seem more palatable, but don’t be mistaken - this game is huge.
The gameplay and open world is the major drawcard and the story is there to frame it for you.
Through your adventures you’ll find people wanting to engage in drinking competitions, battle you in medieval rap battles called Flyting, and even get to dash after tattoo designs a la Black Flag’s shanty chases.
Tattooed gamer person. Will keep repurchasing Skyrim. Living proof that you don't have to be good at Dark Souls to enjoy it.
Please login to post comments.
PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series
10 November 2020
Latest ReviewsBrowse All Reviews