Review: Assassins Creed Valhalla

Splintering shields, swords colliding with each other and the names of Norwegian gods being shouted. Ubisoft returns with Assassins Creed Valhalla to the days of violent Vikings. Its an impressive time journey, but many changes players dont have to expect.

What is it?

The Assassins Creed franchise is a series of games by the French publisher Ubisoft, with a visit to a different era each time. From ancient Egypt to the Italy of Leonardo da Vinci and the Medicis. Assassins Creed Valhalla sets the time travel machine at 873 AD, the era of the conquest of England by the Vikings. Although players often have to defend the weak, in Valhalla you step into the sturdy boots of Eivor, an experienced and hardened viking.

After a series of feuds and associated bloody wars in Norway, Harald Fairhair has proclaimed himself King of the entire country. Eivor and his adoptive brother Sigurd disagree – especially because the latter himself claims to the throne – and decide to make the crossing to England. Thats where they want to start their own kingdom.

As we are used to from the Assassins Creed series, the game encompasses not only fictional characters, but also historical figures. Think of King Alfred the Great of Wessex and the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok. Characters that will also sound familiar to many people from popular series such as Vikings and The Last Kingdom. It ensures that the player is really immersed in the Viking era.

Is it what?

The Assassins Creed games have changed considerably over the last few years with Origins and Odyssey. Still there is a huge, beautiful open world full of historical buildings and locations (and as always, the game has some flaws and unevenness). As a player, youll climb in level over time, unlock more skills and acquire stronger weapons and gear. In terms of formula, not much has changed this time, but the adjustments made by Ubisoft are an improvement in our opinion. But if you werent a fan of the gameplay in Odyssey, then Assassins Creed Valhalla probably will not like you either.

Fans of sneak work will only be happy with Valhalla, as Ubisoft has brought back some old elements โ€” such as the iconic Hidden Blade โ€” and added new options. Of course, as a big Viking you can also let your razor-sharp axe speak for itself. The battles feel a lot heavier this time and the results are also a lot more bloody. For example, flying limbs are more the rule than the exception. However, this time you need to be a little more sparing with your attacks and evasive maneuvers, as Ubisoft has added a stamina meter to the game. When it is empty, you can temporarily no longer perform any actions and you are an easy prey for your opponents. A small change, which greatly increases the difficulty of Assassins Creed. Something the fans have been asking for for a long time.

When you walk around enemy villages and monasteries, you can also start a raid, with your Norwegian colleagues coming to your aid and a big fight in no time. Those battles and epic pieces during story missions are the moments when you really feel like a Viking and dont want to scream the name of Odin or Thor through the living room.

In addition, the developer has also managed to create the atmosphere perfectly. Whether youre sailing by boat across Englands many rivers, chatting with historical figures or strolling through your own settlement, it really feels like visiting the 9th century. We can hardly give Assassins Creed Valhalla a a bigger compliment.

Plus- and minuses

+ Viking games in the 9th century

+ Huge, beautiful open world

+ Return of beloved, old elements

+ Addition of the stamina meter

– In terms of gameplay formula little has changed

– Not free of bugs and glitches

Conclusion

Assassins Creed Valhalla did not revolutionize gameplay, as was the case with the two previous games. Instead, Ubisoft has made the current gameplay better with a number of small, but effective adjustments. In advance we also expected that the grim England would be a bit disappointed compared to ancient Egypt and Greece, but the studio has created a beautiful and the most detailed world so far. The story is also strong, with one of the best Assassins in the franchise and for lovers of Vikings and The Last Kingdom it will be a celebration of recognition. If you want to live out like a true Viking, Assassins Creed Valhallado not skip it.

Written in collaboration with XGN.nl