Welcome to a new approach to game reviews; we call it After the Fact. We review the title after a few months of release with the intent of bringing the title top-of-mind to players who may have missed the title during the initial press cycle of a title. We kick off this new segment with a review of the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series: Valhalla.
Admittedly, before this new entry into the Assassin’s Creed series, I hadn’t played an Assassin’s Creed game Since October of 2013, when Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released. This was not because I felt that the series was exhausted; this was because I had become interested in other genres.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla features one of my favorite subjects; Vikings. That alone was enough of a reason to play this game. That said, let’s jump into it.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is set in the time period of 873 A.D. and players take on the role of Eivor, a viking whom has suffered tragedy beyond belief. Eivor can be either male or female and there are plenty of customization options. This is a story of revenge, and the angst can be felt throughout the huge, open-world that fans have come to expect.
It’s clear that Developer Ubisoft Montreal knows how to get the most out of last generation hardware because the world is detailed, beautiful and there was barely a hint of fog in the distance. I could see for what seemed like miles. In short, the graphics in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are fantastic.
If you’ve ever played an Assassin’s Creed title, then the controls will feel right at home. No learning curve here. If you haven’t, in-game tutorials will walk you right through it. Suffice it to say, while there are a lot of different actions Eivor can perform, the muscle memory from other games in the open world genre kick in and it’s like gamers have been playing titles in this series their entire lives.
Gameplay is smooth; Even at 30 fps on XBox One X, the game looks great. We live in a world today where many games are “just release it, we’ll fix it later,” Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla shows nearly zero signs of slowdown, bugs or glitches on XBox one X. Because of that, the title feels even that much more satisfying.
As much as the title shines, there is one glaring area of opportunity. The world is huge and the story is long, so there are certainly some missions that feel like a chore. one in particular, which took over two hours to complete, was as tedious a mission as I’ve ever encountered in a title. While this is common in open world games, it can pull players’ out of an otherwise deeply immersive experience.
While RPG elements are fairly new to the Assassin’s Creed series, Valhalla takes things to the next level. There are a ton of customization options to choose from. Because of our insistency in avoiding spoilers, players should make the most of those options. They’ll be glad they did.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has renewed my personal love of the Assassin’s Creed series. While many players regained their love in earlier installments, as I mentioned above, I’d skipped quite a few in the series before firing this title up and making my way through the vast world.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is currently available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox One X/S, Microsoft Windows and Google Stadia. Give it a try on your platform of choice. You’ll be glad you did.