ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA REVIEW

Travelling between Norway and England, Jean Engelbrecht aka IceGamingRSA, has but on a rather short holiday in the region and is now going to share with us his travel snap while cosplaying as a Viking for some odd reason, but hey, whatever floats your longboat.

Standing on ahead while you stare down the shoreline, axe in each hand dripping with the blood of the fallen enemies, Your crew, each one of them drenched in the blood of their victims, waits on your demand to take whatever you want and need from them to establish your community. Coming from a snowy Norway finding yourself in a colour-filled land of England. a Land ripe for the taking filled with riches. A Land where can create your own legacies like those of Odin and Thor. Preparing your afterlife when valkyries lead you to the majestic place on Asgard called Valhalla.

The twisted tale of how the game starts is nothing anyone could expect, entering as a young Eivor Enjoying the festivities with the king just to fall victim of a raid and lose both your parents… this does not stop you as you seek out revenge engaging in battles before you go and conquer England. The journey from Norway to England seems like an easy task, however, you are already thrown in the deep end by hunting down the person who took down your family, going from the sea to the mountain tops to seek answers. Embraced by visions of glory and pain.

I was amazed by the amount of time spent in Norway, it looked and felt like Norway was just the prologue of the game and it turned out to be a rich story to follow you on your path to England. Once you arrive in England and you set your eyes on the beauty of the land as it captures, in my opinion, every season of the year. You have a winter setting where the snow is thick and at some stages making it difficult to see if there is a storm, Then areas where the redness of the autumn leaves leave you speechless. Only to experience the green grass fields with a summer drizzle cooling you down or running through fields filled with flowers everywhere you look.

The one thing Ubisoft never seems to get wrong is to amaze the audience with scenery that leaves everyone awestruck and staring at for hours. This time it feels that they have made the syncing Viewpoints higher than ever and giving you a better vision of the land. In total there are 72 of these points, I managed a total of 59 in the 22 hours of game time. As soon as you start exploring the game time flies by and you don’t realize how much time is spent staring at the beauty of the land.

There are enough challenges in the world to keep you busy and searching for more, the looting system has changed and made it harder to find other weapons or even gear, with special items found in strange places that are sometimes difficult to reach. At some points I had to fall back and investigate each angle to find my way, some of the puzzles take me back to the times I played Tomb Raider, where you needed use surrounding items to get over an obstacle, and then fend off wild animals like snakes, wolves and bears while trying to get to the chest, only to find you need a key to open the chest. Some entrances are blocked by rocks and sticks, unable to break them with your weapons, you then need to find a way of blowing these up. These explosives are available closeby and can also be used to blow up enemies.

The one thing that changed immensely is the levelling, previously you would have a level with a power level of your gear. Now it is an overall power level where you use the skill points with every level gained to increase your power by selecting skills. These skills have different add ons, from increasing your assassination damage to increasing your health, this can go up and over 360 and the branches of skill unlocking seems never-ending. You can also gain skill points by completing challenges or even giving an offer to the gods. Abilities are also obtained differently, as this time around you obtain abilities and ability upgrades through looting them from chests in the world.

There are enough adventures away from the main story to keep you busy and entertained for hours of endless play. From rolling dice to wordplay, these are just some of the fun activities. Rolling dice is quite interesting but time-consuming. You have to get your opponent’s health to 0 by attacking or defending with how the dice rolls. You also get favours, which you can use to take the life of the opponent after the round is completed. These favours can help you a lot as you can, with enough favours, take up to 8 lives. This is a very time-consuming activity.

Then you have a drinking game to see who can drink 3 drinks the fastest. You have to tap A at the correct time else you choke and lose time. Then my favourite activity so far is Flyting, this is modernly known as a rap battle. It is fighting but with the use of words and having them rhyme and direct response at what your opponent says. This also increases your charisma, allowing you to have more reactions and responses within conversations.

There are some amazing other activities to also keep you busy and even freaked out. You will get to an area that looks dark and feels heavy then Eivor will say this land is cursed, if that doesn’t freak you out there will be sounds of whispers and you can hear the evilness in it also the land will be filled with death, bodies lying around some even beheaded, you can then break the curse by breaking an artefact glowing red. Some areas you first need to find the key to open the door, some point I had to dive into a frozen lake to find the key.

From stacking rocks to solving jumping puzzles with animus anomalies, yes this is strange yet fun and frustrating. It seems like the game is glitching out when suddenly you are not Eivor but Lyala, the simulation seems to be frozen and you need to go through an obstacle course to find the source. This obstacle course is at times very frustrating! Another activity worth mentioning(I have not completed one of these) is some freaky fungus mushroom you can eat and hallucinate some strange things. Things that kill you, so imagine fighting a boar with red eyes with smoke coming out its head in an environment looking like Barbie’s world filled with rainbows…..

The one thing I can’t seem to get right is being an assassin. From 335 kills only 36 was successful assassinations, a shocking stat of 10.7% of kills, whereas on Origins I had at least 26% assassinations kill and Odyssey was on 25.5%. The game already criticized for its lack of stealth when Origins was released will definitely be thrown in the fire again as it does not feel like the name is suited to the game. I have tried to take over an area without being seen and as soon as you take out your bow and aim everyone seems to see you. With the two previous Assassins Creed games it was a question of accidentally being seen and then battling it out afterwards, this one was built with the mindset of being an all-out battle.

Fighting as a Viking has never been so dramatic and fearless as now, the motion of dropping an enemy to his knees and without any remorse bringing an end to his life. Even the brutality is shown with full force, after spearing an enemy to death with his own spear you leave him leaning on the spear with blood pouring out, or bashing his face in with your shoe, or brutally bring an end to him by throwing your axe at him… With that said, if you do not like the gore of blood spilling, you have the option to switch it off.

CLAIM YOUR PLACE AT THE SIDE OF ODIN IN VALHALLA!!!!!!!!!

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