Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Review

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Ubisoft Montreal

Open-world games have become quite the rage in recent times. Part of their allure is that they are considered anti-“on-the-rails” experiences. In other words, as opposed to games that focus on driving the player through a series of rigid, scripted events, with little (or no) opportunity for deviation from the game’s central “track,” you get to run around and explore the world in a much more open way. This allows for more spontaneous encounters and opportunities for rich, emergent experiences.

On the flip side, many game developers have lofty goals when it comes to open-world games, but their actual product comes up short. This is usually due to either poor game design decisions, or more likely, a lack of budget. Sadly, that is what happens when a developer’s scope exceeds their capabilities.

As a triple-A developer, Ubisoft has been killing it in recent years when it comes to open-world games (there is definitely no lack of budget here). Some of their recent titles, such as the Ghost Recon and Far Cry franchises, have really upped the ante when it comes to the genre. Some of the most fun I’ve had in gaming has to be getting into random firefights in both Ghost Recon – Wildlands and Ghost Recon -Breakpoint.

One of their other flagship franchises is the Assassin’s Creed series of games, which were always (in my humble opinion), tailor-made to be open-world experiences. Ubisoft’s first real attempt at offering an open-world experience in this series was with 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. But it wasn’t until they released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in 2018 that they really hit their “open-world” stride. The sheer breadth of the game’s world enabled players to almost get lost in its gigantic world.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Missing Achievements On PC, Dev ...

Just when I didn’t think that Ubisoft could top that herculean achievement, Ubisoft Montreal dropped the Nordic-themed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the gaming masses like the MOAB of MOABs. Valhalla represents the pinnacle of what the studio has been attempting to achieve, ever since Blackflag—a truly massive open-world extravaganza with excellent role-playing elements, where your choices actually matter.

In Valhalla, you play as a Viking badass named Eivor. The first act within the game starts you off in the cold reaches of Norway, where Eivor will learn all of his moves, including combat maneuvers, attacking and defending, and the like. There’s not a lot that is new here, so if you’ve played an Assassin’s Creed game before, you’ll be right at home.

Soon, Eivor and his jolly bunch of Vikings will set sail for England in order to land and start killing the local denizens, who have grown complacent on their eastern shores. But this will soon raise the ire of the powerful Saxons of Southern England. Pretty soon, they’ll begin sending increasingly powerful waves of enemies at your innocent little Viking pillagers, which of course, will lead to literal bucket-fulls of bloodshed.

Fan Notices Incredible Detail In Assassin's Creed Valhalla ...

Some of the fun to be had in Valhalla (besides the aforementioned spilling of gratuitous amounts of blood) includes raising and maintaining armies, challenging your fellow Vikings to bouts of manly drinking contests, creating settlements and helping them grow, and hunting ancient legends through the Fens (to name a few). Valhalla almost feels as though is an amalgam of different games, which definitely helps with its replayability since no two play-throughs will ever be alike. But of course, the meat of the game (no pun intended) revolves around hacking through swaths of evil Saxons with you and your ever-so-charming Viking pals.

As it stands, the beautifully brutal experience that is Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a sprawling triumph of open-world nirvana. It is sure to please fans of epic adventure games and is pretty much a must-have for those who appreciate Nordic and Viking lore. Try it out for yourself—your longship awaits.

RATING: 8.7/10

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla some pretty amazing graphics that make its open-world gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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