READY YOUR AXE! |ASSASSIN'S CREED VALHALLA REVIEW|
Another year has passed an we have another Assassin's Creed on the market. Needless to say, Ubisoft loves to drop their successful IPs over and over again but, Valhalla is a refreshing new take on the overall beloved series. Find yourself knee deep in blood as you play through a story about family and power as Eivor. Ubisoft allows you to become fully immersed in this tale as you are able to choose to play either man, woman, or animus. Valhalla allows the player to get as creative as they want throughout the tale, whether stealth or head on you're sure to enjoy what this game has to offer.
Like most of the Assassin's Creed games, Valhalla's story is its strongest characteristic. We start off with a young Eivor who has a vicious wake up call as their entire clan with the exception of their brother is essentially wiped from this plane's existence. The game happily destroys your peace in the first few minutes of the opening after you find yourself connected to characters you thought would probably play an important later. Such is life for a viking, rough around the edges! As you play throughout the game you'll find yourself creating alliances with some of History's favorite figures such as Ivarr the Boneless, or stumbling across folks like Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Caesar Boriga to name a few. Without spoiling, the plots twists and turns you're sure to love as it is one of the most stimulating features of the game.
Another great staple of the Assassin's Creed series is the fighting mechanics. Strong and fluid as usual the game does not disappoint when it comes to combat. Whether you decide to shoot enemies from afar with your arrows as I did, or run head first into battle the likelihood of you getting bored is almost nonexistent. Another favorite feature of mine while playing was the Raid function. Not only can you call allies while in the middle of absolutely nowhere to cover your back while you try and steal as much as you can, you can always sail the seven seas and jump off together in blood lust fueled attack. This feature made traveling the map a bit more fun as you would stumble across new areas you could raid that were nowhere near water. This feature also let you take on enemies of huge power level differences due to the sudden back up you could have.
Last but not least, the game is beautiful. Ubisoft didn't spare not one detail unfinished, at leas on the PS4 version of the game. The skies were beautiful, the land looked like something out of a picture book, and even the map felt real as you could see small tress and shadows to make it feel more alive.
The only issue I really have with this game is the occasional pacing issues with the storytelling. There were ,moments and parts of dialogue I happily skipped because I simply did not care. This was more apparent for me with the side quests than the main mission because I found myself truly invested in the outcome of Eivor's decision making and how I as a female playing a female navigated the world of shield-maidens. The main missions feel like they more weigh than the side missions but that's to be expected.
Another weakness I would say the game has, is the meditation aspect. Now it might be because I recently finished the Witcher 3 for the billionth time, but I expected this particular mechanic to help heal me throughout the game if I found a safe place to meditate but throughout my playthrough I never did quite see a difference in my stats or health that would be affected by meditation. It did however pass the time, but again maybe I'm spoiled by the developers of the Witcher 3-I just expected something more.
Finally, I did experience some buggy playthrough and save/loads when making saves while on my mount crouching. There were a few times during game play when I did this, where if I loaded back into that particular save or died and was respawned, I would be loaded underneath the map. It was quite frustrating for some of my playthroughs but the easy fix was just not doing the nonsense in general. My background as a game tester just couldn't help but ruin a few things.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a new refreshing addition to their continuing story. I hadn't picked up a Assassin's Creed Liberation and Assassin's Creed 3. I thoroughly enjoyed my initial playthrough of the game. However, it does have a couple major bugs that will pull you out of the enchantment and for that I would give this game a solid 7/10.
Bonus points: I made a wolf my mount in the game and it made me happier than it should have. Shoutout to Hati because if it wasn't for the wolf, this game would've gotten a 6.5/10
Check out the trailer here: