11/17/2020, 19:05

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: First Impressions

Valhalla may be the pivot that the Assassin's Creed series needs

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed series, has officially surprised me.

It’s good. Very good. I’m still working my way through it, and while I had planned on putting together a review today, I don’t feel the review would do it justice.

Most would have expected it to follow the direction laid out by Origins and Odyssey: Simplified skills and mechanics, approachable combat, and a sprawling open world.

While we get the sprawling open world, Ubisoft actually took a step back and appeared to say.. “Let’s add some detail”.

What has come about is something that takes the combat and strategy of souls-like games, thrown in an exceptionally detailed (and unique) skill/leveling system, and also ensures that people like me (who have physical impairments that make souls-like games impossible to play) have difficulty options available to make the game perfectly playable, while still challenging.

Previous recent entries to the AC series have simple mechanics and a lot of hand-holding. That isn’t the case with Valhalla; there is a real, open, challenging experience for all who seek it.

At first, I was confused. Was I really playing an AC game? Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Legion seemed like more what they would release; easy, approachable, and not a lot of challenge to it for experienced gamers.

Valhalla really creates an experience that reminds me of games like Morrowind, which was mechanically one of the best games in the Elder Scrolls series in my opinion.

Honestly, I feel like Ghost of Tsushima is more a spiritual successor following Odyssey and Origins than Valhalla. I adore Ghost of Tsushima, but Assassin’s Creed Valhalla exists on another level.

You’ll have to wait for a full review because, in my mind, this game deserves a good amount of attention. The work Ubisoft has done here is impressive, and despite a number of bugs (I’m playing the PS4 version), it’s just simply a great game that fans new and old should be able to appreciate.

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