Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Review (Uplay/PC)

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Become Eivor, a Viking raider raised to be a fearless warrior, and lead your clan from icy desolation in Norway to a new home amid the lush farmlands of ninth-century England. Find your settlement and conquer this hostile land by any means to earn a place in Valhalla.

Pros:

  • Beautiful graphics.
  • Download size.
  • Uplay achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • HDR support.
  • Colorblind mode.
  • Sensitive settings-assassination sequence, blood fx, dismemberment, and nudity can all be individually turned off or on.
  • Toggle settings for crouch, aim, and quick wheel.
  • Benchmark test option.
  • Ubisoft Connect rewards.
  • Ubisoft Connect challenges.
  • Graphics-fullscreen, a field of view slider, fps cap, window mode, aspect ratio, resolution, v-sync, refresh rate, resolution scale, graphics quality preset, adaptive quality, anti-aliasing, world detail, clutter, shadows, volumetric clouds, water, screen-space reflections, character textures, depth of field and motion blur.
  • MSI mystic light support.
  • Tobii Eye support.
  • Tutorial pop-ups and tutorial areas.
  • Controller settings-Invert axis and sensitivity sliders, rebind buttons, and swap sticks.
  • Can rebind mouse and keyboard.
  • 3 exploration difficulties-adventurer, explorer, and pathfinder.
  • 4 combat difficulties-Skald, Vikings, Berserker, and Drengr.
  • 3 stealth difficulties-apprentice, assassin, and master assassin.
  • Male or female character choice.
  • Save when you want.
  • Play how you want.
  • Open world.
  • Odins sight-shows all interactive points nearby for a short time.
  • Raven-call at any time to scan the area from above and highlight key details and set your own markers which help with planning.
  • Orlog-dice rolling mini-game. Roll dice and pick to keep 3 and invoke the powers of the gods to deal damage or earn gains for an advantage.
  • Flyting-mini game involving poems and creating a flow, winning a Duel wields more charisma that opens up new dialogue options with people.
  • Drinking mini game-rhythm action game controls with a button for steadying yourself.
  • Find treasure maps.
  • Main quest lines along with side quests. You have full control over what to do and what to pin.
  • The compass at the top shows icons and distance.
  • Blacksmith-used to upgrade equipment rarity.
  • Massive hunt activities where it’s a face-off against huge animals and feels very Monster Hunter like.
  • Loot/gear has rarity levels.
  • Can pick up and hide bodies.
  • Crazy details like footprints in the snow and using Odin’s sight to see animals weak points.
  • Hunting of wild animals for materials.
  • Gear can have slots and you attach runes.
  • Basic crafting and upgrading can be done in the menu but a blacksmith is needed for higher-level gear and higher leveling options.
  • The overall power level of your character based on your gear and the power level is used to give areas difficulty scores.
  • A lot of puzzle elements.
  • Book of knowledge-find these to unlock new abilities and you can equip up to 8 at a time. Duplicate ability books increase the power of that ability.
  • Living breathing world.
  • Longboat-can be customized and called upon from any docks, set the sail to go fast or press a button to have it follow the current.
  • Focus button. Usually to show a point of interest.
  • Synchronization points to uncover the map and show icons and act as fast travel points.
  • Strong Assassin’s Creed wall climbing as always.
  • Cloak-used to disguise yourself and blend in.
  • Handy quick select dial to call your horse, ship or cloak, etc.
  • Armor sets with unique buffs and appearances, you can further the buffs with the skill tree.
  • Amazing snow effects.
  • Panoramic and cinematic camera angles when on a horse or in a ship.
  • Respec your skill tree at any time for free or even do each unlearn each skill individually.
  • Multiple choice interactions.
  • Settlement-get materials from raids to build up your base and unlock new shops, vendors, and options including gear creation and buffs, and new abilities.
  • Monastery raids-raid all loot chests to get supplies and raw materials for your settlement.
  • Boat-can listens to a song and even change the song or listen to a random story.
  • Stables-train up your horse to increase stats or get new abilities. Choose animals/birds you have or change their appearance.
  • Alliances-use the map and pledge yourself to other clans in order to get rewards.
  • Find ore deposits all around.
  • Animus Anomalies are self-contained platforming puzzles where you need to use reflectors and beams to navigate to the lost packets.
  • Atlas-use this to travel to other countries.
  • Each area has a power level and 3 bars of activities-wealth (loot), mysteries, and artifacts.
  • Unlock new activities like fishing and hunting, return them to the settlement for rewards.
  • The order-you find clues to the identity of Order leaders. You then must assassinate them which marks them off the Web of players but also grants a cool confirmed kill video and then some dialogue about them.
  • Daily contracts to take for bonus rewards and currency to buy rarer unique items and cosmetics.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Cons:

