The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the Vikings

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the Vikings

Assassin's Creed Valhalla review

A little bit pirates. A little warriors. A little men of honor. These are the Vikings of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the latest video game by Ubisoft, released on November 10 on PCs and consoles of the new and old generation. The latest effort by the French publisher had already bewitched us to the sound of trailers but now we are sure: it really is an unmissable, albeit imperfect title. 

In fact, Ubisoft's work has given us a bit of disappointment. The bugs, slowdowns and occasional crashes on PlayStation 4 put a spoke in the wheel but in the end he managed to make up for it. Such as? We talk about it in this review.

More history, fewer Assassins

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the VikingsDo you remember the first Assassin's Creed? They were those of Altair and Ezio, those of the Crusades, of the Popes, of the Borgias and of the great figures of the 400th century. Those of Montereggioni, Castel Sant'Angelo and the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
They were the ones who catapulted us directly into history. Not just any. Our. That of the Bel Paese, the one that is studied in school.
The first chapters of the series were therefore linked to something known, familiar, even if only for the famous buildings that still dot our cities today.

Then something changed. Assassin's Creed has gradually lost the initial spirit until completely transforming the approach of the players. The ability to blend in, to act in the shadows, to enter inaccessible buildings has gone into the background, as has the creed that had guided the deeds of Altair and Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The circle of assassins has become more of a scenario than a protagonist, turning into a mild glue that tries to keep the old chapters still united. And we understand it. After all, it would have been difficult to go further without slipping into banality. And we also understand how comfortable it can be to use a brand - Assassin's Creed - which continues to have a great appeal on players.
In short, we cannot, in all honesty, condemn Ubisoft.
On the contrary, we must acknowledge the French publisher an unexpected didactic role.
Because yes, maybe the Assassins are no longer the same and the Creed is no longer what it used to be, but the story, well, that has been enriched and expanded dramatically.

In the last 6 years, the European software house has told us about the Seven Years War, the French and Industrial Revolution, Ptolemaic Egypt and the Peloponnesian War. All this by providing a personal and at the same time general perspective which, in our opinion, represents a new approach to education. The new Assassin's Creed is almost a school tool, capable of combining knowledge and entertainment in an absolutely unique way. And it does it this time too. The Vikings of Ubisoft teleport us to a place and time of which we probably still know very little and they do it, as always, starting from a single person, a single warrior: Eivor.

History of a clan

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the Vikings
Among the activities that you can play in-game there are also drinking competitions, poetry and games of the time

Eivor has no gender. At least at the beginning of the game. After experiencing the worst day of his life you will be called upon to decide its gender. Choose in total serenity because it will not affect the evolution of events in any way.
But what events?
Eivor apparts at vichingo clan of corvo and lives in the Norwegian fjords. However, a series of new alliances and agreements between her kingdoms will push her to move away from her land, moving with her brother. Sigurd in England.
Divided into four kingdoms, the British island is a battleground between the Saxons and the so-called Danes, the Vikings.

Your task? In fact, you will have several. In fact, you will have to create a new settlement for all clan members who have followed you to England but also forge alliances, fight wars, dethrone kings and crown others. To all this are added the tasks that will be entrusted to you by Basim e hytham, two members of the Assassin brotherhood.

Does everything seem very demanding to you? It is. This time, in fact, you will not be alone but you will have to take care of your village, help its inhabitants, build shops and in the meantime brutally slaughter your enemies. All of this will help you step into Eivor's shoes and immerse yourself in XNUMXth century England.

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  • Write your own Viking saga - advanced RPG mechanics allow you to create and evolve your character ...
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Assassin's Creed Valhalla review: fascination and restlessness

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the VikingsAt this point it becomes impossible not to mention the setting of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. As anticipated, Ubisoft has done an excellent research job to offer players a detailed reconstruction of each place, use and custom of the time. Nothing is left to chance, not even the way of expressing themselves of the characters which - we confess - is much more elaborate and convincing in the original version rather than in the one dubbed in Italian.

Your journey to the northern lands will allow you to admire Roman ruins, rudimentary castles, small settlements and large cities. There is no shortage of rural areas, caves to explore (and get lost in) and even cursed areas to reclaim.

The variety of settings will truly blow your mind and keep you busy for dozens of hours, while delighting your eyes. The artistic direction has in fact brought to the market the most spectacular Assassin's Creed ever, with truly suggestive views that quickly give way to gloomy and anxious environments. All of course, with attention to the smallest details and enriched by plays of light that manage to convince even on the older generation, without the now known ray tracing. A note of merit also goes to streams and ponds, well-kept and well-designed to add realism to both the English and Norwegian scenery.

