Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PS4, XBox One, PS5, XBox Serise X, PC, Stadia
Reviewed On: PS4
Release Date: 12/11/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla a flawed masterpiece. Playing this game is the equivalent of going to The Louvre Museum in Paris to see the Mona Lisa and the paint has run.
This is the best AC game to date in my humble opinion, and by far the most adventurous of the series. With this comes problems, lots of problems, screen tears, asset pop in, collision boxes not working for in static objects, the list is endless. It is a massive shame as no matter how good the game is or big it is, there is no reason for there to be so many bugs within the game. Yes, they can be patched out, but really….was Assassin’s Creed Valhalla even play tested? As the first bug happened within a few minutes of playing.
You play as Eivor a renowned Viking warrior sets sail for England, after being left with no option but to leave Norway. Eivor’s quest is to take over part of England for the Raven Clan.
The story will take you over all over England in the 9th Century. You will form alliances, assassinating important figures and raiding to build up your wealth.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla does a good job of introducing new characters that feel more fleshed out then in pervious entries, a coherent and interesting, (if not dragged out somewhat) story. Not to mention a beautiful backdrop that feels alive.
Gameplay is a little hit and miss in terms of combat, and sailing. Let’s start with some good, you will be glad to know that some old AC is back! Eivor get the hidden blade early on, allowing for some sweet assassinations (animations permitting yes another bug), along with towns where Vikings are not wanted. So throw up your hood and blend in with the crowd.
Where the game raised an eyebrow was in the sailing and combat area, sailing was so boring and long. This becomes less of a problem when fast travel routes are open by synching to the viewpoints, but in the beginning slows the game to a snail’s pace.
Combat, oh combat, how you are a slog to start with. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s initial 6/8 hours’ worth of combat is an unbalanced mess, with Eivor being very weak and fights being more about hot and run rather than full on Viking fury. This is mainly because of have introduced the stamina bar that sees dodging, deflecting and not connecting with an attack will deplete this. Meaning fights are more tactical.
I want to let you know if you stick with it. The fights get better because of the mixture of abilities found around the world in tomes and the massive skill tree. One little thing I liked with the skill tree was if you were not finding combat to your liking, it was possible to refund the points and redistribute them and try a different build.
Stealth gameplay is more opportunity based rather than take your time and staby stab everyone one by one. You will go in all axe flaying. When you raid you let the camp know by blowing the horn, obviously Vikings want to die in glorious battle to get to Valhalla. You can definitely go around camps and sneak about and assassinate, but it again slows the pace down. This is just my opinion I preferred to just chop everything down with axes in a Berserker Rage.
Overall Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, despite all the bugs (that are not game braking) is the best AC offers. Excellent story and cast, great open world to explore and loads to do. There is, however, no way there should be so many bugs in a game this renowned. It is just a lazy poor show, however this is what Ubisoft is becoming known for, unfortunately.
Would I recommend this game, yes, but maybe after they sort the bugs, unless it hits a sale then buy it.