  • The game loves to restart after every graphics change it seems.
  • Robotic movements in places.
  • Stutter with scripted events about to happen.
  • Odin’s sight looks low quality and pixellated as it sweeps across the land.
  • Cutscenes can have awkward silences.
  • During fights, the enemy and indeed your Ai can just stand still or look like they are fighting but in fact, are not.
  • Long initial load time.
  • Part of the beginning got me at first as one part was in an area that was over 250 power le els above me and I thought it odd. Eventually, I realized you could easily sweep in and trigger the scene but it wasn’t clear.
  • The bird/raven is not as good as other games as it doesn’t trigger/mark enemies or points of interest straight away.
  • Bit of a lull in the middle when you have to do a load of side quests and activities in order to push the next story mission.
  • Skill tree unlocks over time so you cant see what you can get so there is a lot of u learning skills or resetting overall.
  • Loot chests are not as rewarding and luxurious as before.
  • Feels like you are too sticky and navigating ledges can have you stuck longer than you wanted.
  • Combat can get sloppy and kinda messy.
  • In raids, you need an Ai partner to help you open doors and chests and that doesn’t always work.
  • Still not a fan of the out of the Animus sections.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8.8/10

Summary

The Assassin’s Creed games have had a lot of ups and downs over the years including a triumphant return following a short break with Origins, then immediately followed up with Odyssey but I felt like Odyssey was too soon and too similar to Origin and I eventually burned out. I came to Valhalla hoping that wasn’t the case, for the first few hours it did in fact feel like it had done an Odyssey and I was gonna have to drag myself through it. I did what I always do which is to trek across the map and get as many synchronization points as I could so I could fast travel to main missions and I dabbled in a few side quests. It was fine but it hadn’t grabbed me, the story was one I felt I’ve heard a lot over the years, and whilst the snow looked fantastic I yearned for more variety and fun. Then it happened… What I thought was the area of the game you play in turned out to just be an appetizer as the main course was a banquet! A banquet of glorious English countrysides and rolling hills, I could go all over the oldy world UK and truly fuck shit up. I stuck to my routine but I fou d I was doing more story quests, more side quests and the mysteries feature meant I never knew what was going to await me. I was hooked and still am truth be told. Gone are the clear activities from previous games like killing this guy then do this and instead is mysteries where they can be anything from talking to someone to taking on huge Monster Hunter like creatures or solving puzzles. The mysteries really are an excellent addition to the series and one they need to keep. Outside of that areas will have a set amount of wealth to find which is harder to find trinkets or gear of value and again this adds a bit of variety to it all. Side quests are indeed still there and as always are in huge numbers and they don’t really mix them up that much but it does reward you handsomely either for your character or for your settlement, shit yeah you have a settlement now which is like a build your base lite activity. You go on raids with your team (which you can hire new recruits out in the world) and get supplies that are then used to build new structures at your settlement which then opens up new events and abilities like fishing, hunting, blacksmiths, increased stats and so much more, its a brilliant little side project to have going on. I can’t get I to the story stuff in terms of some of the locations, it’s common knowledge I know but I just can’t but I will say it leans and uses the mythology to its full extent from locations to characters and its do e in such cool innovative ways. Honestly, I thought they had plateaued with the series and I would be calling for another break but they have pulled it out of the bag. The combat is vastly improved and I dare say it’s the best it’s ever been, the loot list has been toned down and for me, it’s too low but I let it go, they do introduce gear sets where having a full set gives even more buffs and you can still slot runes I to gear to add more buffs. It all comes together and wrapped up into a complete package that is hard to fault and all I can say is Assassin’s Creed is back baby!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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