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Assassin's Creed Valhalla review
by Lochie S

'Assassin's Creed Valhalla' is a game that is more grounded and immersive than 2018's 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey', however in making these changes, the game also sacrifices some of the best elements that made the last entry so enjoyable. 

For starters, the world design of 'Valhalla' is really solid. There are some great atmospheric textures and uses of lighting which make the environments of England, Norway and other locations a spectacle to look at. Unlike 'Odyssey' which felt very copied and pasted in some of its map and building design's, 'Valhalla' does a much better job at creating variation in its location. The game also provides a couple of interesting decisions in its dialogue which can cause for some nice progressions to certain plotlines within the story.

Unfortunately, the other parts that make up 'Valhalla' fall short of what I expected. One of the game's biggest flaws is its narrative. It opens with a very muddled and poorly paced introduction to Eivor and the world around them. The characters in this opening section are not super interesting, and the conflict that underpins this section of the story lack substance. This is made even more problematic by the totally unnecessary modern-day timeline which adds nothing to the story at all. Thankfully, once Eivor reaches England, the game does pick up a bit and hints at the possibility of a more well-developed narrative line; once again, however, this does not happen. For some reason, 'Valhalla' decides to divide its story into regions based on areas you need to ally with to expand the Raven Clan influence over England. The problem with this approach to storytelling is that it never allows 'Valhalla's' characters to grow, and instead, leaves the player with one to two hour-long bite-sized narrative arcs that start and end over and over again. Ubisoft has attempted this approach to storytelling before in 'Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands', whilst that game is much shorter in its length and because of that, works a little better in following that style of narrative. To 'Valhalla's' credit, some of its narrative arcs are well thought out. In particular, the story of King Oswald in his journey from being an indecisive leader to a leader who rules with certainty is a well put together story within 'Valhalla'. Nonetheless, this approach to storytelling does falter repeatedly, especially after you come to realise as a player that this style of storytelling will continue for the entirety of the game. It really does offer the game no growth whatsoever, which is odd, considering that one of 'Odyssey's' strong points were its fantastic last fifteen hours. 

Furthermore, the length of 'Valhalla' is shockingly long. At the time of writing this review, I have played just over thirty-five hours of the game with most of my playtime being directed at the main story. I know that if I were to finish the story I would need to invest at least another twenty to thirty hours as I can see clearly by the regions I still need to cover on the map. 'Valhalla' really offers no incentive for me to continue forward and invest any more time into its huge open-world than I already have. One reason for this was because of the game's combat, which admittedly was enjoyable to begin with, whilst it never grows or develops to make it worth investing any more time into the game. The lack of items and loot to collect is one of the main driving force behind the game's poor combat, which is a shame as 'Odyssey' offered such an abundance of items to collect, whilst 'Valhalla' really limits what you can collect and equipt when playing as Eivor. Likewise, one other area which lets the combat down in 'Valhalla' is its lack of fantastic epic boss fights that were scattered throughout most of 'Odyssey'. 

Ultimately, the flaws of 'Assassin's Creed Valhalla' really do bring the entire game down substantially. It is sad that this is the case, as the game offered the potential for it to be much more enjoyable if it was packaged into a much more tightly written narrative like its earlier titles once were. I can only hope that Ubisoft will learn from these mistakes and will use them to create better games in the future.
«Buggy as hell»
«I could make it better»

Other reviews7

Every new AC released is a big and beautiful world, but everything else drops down so much. I enjoyed a lot the previous AC Origins and Odissey (even though you can look at the game as a 40+h filler for a 5m really interesting lore) and I gotta say I was pretty hyped for this one and boy, such a let down. What a bad polished game. Half baked story, no character conveys sympathy or stays as  worth of being remembered. Fighting the zealots are beyond broken, everything about them is terrible. Not to mention the audio echoes in everything that, as far as I've searched, will not be fixed.

I'm usually not upset by bugs, but this.... yeah, totally a waste of time.
This is probably the worst Assassin's Creed game yet, even in comparison to AC3 and Origins. 

For starters, it's an Assassin's Creed title in name only. Not only have they departed from the Templar vs Assassin story, but the gameplay makes stealth the absolute worst option for every scenario. The level design is so poor that it feels the designers made no effort to create alternate approaches to situations. There are a host of activities that can only be completed by "going loud," making a stealth focused character perform poorly. 

The atmosphere and story are extremely bland. Every location looks the same, the game runs poorly for how it looks, the audio quality is completely garbage (it sounds like it was not professionally mixed at all, with sounds echoing off walls when out in the open), the dialogue is full of anachronisms, and everything overall has a extreme lack of polish. The writing and scenarios also suffer, partly due to Ubisoft accommodating both a male and a female protagonist, partly due to the profoundly uninteresting setting.

The skill tree is uninteresting. Odyssey and Origins had some interesting and powerful abilities you could unlock via the skill tree, but Valhalla mostly just has stat boosts. For some reason it's also lacking the variety of options Odyssey included to tweak the gameplay to your liking, replacing it with an "Easy/Medium/Hard" selection in three categories: Exploration, Combat, Stealth. This results in you outleveling content rather quickly, and forces you to focus your gameplay in specific areas that match your level or else enemies will be too hard or too easy for you to fight.

As a fan of stealth games and the Assassin's Creed series, I really wanted to like Valhalla, but it does a very poor job at being either of those things. After about 15 hours, the gameplay loop is too boring and samey for me to get much further. 
too many bugs and bad controller controls. good only for story but for other you can skip
Unless you're one of those people for whom Black Flag was the only AC game you liked, this game is abject trash.
«Buggy as hell»
«Disappointment of the year»
Very fun, but not really an assassin's creed game. If you go into it expecting Assassins vs Templars you'll be disappointed, but if you go into it expecting a solid RPG you'll have a good time.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»