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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review: A Viking adventure for the ages


This smart, inventive and witty open-world game is a veritable Viking feast of adventure

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is the twelfth main installment in the Assassin’s Creed series developed by Ubisoft.

Valhalla arrives just two years after the release of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, propelling us forward from the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece into the ancient world of the Vikings, and challenges the player to take control of Eivor, a Viking who fought in the Norse invasion of England. From the graphics to the clever world-building features and the game’s ties to the broader Assassin’s Creed lore, Valhalla is an intriguing game into which the player finds themselves immediately immersed.

The World of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources in the ninth century AD, players will lead Eivor’s clan of Norsemen across the icy North Sea to the rich lands of England’s broken kingdoms. Players must carve out a new future for their clan, reliving the ruthless fighting style of Viking warriors with a revamped combat system that includes the ability to dual-wield weapons against a greater variety of enemies than ever before.

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To secure resources, players can lead raids to select locations using their longship to earn much-needed riches and resources. As the Vikings begin to settle in their new home, they encounter resistance from the Saxons, including King Aelfred of Wessex, who denounces them as heathens as he attempts to establish himself as the sole ruler of a civilized England. Against all odds, Eivor must do what is necessary to keep Valhalla within reach.

One of the widely publicized new features included in Valhalla is the ability to choose Eivor’s gender and switch between them, playing as either male or female. The world of the Vikings is one where men and women went into battle together, and women were just as valued as men in the community. In this sense, it is refreshing to have the option to choose Eivor’s gender and explore the world of Valhalla through a different lens. However, because this is an older world and efforts have been made to adhere to the constructs of the time period, there is no distinct “gender-neutral” option for Eivor.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Story, Gameplay and Graphics

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla picks up where the previous two games – Origins and Odyssey – left off. No longer set in dense, city environments, we switch to large open worlds, navigated on horseback or by boat.

The writing in Valhalla is breathtaking. Its characters compelling, its tone strikes the right balance between grit and humor, and the stories are enticing. There are also funny moments.

The actual gameplay in Valhalla is just as good as the writing. Vikings are not known for their subtle approach and sneaky tactics, and Valhalla does not force you to play that way either. Like all previous games in the series, you can still sneak around and assassinate silently if you want; but barging in axe-swinging is just as viable a tactic.

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The map is scattered with settlements to raid, and your character is now equipped with a horn that lets you summon your clan to help you. The game’s excellent combat system makes these moments a joy to play, and the new combat abilities you will unlock during these raids make them a worthwhile distraction from the game’s main storyline.

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Graphically, Valhalla is the prettiest game in the series. Both England and Norway look stunning, and so do the characters.

Assassin’s Creed is available On Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Store on Windows PC, as well as on Ubisoft+, and Stadia.

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