Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, released November 17, 2020. A new year, a new Assassin’s Creed? It looks a bit like this, even though the timing goes back two years. But eventually, these games have grown to absurd size. Odyssey covers a good part of the Greek Islands, Origins half of Egypt and Valhalla now covers good parts of England and a bit more. When you consider that Syndicate was only five years ago and didn’t even have to cover all of London…
But Syndicate even appears against the two predecessors as a study of a gray, almost forgotten era and the two trips to Antiquity did everything they could to expand all that was possible both in a playful way and in terms of space. The battle system was decked out with automatic counter-slaughterhouses for a legitimate action battle with role-playing influences, the idea of ”social” stealth, that is, hiding in a group of four. , seems almost forgotten. There is loot and values, so many values. Weapons and armor have modifications, modifications have modifications. It was nothing less than a reinvention of the basic framework behind excursions that have always been beautiful.
Now that Valhalla is entering the early Middle Ages and making a dramatic historical leap forward, the big question was whether that would go along with some kind of mechanical reboot. Well, not really about the exploration and the world. It’s an absurdly large expanse of riding somewhat reminiscent of the early regions of Witcher 3 in its rough, rainy desolation on the east coast of central England. The horse is always a staunch companion with whom you visit the towers that unlock quick travel points and map markers. These are displayed at the top of the “Radar”, including the counter details. The only point I visited was a tall steeple, but there will be other striking points if you go deeper into the country.
You’ve got a lot of little quests that you stumble upon, you can watch such a “world event” in the video below, but don’t expect too many, despite the prominent name. Legendary animals are making a comeback, though the wolf, which you can also see in one of the videos, turned out to be relatively unspectacular. But there are certainly completely different calibers, for example… What other animals are there in England? Check it out. Scottish wild cat. Red squirrel… Maybe there were some Roman imports that increased.
It sounds very familiar to Odyssey and Origins, but not the same. What at first glance – and it really was just a first glimpse – made a much more organic impression was the level progression and the numbers on the screen. In battle, it’s not about directly weighing up or down five levels, which are immediately readable in the normal UI. Opponents are there, they have level, health points are also displayed by default, which also makes your own leveling structure clear, but they hide it a bit better. The map also doesn’t emphasize the number before the region name, although of course all of these structures have to keep running in the background, you don’t want to end up with an irrelevant Elder Scrolls progression system. But anyway, by hiding it more elegantly this way, the feeling of immersion is good.
This also applies in struggles. At no point should you overthink the reality of these weapons. The European Forge was less what Valhalla or the Vikings TV show shows. Plus a “sharpen club metal again before the fight” in order to make a few cuts at least at the start of the battle. But regardless, for a game that you can probably easily invest in over 100 hours again, it’s absolutely okay to forgo the fragility of Zelda weapons and show more of the chased beauty of cosplay weapons.
It’s not a throwback to the old AC combat system, but it’s not a big step away from what the last two games have shown. You should be aware of the range of enemies, if they have a shield that needs to be knocked down with a heavy blow, or if the red flash of a special attack appears. As a result, you either strike, choose the right attack strength, or play an evasion role. Basically it’s the usual small-group carnage based on visual triggers you know and it works flawlessly, flawlessly, and sophisticated.
The first impression was also relatively difficult as good hits from opponents quickly lower the energy bar and don’t automatically refill. Instead, you have to throw in medicinal herbs that you can find everywhere. The result of this, of course, is that, like in an early fate, sometimes you leave combat to quickly scour the area in search of a few mushrooms, toss them, and continue to regenerate. Seen in this light, the system has advantages and disadvantages, but these have been known for decades and Valhalla enters few new territories here. However, you just have to leave it to the team, it’s playing really well. The movements follow the strikes so naturally that there is almost immediately a good flow and a good rhythm that you like to repeat.
There are many opportunities for this. I saw dozens of points on the map that were tempting, and you will have more than enough chances to fight. But there were also peaceful activities to admire. Subtly based – at least from a neutral critic’s point of view – on Geralt’s adventure in Heart of Stone, in which a marriage also made a small change to a monster slayer’s daily life. It’s even a royal wedding here, but don’t worry: Buckingham Palace is still centuries away, everything is very down to earth. There are drinking mini-games combined with archery which is still a classic to every con to this day, of course you don’t mind love. My male egg viver then spent a very hairy evening with an equally well-tied Viking colleague, only to break his heart with a frozen saying. Multiple choice is sometimes great.
Learn more about Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and its burger conquests here.
You can read more about other new Ubisoft games like Watch Dogs Legion, Far Cry 6 and more here: Ubisoft Forward 2020 – All New Games at a Glance
I’m not going to start praying the usual Assassin’s Creed elements now. They’re all there, including the return of the Hidden Blade. Not that at this point it’s more than good fan service, after all, even without the blade, Eivor’s predecessors had no assassination issues. It’s all there and above all, the first impression of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was of a project that likes to leave behind sunny antiquity. A throwback to “recent” history, to send on a long journey with Eivor, a fictitious and valid mix of kingmaker and hiker warrior. One of the games that you don’t want to let sit in a gaming session after two hours. On the one hand, because it’s so easy to get acquainted with the familiar mechanics, on the other hand, because they do their job so well balanced that you can fully enjoy diving into a completely delicious new world. . After the many hours spent with Odyssey, I wondered if I would really appreciate a new Creed. I guess I got my answer.
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