Like A Viking!”
Returning for its twelfth major instalment, Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed Valhalla yesterday, the twenty-second release in the AC franchise. Following its 2018 successor Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the action role-playing game takes you on an adventure set in 873 AD; the game recounts a fictional story of the Viking invasion of Britain. Playing as Eivor (either male or female), a Viking raider who becomes embroiled in the conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order, the open-world game takes you on several quests and side missions that fill you with a feast full of adventures.
Bringing back a period in our history that leads the fellow Vikings against the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the highly-anticipated game comes with a more heightened stealth aspect this time around, bringing back features from previous games that make the gameplay more comfortable. From the hidden blend-ability during quests that sees Eivor take a seat and relax with the locals to disappear to looking busy at workstation working with traders, this instalment feels like a solid return to the franchises’ roots.
The inclusion of several abilities like throwing axes, beer-chugging game, petting cats and dogs and Eivor hallucinating after eating magic mushrooms makes Valhalla one of the most satisfying releases from Ubisoft as of recent. From the first play, the story is pretty similar to Odyssey, the tale of a young Eivor witnessing the demise of their home and parents and is whisked away for their survival. Alongside Evior’s ally Sigurd, you set sail to England to craft yourself a home where you set up a community called Ravensthorpe.
Accompanied with the ability to customise Eivor’s hair, clothing, tattoos, shields and warpaint, you’re given a squad that accompanies you. Whether on boat journeys or raiding small or large camps and towns that provide you with wealth, artefacts and mysteries, they are there. Of course, The Eagle Vision mechanic makes a graceful return in the form of Odin Sight that allows your raven Synin to scout nearby areas as done so in Origins and Odyssey that prepares and informs Eivor of what combat they are about to face.
Resembling the TV show Vikings aesthetically, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla lives up to its hype. Like most AC games, there’s not a mission or a quest to complete so you’ll never run out of things to do however sometimes it can get repetitive and leave you feeling hopeless. Of course, there is a massive lack of representation in this game, which is nothing new in AC; however, given the time this is set in I have to give it somewhat of a pass. My greatest disappointment with this game is its lack of development with assassination style, the lack of combination tactics and weapon choice as well as the apparent sexism with character moves.
With the next-gen gaming here, this game fits nicely into the franchise of Assassin’s Creed and whilst it may be some time until we get our next instalment, it’s safe to say that this game is well worth the money. You do, indeed live like a king.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is out now, available on Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S and Stadia.