Our Rating: 9.5/10
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes us to 9th century England, full of its kings and queens struggling to conquer and unify lands. You play the role of Eivor, who after experiencing many adversities in Norway, decides to leave for England in search of a new life for his people. Once there, you need to create and develop your Settlement. This is the place where its people will live, and forge alliances with those who reign in a divided England.
You must seek allies among the Saxons. Needing to trust those foreigners and still earn the trust of your countrymen. Like the infamous sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, for example. You need to choose which path to follow, whether diplomatically, or based on savagery, the choice is yours.
The story is divided into different episodes. Directly related to the map of alliances with which this clan tries to forge agreements and blood debts. Provide the muscle to those who need it. Thus, becoming more essential in the area and prosper in this new piece of land to call home.
Eivor shows deep respect for the ancient Norse gods. So much so, that even Odin seems to speak in visions. They appear with each of the main victims who die at his hands. Returning those scenes of last wills that were a hallmark and had been lost lately.
Drinking certain potions can transport you to Asgard and Jötunheim. Allowing you to live in the skin of Havi / Odin in several passages of Norse mythology, in addition to Midgard.
The game has two very well-constructed arches in Asgard and Jotunheim. The narratives meet naturally. In addition, it is a delight to be able to visit these iconic places and interact with some of its most important characters.
You can choose the gender of the protagonist. You can pick between female and male, or even let Animus choose for you. But if you get sick of your character, or if you regret choosing him to be male or female, you can change that at any time on the menu. You can do this without the need to start a new game. The choice is only aesthetic.
Going beyond these specific arcs, there are also some key moments in history. These worlds collide in some way bringing a delicious mix of sensations to the player. The best of all is that this mixture occurs naturally with the story being told.
The game offers more details about the structure of the Assassins (Hidden). Also, the controversial plans of the Templars (Order of the Elders). As you progress on certain missions, you’ll have new information about this age-old feud. How the issue of Isu continues to play an important role in the progression of this universe.
Another interesting fact is that as Eivor doesn’t know anything about this world, the themes are introduced to also explain to the new player how these disputes work. Attracting new players to the universe of the saga.
Entering the battles of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a delightful experience. The combat is fast and full of possibilities. The designs put you inside the headquarters for battles of the Vikings. The style is very similar to the previous games. In addition to dodging, you have strong and weak attacks.
As far as the weapons, you can equip whatever you want. The only fixed weapon is the bow for long-range attacks. For melee attacks, you can use axes, hammers, spears, shields, and so on. If the weapon is one-handed, you can equip two; including shields.
Enemies are more intelligent and offer more danger, with very different skills and combat styles. The bosses provide beautiful challenges. You need to master your skills and equipment well.
There are special abilities for the bow and melee weapons. They are scattered around the map for you to find.
Skills greatly expand the possibilities of combat. There are very powerful enemies for you to face. The good use of these skills offers a giant advantage to build your strategies. The improved versions of each are also hidden for you to find on the maps.
Armor and Weapon
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has armor and weapons of three types: Raven, Wolf, and Bear. Each with its set benefits and its branch of the skill tree. The idea here is not to change your equipment all the time but to improve it with resources that we found during exploration. You find a common item and improve it until it becomes mythical.
Also, you can improve its attributes using some other materials. The better the item, the more Runes, with interesting passive effects, you can fit into it, adds more power to Eivor. Increasing the item’s level can also change its appearance, making it more imposing.
Hidden Blade is finally back, as well as a greater weight for stealth. The Hidden Blade is deadly against common enemies, and against elite enemies. It can also be deadly if you improve this skill and set the time for a command that appears on the screen. It’s great not only to be able to use the Blade again but also to see it has more weight, reminiscent of the old games.
Stealth is also back in a nostalgic way. We can sit on benches and even mix with the groups that move around the scenes to hide. Just put the hood on and blend in like a shadow.
Level and Power
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also has a Level and a Power system. As you gain experience and complete certain activities, you earn points to use in a wide range of skills. A gigantic structure was created interconnected with branches that explored the three disciplines of the game: Corvo, Lobo, and Urso.
Each part of this gigantic constellation offers improvements to attributes. This includes life, defense, adrenaline, attacks, critical damage, increased poison damage. They also unlock more possibilities for combat and exploration. The possibility of stepping on a fallen enemy or even adding the option to roll after a fall, for example.
Among these abilities is also an increase in attributes for items equipped with the specific discipline. As well as the optimization of the use of certain weapons, to increase their combat power.
The combined amount of points used in these three groups gives us the number of your total Power. This number is important to guide your progression. On the other hand, it is not impossible to make your journey as you prefer.
Each enemy and area has a suggested Power, but that does not mean that it is impossible. You may not be able to defeat your enemies or take too long to get there, but it is not entirely impossible.
Treasures, Artifacts, and Mysteries
Ubisoft’s open-world games are famous for the absurd amount of points of interest spread across their maps. In many cases, even this was something that was highly criticized in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Many of these places to discover did not add much interesting to do. They also had an excessive repetition of these events.
The promise for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was to continue offering a rich open world to explore, but with more diverse and interesting activities. A delightful map to explore, and with the most diverse events that not only amuse but also enrich the journey of Eivor and also of the saga as a whole.
