Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Scandinavian magic | Test of the game


Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Should we mourn what was Assassin’s Creed to appreciate Assassin’s Creed ? To ask the question, is to answer it. From a stealth-focused series, it gradually turned to open-world action adventure gaming. However, unlike some who hated this bifurcation, the last titles of the franchise have riveted me to my screen. This is also what happened in the case ofAssassin’s Creed Valhalla.

  • Available on: Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Price: $ 79.99 + txs

Scenario for Valhalla

As its name suggests, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla features the Nordic peoples, more precisely that of the Vikings. Immersed in the skin of Eivor, a Viking traumatized by the brutal death of his parents, you will have to abandon your homeland after refusing to kneel at the feet of a king who wishes to unify the peoples of Norway. So, accompanied by some of your supporters, you will head to England in order to settle down with inhabitants who will not necessarily appreciate your arrival.

Roughly speaking, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a magnificent story making us discover the habits and customs of a people rather unknown. Full of majestic landscapes representing both the icy beauty of Norway and the crumbly lands of England, the game will take you on a great journey in which the mysteries will add up. Not only will you accompany Eivor in building his colony, but you will also follow him in his entry into the Assassin’s Guild. What’s more, the plot is studded with fascinating references to Scandinavian mythology as well as the duality between the beliefs of the Vikings and those of the Catholic peoples.

Moreover, as was the case in previous games, Valhalla will transport you a few times into the present. In the company of Layla, you will still face a bunch of mysteries that deepen the plot further. Also, why did signals lead her to dig up the body of a Viking? Why is the latter located in North America, far from his native land? Why does this pile of bones have the key to saving the world? And why does the scepter of Hyppocrates continue to exert so much influence on Layla’s mind? So many questions that will find their answers in the rich scenario written for the game!

Test of the game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla A much different character progression

When viewing the first clips of the game, many players thought that Valhalla would only be one Assassin’s Creed Odyssey taking place in the world of the Vikings. However, the reality is very different.

From the start, you will see that the game does not have the same mechanics as its two predecessors. Indeed, the focus on loot harvesting has been lightened. While you will still be able to accumulate items, you won’t be adding up pieces of gear as exponentially as you once did. Indeed, Valhalla offers fewer weapons and armor pieces. In addition, you will be able to improve their quality at your blacksmith in exchange for rare materials and then modify their characteristics using your own resources rather than boosting them in the blacksmith as in the past.

On the other hand, although the experience harvest is still present, your character will no longer have a level. Instead, the experience will be used to accumulate skill points. You will exchange these for upgrades for your Viking on a huge tree divided into three sections. Each point invested improves your hero’s power level and each improvement will grant you various bonuses. This is how you will accentuate the damage from melee attacks, bow, assassination, etc.

In short, the developers have completely modified the progression system in order to distinguish Valhalla of his ancestors. Although I was not convinced at first, I must admit that I familiarized myself with these new systems and saw several qualities in them. Contrary to Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I was not collecting weapons and armor every two minutes to destroy the majority of them. I also felt like I had more control over my character’s progression, as the game didn’t automatically decide on improved stats as I leveled up.

Of course, we have to get used to these new mechanics, but in the end, they offer a more marked implication in the progression of our character.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla A game packed with addictive new features

Even if it is not as gargantuan asAssassin’s Creed Odyssey, Valhalla offers a whole set of activities to complete. In addition, each portion of the game will allow you to get your hands on more or less scarce resources and accomplish a variety of very interesting tasks.

The novelty that I have appreciated the most are undoubtedly the events of the world. Numbering in the dozens, these are all side missions that will require you to pay particular attention to certain elements. In many games, a marker usually tells us what to do. Therefore, listening to a conversation or reading a message is futile. Now the events of the world of Valhalla work otherwise. When you are interested in one of them, no points of interest will be provided to guide you on how to achieve it. Therefore, you will have to listen to a dialogue or read a note to know how to resolve an event. Not only did this require special attention on my part, but the variety of objectives means that we take unsuspected pleasure in accomplishing all these quests. A nice addition to the series which I hope will come back!

Otherwise, the game will give you plenty of exploration possibilities. In addition to synchronizing points of view like in the others Assassin’s Creed, you will be able to plunder monasteries, carry out raids against villages, find secret passages through very well imagined puzzles, explore faults in the Animus, unearth secrets on mystical sites and even lift curses on lands poisoned by the forces of evil. Like the last games in the franchise, you will even be entitled to a little more mystical quests that will lead you to dive into Scandinavian legends or to hunt down legendary beasts.

All this to say that beyond the main quest, Valhalla is a rich game that will take you dozens of hours to complete. The fact that it is not as big asAssassin’s Creed Odyssey in fact in fact a more diversified game thanks to more varied objectives than the simple looting of fortresses!

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla A colony to build on English soil

Another interesting novelty introduced by Valhalla is the colony. As a Viking arriving in England, you represent a danger. Certainly, you are a hero, but the game will constantly remind you that you are also an invader whose main goal is to ensure the survival of his people.

To do this, you will need to expand your colony with the resources you acquire. These will be used to improve different types of buildings that will grant you several benefits during your game. From stables to your longhouse to your trading post, your upgrades will provide opportunities to expand your influence and unlock even more activities to do.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to make pacts with other lords. To survive, you will have no choice but to make allies, and again, the game offers great depth. By making these pacts, your influence will expand further and you will get even more tasks to do. It will be through this channel that you will also receive quests addressed directly to Eivor by the English people. Gradually, you will represent a liberator for the population oppressed by its king and the Catholic faith. And it is through this progression that you will become more and more addicted to the game while realizing that you are once again impersonating an Assassin.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Old demonsAssassin’s Creed

In closing, I would like to highlight a few issues that unfortunately come back to haunt this new Assassin’s Creed. Indeed, some mistakes of the past have not been corrected and will make you cringe.

Also, don’t rely on the early hours of the game to continue or abandon your quest. Before the latter opens and really hooks you, it will take you almost ten hours of play. This long introductory chapter is slow and offers only a limited perspective of the possibilities that await you. thereafter. Unfortunately, Ubisoft has this tendency to offer Assassin’s Creed too long introductions and Valhalla is part of this lineage.

On the other hand, the stealth and assassination side has really been left out for this opus. The simple fact that we can conduct raids shows how much we can achieve our ends by slaughtering everything in our path. Of course, you can assassinate as soon as you get your hands on the secret blade, but it is an option rather than a mechanic around which the game is centered. Quickly, all the techniques used to assassinate are put. away in favor of faster and, after all, more satisfactory massacres.

Besides, if you use the assassination, don’t expect to find new techniques. Ubisoft has included the same tactics as in the past with such dumb artificial intelligence. You’ll still have to squeeze through some grass or hay bales and see your enemies barely react when they see a murder taking place a few feet away from them. What’s more, the series’ iconic eagle has been replaced with a crow that you’ll never use. Your Winged Beast will no longer even spot enemies and objects of interest since you can do so using one of your abilities. The least we can say is that the finesse of the assassination techniques is not the primary quality of Valhalla.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Should you play it?

We must mourn what was and should be Assassin’s Creed. The series took a different direction and, to be honest, I am not disappointed. Being an Assassin is now a way of being and not a central mechanic of the franchise.

We can deplore this decision of Ubisoft, but the fact remains that like its predecessors, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a game that is as addicting as it is interesting. Certainly, I would have liked certain issues to be addressed, but in the end, I plunged into this adventure and I still want to swim in it. If, after too long an introduction, you also let yourself be carried away by this Scandinavian magic, you will not regret it!

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