It has been less than twenty-four hours since Ubisoft’s latest title was released. Since then, I’ve spent a good deal of time doing my best to collect my initial thoughts. These may change over time, but a first impression always lasts.
How did the release go?
Before we get on to the game itself, lets talk a little about Valhalla’s release.
Like many others, I pre-ordered Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. I also ensured that I pre-loaded it in order to avoid downloading the game when I could be playing. Ubisoft did a great job with their constant advertisements for their newest addition to one of their most successful series, and as a result I must say I was quite excited.
Something I found to be a little annoying, was Ubisoft’s choice to do a rolling release. A rolling release is whenever everyone gets access at the same time… in their own timezone. For example, users from the UK would receive access five hours before the first American. It is a minor slight, but a slight nonetheless.
Some might argue they went for a rolling release in order to ensure access was granted in the peak hours of the day. Ubisoft went for a time of the night truly filled with hustle and bustle, midnight. Seemingly stripped of any possible benefit, I can’t imagine why they would choose a rolling release over a static time.
What is a real Viking?
Something that bothered quite a bit of people, fans included, was Ubisoft’s choice to focus on and advertise myths associated with the Vikings and their legends. As Reddit likes to constantly remind us, the Vikings have many half-truths and misconceptions associated with them. A good example of this is the use of horns on the helmets of Vikings, in reality, no Viking would ever wear horns on his helmet. This was a myth believed to have been started by the Christian people in an attempt to demonize the raiders.
Within Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, we see a great deal of these examples, however this is where I turn to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Inside Assassin’s Creed Odyssey we see that they focus a great deal on the myths associated with the Greek Gods and their religion. My take is that they planned to do the same with Valhalla, and provide a great deal of focus on that which did not truly exist.
Nonetheless, I find the world Ubisoft has delivered to us quite interesting, enjoyable, and fun to experience. While I’m sure they could have pulled it off just fine without them, I believe the inclusion of legends improves the quality of gameplay.
Is it an Assassin’s Creed game?
Most people who were fans of the original Assassin’s Creed series were greatly disappointed with Origins and Odyssey. Had I played Odyssey believing it to be an Assassin’s Creed title, I would have found myself wanting. Valhalla is similar in this sense, while it bears the name and lore of the original series, the gameplay has changed a vast amount.
Based on how much I’ve played so far, If someone were to have just played some of the original Assassin’s Creeds, and then ask for recommendations, I would not recommend Valhalla.
So what is it then?
Ubisoft has taken the Assassin’s Creed series and mutated it into something else. If you played Origins or Odyssey, and enjoyed what you experienced, I would definitely recommend Valhalla. Personally, I’m a little irritated that they haven’t spun this off into its own series, as while they don’t feel like Assassin’s Creed games, they are definitely enjoyable in their own right.
How is gameplay?
Unlike the past few games, Valhalla’s combat feels much smoother and more fluid. Damage sponge enemies still exist, however so far it has been reserved to “Boss” characters. In Valhalla, they have replaced the level system with a “power” system associated with how many upgrades you have. In general, the balance seems much more thought out, as I’ve yet to face a typical opponent that feels much stronger than myself.
Just like the last game, Ubisoft did its best to create a wide array of micro-transactions for us. While I think the cosmetics look rather good, I can’t help but feel insulted due to their existence. After paying 120 USD for a game, you would think they shouldn’t have any additional purchases.
Then again, this is me, and I hate micro-transactions.
Alright, that’s it for this post. I’m going to continue to write up more, so if you enjoyed it then be sure to read the next one! If you disliked it then tell me why down in the comments, and I’ll consider your opinion. As I said earlier this is just my first look into Valhalla, I plan to come back later and provide some more detailed thoughts once I get some more time with the game.
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