Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Review

Assassin's Creed Valhalla review
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Review Darryl Linington
Gameplay
Graphics
Audio
Lasting Appeal
To Valhalla, we ride!
9
User Rating: 7.6 (4 votes)

Now you may be wondering why this Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review is coming just a few days after the embargo lifted… well, it’s because not only did I come across a number of bugs and glitches in the Vanilla build, but I also wanted to see how the game was improved after the day one patch as well as see how it performed on both the Xbox One X and the Xbox Series X.

During my time with the Vanilla build, I noticed some, but not many bugs. These were classic Assassin’s Creed bugs… folks sliding around like they were on invisible hoverboards and just general, well, horse fails. I got mine stuck on a roof. While this caused me to giggle, it also caused me to hold off on this review.

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Now, as the game has officially released, and the day one patch is installed, a lot of these bugs are no longer around and, because of this, I’m happy to report that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is an exceptional game.

It’s smaller in comparison to Odyssey, but game time seems to run a bit longer. As the game is longer, there is a great progression system on hand here that allows you to choose your own path – when it comes to play style. Each path opens up a number of passive abilities that contribute toward health, stealth, and just balls to the wall combat. The best thing is, you can mix it up, so there is no set path. The only downside here is each ability needs to be purchased via skill points. This is not a bad thing, but it does make things a little grindy.

While these abilities are more passive, most of the more visceral attacks and skills are hidden around the world in “Books of Knowledge.” I’ll be the first to admit that before I came across these, Assassins Creed Valhalla’s combat came off as repetitive and I often had to hold back a yawn or two; however, once I started unlocking them, combat became brutal, exciting and fun. I mean, let’s face it, there is nothing more pleasurable than kicking an enemy off a roof or spearing them and then following up with a ground and pound.

What’s great here too are the weapons… Axes, bows, greatswords, spears are available to use; however, there is not a large variety of them. Now, this is actually a good thing as there is not too much loot in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which means that if you find a weapon you enjoy, you can invest in it by enhancing its quality and adding runes. The same can be done with your traditional equipment. Hood and shields can be upgraded and so can your shield.

While I enjoyed this change, what I truly loved about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was its visuals. It’s downright gorgeous and, more often than not, I found myself spending more time completing a quest than what was needed as I kept stopping to view the world around me or stopping to raid some poor settlement for their resources. I also spent a lot of time playing the awesome mini-games as well as fishing.

With the world being as beautiful as it is, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also adds in a pretty good storyline. You step into the boots of Eivor, a mighty Viking raider, who is set to lead their clan from the harsh shores of Norway to a new home amid the lush farmlands of ninth-century England. What’s also great here is the fact that Eivor can be either male or female. Alternatively, you can let the Animus choose the gender of Eivor to suit the story. It’s the little things like this that make Assassin’s Creed Valhalla a great game.

While I have graced Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with a critique worthy of a Norse God, I also need to strike it down in certain areas with Thor’s mighty hammer. When it comes to visuals, I feel Norway is far more beautiful than England. In addition to this, there were a few bugs here and at times it felt super grindy. When it comes to performance, it runs well on the Xbox One X, but there are a few framerate issues and the game felt laggy, but this is purely due to the internal hard drive of the Xbox One X. I slammed in a Transcend Portable SSD (ESD350C Portable SSD) and the game just ran much smoother than I thought it would.

Moving away from the Xbox One X, I moved Assassin’s Creed Valhalla over to the Xbox Series X and, well, wow! The game runs superbly and just looks absolutely stunning. Loading times are barely there and there is no texture pop when the game is trying to load up. It’s just so much smoother, but yes this is much like comparing apples to lemons when putting last-gen against this gen. I would suggest running it on an SSD though.

Conclusion:
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is great overall. It’s got some amazing combat, a strong storyline, and some absolutely gorgeous visuals. Gameplay is fun, once you start unlocking those killer moves.

While it does feel a little grindy, upping the stats on Eivor is great as you essentially choose your own path. Also, having the choice between a male and female protagonist really makes things interesting here.

Overall, I would say that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is worth your time and money… Just be sure to run it on an SSD to truly enjoy. Now, go out there my Viking brothers and sisters and go drop kick a bear (it’s hilarious).

By: Darryl Linington
Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za
Follow @TechITOutMedia on Twitter
Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Cliffcentral.com. Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za or via +27788021400.