These activities are divided into Treasures, Artifacts, and Mysteries. The treasures are valuable resources for you to improve your character and their settlement. This also includes your equipment such as special armor and weapons.
Artifacts can be used to destroy cursed symbols. Find Roman artifacts, relive past activities, run across rooftops, or even customize tattoos for Eivor.
There are also mini-games more focused on Nordic culture. There is a drinking battle to see who can drink more in less time. A sudden duel with battles of rhymes, fishing, and the game Orlog, which after we understand your whole system, becomes one of the most addictive activities in Valhalla.
In general, the story develops very well. It brings a great Viking experience, but not forgetting to develop Assassins, Templars, Isu, and Artifacts. Also, the mythological themes are inserted naturally, greatly enriching Eivor’s journey.
Ubisoft managed to create a structure that appeals to longtime fans. It adds important information about the world of the franchise. They also did a great job of explaining some events to those players who are just starting. Of course, some dialogues and scenes are best used by those who know more about the series. Especially in the modern arc, but nothing that takes the narrative weight off for the novices.
The Good, the Bad and, the Overall Experience
Mysteries might be the coolest and fun activity of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. There are missions called World Events that bring short missions. The narratives are interesting and enrich your journey. Whether with more information about the culture of those people, or even mystical themes.
There are also really challenging battles at some of these points. Either against legendary animals or against the so-called Daughters of Lerion. You can also explore underground locations in search of treasure.
There are still curious activities like stacking stones up to a certain height, adjusting symbols in the correct position, or even eating mushrooms to experience unexpected events.
Another interesting activity is the Lost Drengr. Here you will find powerful warriors who have already fought hard, and want a final honorable fight to finally go to the glory of Valhalla. Very challenging battles and a soft touch of emotion.
The environment is full of details. Vast outdoor settings, with its mix of mountains, forests, beaches, and cities, or in indoor locations. Perfect synchrony of darkness with well-placed points of light. Ubisoft did phenomenal work with HDR. They used lighting well to enrich environments, and also abusing colors, making the image on the screen more vivid than ever. The constant cycle of day/night, and the climate that constantly changes. This not only highlights the beauty of the game but also collaborates for immersion.
The general work of creating scenarios is really good. Exploring all the nuances of the title with its reproduction of historical sites. It shows how the environment would be like at that time. Its most mystical passages also explore Norse mythology. Everything is produced brilliantly.
The photo mode is still present to record the most important parts of your adventure. Several tools help you create beautiful screens to share with your friends.
The characters are very detailed and natural, making the scenes work very well. The faces have a lot of details and their expressions are smooth, which is great for the narrative. The only point that bothers is a strange glare that appears in the eyes in some scenes.
But even with the beautiful work of Ubisoft in Valhalla, the game still suffers from technical problems. Some textures take a long time to load. Characters get stuck in some structures or dialogue scenes that hang for a few seconds after you finish them. The framerate of birds flying through the sky is lower than that of the game. This results in a somewhat strange look. Most of these problems are not serious or happen frequently, but they do occur.
However, some of them detract from the experience and need corrections as soon as possible. The AI shuts down several times. Be it some enemies that standstill without attacking you or even become immortal and receive no damage. The allies that do not respond to your call, harming the Raids.
Another complicated case is NPCs that you will be unable to interact with. Making it impossible to complete missions, and making you go back to a previous save. Losing an hour of progression.
The rescue system has also experienced several problems, even corrupting files at times. In this case, it is some kind of problem with the new Ubisoft Connect system.
The soundtrack is excellent and manages to bring the Viking’s songs with power. It really transports you to that wilder climate. In addition, the traditional themes of the series are kept smoothly, offering a wonderful mix for the ears.
The songs that the crew sings on their boat are also of high quality. The themes are beautiful and strong. Bringing personality to every moment.
The noises of weapons in combat, finishes, and environments are very well produced. It enriches both exploration and combat, making them even more brutal.
As for the original dubbing, it might be the best of the three games. The voices match the characters. They carry the accents of each culture, which greatly increases your immersion in that universe. Lip synchronization is also very good. Overall, the audiovisual experience is beautiful and immersive.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a giant step in the right direction for the franchise. Way better than the previous two games, and the one that came closest to offering the ultimate Assassin’s Creed experience in this original trilogy.
Ubisoft refined the combat and added more weight to our choices. They finally found the balance between a large map, but with really interesting activities that add some value to the experience.
The narrative grew. Showing the life of the Vikings and the historical context of their war against the kingdoms of England. More importantly, they didn’t lose sight of the plot of Assassins and Templars. Even if it still doesn’t have the same weight as the older games. There is a real progression towards the future of the series. Giving hints that from now on the trend is only to improve.
The audiovisual presentation is superb. Beautiful scenery, characters with natural design, and a deeply immersive soundtrack.
Some problems need to be corrected, but that does not take the shine off the whole experience. The best thing about the game is that there is still much more to explore even after finish the main story. It gives players excitement to continue their journey to clean up all the regions, and see what surprises are still waiting for them in Valhalla.