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Review: Assassins Creed Valhalla

Written by Culture, Gaming, Gaming Reviews

Finally, something fresh. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (ACV) has taken the somewhat stagnant nature of the last two games and transformed into something new, exciting and very, very brutal. We’re talking full on RPG, people.

So far, I’ve played around 20 hours of this game, and I’ve not really touched the story, since the sprawling landscapes of Medieval Norway and England are too mesmerizing to ignore. The world is dotted with quest markers and various points of interest, which left me no choice but to explore. 

So we’ll start from there, the exploration. All I can say is that it’s wonderful, especially when played on the ‘pathfinder mode’. This means there’s no hints and no clues – you have to figure the many puzzles out for yourself. As you search for a hidden entrance into a tunnel deep underground to try and find a rare piece of gear, you’ll soon realise how immersive and completely refreshing this experience is.

The other aspects of the game such as the skill tree and the updated gear system are also brilliant. They keep the gameplay new and give it meaning so there’s always a reason to continue playing.

As for the combat and the stealth, it’s almost there. Something about it feels a little bit clunky, but it’s definitely something a patch could fix. The weapon play is brutal and hard hitting, with the new dual-wielding combat system being an innovative change to the norm of RPG combat. New abilities also act as a way to spice up both stealth and combat.

From what I’ve played, the story seems promising. The Assassin’s Order (or the Hidden Ones, at this point in the universe) is finally back in the foreground. It’s what we’d expect from the franchise, but in the last few games we really haven’t seen mention of the Order. Without delving into spoilers, the Order is introduced fairly early on and continues to be a vital and interesting part of the narrative. The missions tied to the story are unique and fun, offering a bit of spice and diversity from the old stodgy formula.

However, the side missions (or world events as they’re now known) really steal the show. Whether they be not so subtle easter eggs or just small bits of humour to light up a fairly dark world, they’re a much needed break from the seriousness of the story.

The other aspects of the game such as the skill tree and the updated gear system are also brilliant. They keep the gameplay new and give it meaning so there’s always a reason to continue playing.

If you don’t mind the slightly rough-around-the-edges combat and fancy a nearly perfect viking fantasy, ACV is the game for you. It’s a much needed immersive relief that I feel so many of us would need at the moment, and who doesn’t love a viking sing-along?

[Featured Image: IGDB]

Last modified: 20th November 2020

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