Ubisoft, however, has not paid the utmost attention to only the great views. The protagonists are really well studied, full of details ranging from the pores of Eivor's skin to the ability to count the lashes. Instead, the hair is sinful: a little too static and raw compared to everything else.

Overall, however, the work done by the French company will leave you speechless.

The brutality of the Vikings

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the VikingsAssassin's Creed wouldn't deserve this name if there weren't some deaths along the way. Forget Ezio's elegant kills though: the Vikings are brutal. The clashes are bloody, violent and surprisingly rich in mutilations. You will see heads flying and limbs falling, but also opponents pierced by their own weapons in scenes that have little to envy to the good Tarantino.

They will keep you company in this bloodbath bow and arrow, a primary weapon and shield to parry the blows of the opponents. The strategy to use is the one we have now learned about in recent episodes: it hits hard and dodges a lot. Even at the lowest difficulty levels it will be vital to learn to evade opponents, move quickly or use the shield to promptly block the worst attacks, so as to destabilize enemies and expose them to your attacks.
You will then have to learn how to exploit the special moves that you will not earn by leveling up but that you will have to find by exploring the environment. The game map in fact also includes the books of knowledge, from which you will have to learn new techniques that can be particularly useful in battle. But don't expect something magical or supernatural: they are all moves primarily related to the use of brute force and your physical abilities. Hence their link with the Adrenaline bar, which you can fill during the clashes or through special mushrooms scattered in the different game environments.

Eivor will also be able to count on solid equipment, which you can enhance by finding the right resources and even some runes that increase their effectiveness. We find again then the skill tree that in Assassin's Creed Valhalla is really rich and layered, so as to precisely define the fighting style of your heroine (or your hero).

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It's not perfect

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the VikingsBut all that glitters is not gold. We found a few flaws here and there. Let's start with the combat system that we found to be masterful in the management of 1 vs 1 clashes but which loses a little bit when the enemies start to be several. He also thinks about making battles difficult the slow response of commands. Not always, mind you, but you will happen to try a parry and see Eivor not moving a muscle, especially if you do it a few seconds after an attack. When in doubt, the game always favors the command linked to the main weapon over the parry and this exposes you to a few too many injuries.

Chaotic battles, which are usually Assaults on opposing outposts or Raids in monasteries, also affect the smoothness of the game, with some occasional lag which could decide the outcome of the battle. However, the situation has improved compared to the days before the launch so we are confident in some definitive software update. The gaming platform remains to be considered: on PC, PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X | S the performance could be better.

Finally, we found some small problems in the movements. Eivor tends to climb on everything, even when you don't want to, not to hit small hatches when you try to drop down to the lower floor or to be too impetuous in the destruction of elements that are one step away from it, effectively missing the goal.

In general, therefore, Assassin's Creed would have needed a little more general cleaning, which would have made the gaming experience even more immersive.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla review: buy it or not?

The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the VikingsAssassin's Creed Valhalla is a bit like Odyssey: beautiful but very far from the original saga. The stealth mechanics have tapered off to make room for more challenging and perhaps more dramatic hand-to-hand combat. After all, that's what users asked for and it's hard to blame Ubisoft for that.

Putting aside the memories then we have in our hands a product that has something to teach on the historical front, which manages to amaze with its breathtaking views, which immerses us in Norse culture and overwhelms us with the brutality of clashes and occasional torture. The story of Eivor is then added to that of an old acquaintance: Layla Hassan. Who is? This is the person using the Animus, the machine that allows you to relive the past using DNA sequences. At the beginning it was Desmond's turn, today Layla's, grappling not only with the mysteries of the ninth century but also with contemporary ones. However, we do not want to reveal anything else. Just know that the Earth is in danger and Layla will have to solve this difficult problem.

Back to us: Valhalla lacks practically nothing if not the aforementioned general cleaning. We can therefore only advise you to personally savor the new Ubisoft adventure. You will not regret it.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Pro The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the Vikings
  • Historical accuracy
  • Immersive setting
  • Compelling story
  • Special moves and abilities
Cons The Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. The brutality of the Vikings
  • He is no longer a true Assassin's Creed
  • Some bugs and slowdown
  • Movements that can be improved
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