Assassin's Creed Valhalla Review: Reconciliation

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Steven L. Ken
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Tomorrow will be the big day for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, we reveal the identity of this Norse adventure in our review

“History is our playground”, la history is our playground. Ubisoft has whispered this winking motto countless times in the ear of the community. Even before whispering it showed it in the 13 long years of life that its best known videogame brand now has on its shoulders. The concept is immediate, true, disruptive and revolutionary in its simplicity. It was so much then, in 2007, when Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad for the first time he introduced us to the thrill of Leap of Faith and it still is today as we enjoy, pad in hand, the raids of Eivor Wolf Bite.



Even today, making our Dreki glide placidly over the muddy waters of the Thames and seeing in the distance a London all wood and laced fortifications, it is impossible not to notice how sweet, precious and fascinating it is to play in history. Yes, exactly the same one that is normally studied on (apparently) boring school volumes.

His personal Leap of Faith series did so in 2017 with Origins, the chapter that showed us, in a certain sense, how it all started. Before that, the ranks of the detractors of the French colossus swelled inexorably. Many accused Ubisoft of videogame persistence in always proposing the same kind of titles. The team then took courage in both hands and changed the connotations of the brand. From open world action-adventure, Assassin's Creed rediscovered itself as an open world rpg. It was the beginning of a silent revolution.

Now we can finally say that with Assassin's Creed Valhalla, of which you are reading the review, this new cycle has come to maturity. Net of some congenital defects, the Norse adventure is the greatest expression than Ubisoft has shown us in the last three years and it is frankly surprising that such a title was developed in a relatively short time. The French giant did not rest on its laurels even for a moment AC Odyssey, the last monumental entry in the saga of the assassins from Lama Celata.



For Valhalla, the team seems to have sifted through every minute criticism of the last chapter of the saga to polish, expand and modernize its flagship title. Hence the Viking adventure returns that healthy aura of arcane mystery to the series, reconnect the wires with the tradition of the Assassins and minimally rediscovering his identity action, while expressing the da temperament in a more natural and enjoyable way rpg

Historical past and incipit

How formidable and propellant the psychological mechanism of revenge? Really a lot if we think about the case of Eivor Wolf bite, the Norse warrior who lived in IX century of which you will follow the exploits in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the subject of this review. We deliberately use a epic tone Since Epic it is also the characterization that Ubisoft Montreal has given to the events that you will find yourself retracing. 

All this is evident right from that hypnotic Northern Lights that shone sinister on the night when Eivor's parents, still at an early age, were killed by Kjotve the Ruthless in the middle of a banquet that sanctioned the alliance between the clan of the young protagonist and that of Re Styrbjörn.

Eivor earns the epithet "Wolf's Bite" that same night, when in the rush of the race that will take him away from Kjotve's murderous ax he runs into a ravenous Lupo. By circumstances supernatural the child manages to repel the beast and save himself. From that moment Eivor found a father in Styrbjörn and in Sigurd, the king's son, a brother. In the arc of a black screen we see Eivor 17 years later, in the height of his young maturity animated by a very lively desire to revenge.



As we said at the beginning, Ubisoft has outlined this intertwining in epic key, almost from Iliad. All curiously appears, if possible, even more epic than the game that should have been epic par excellence, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The Valhalla narrative does not skimp high, sublime, solemn tones, especially in the early stages. As your Viking handful, forced to abandon the Nordic shores, will enter British soil, Ubisoft's story will gradually always courtly, magnetic at the right point and fits perfectly. 

The Montreal team has skilfully played with the strings once again historical past and of really existed by exploiting an epoch, that of Norse invasions on British soil, which in itself lends itself well to fiction and screenplays. Ubisoft's new adventure is aimed at leading industry experts, Vikings, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and the latest God of War to pack his personal epopea norrena. Not all the supporting actors of Eivor are up to the story, it is true, but overall the narrative structure it works fine between bombast and effective plot-twists. 

Furthermore, this time Ubisoft abandons theclassic setting of the series with the macroscopic single story to adopt one that sees several narrative arcs alternating at the same time. We are therefore approaching what The Witcher 3 did. Each of the four macro-areas of the game, East Anglia, Wessex, Northumbria and Mercia, has its own narrative cycle. Ubisoft seems to have wanted to please those who wanted more full-bodied and organic weft arcs.


This time much more than in the past, in fact the various narratives will allow us to grow fond of somehow to the various supporting actors and to discover their psychology. All of this, as expected, will keep you busy for dozens and dozens of hours. The team then intelligently scaled down the presence of multiple choice dialogues that in Odyssey made the narration not very fluid and affected by continuous drops in rhythm.


Those hoping for a reappearance of the Assassins, the Occult, which this time will definitely be more at the center of the narrative perspective compared to the last two chapters of the saga. Furthermore, as promised by the developers, we will also have important developments on the story of Layla which is still revealed in all of her complex fragility

Equilibrio – Review Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

In the latest incarnations of the saga of the Hidden Blade hit men, on the level of game mechanics, there seems to have been a disagreement between stealth components and face-to-face combat almost analogous to that between Assassins and Templars. In Odyssey, the no holds barred battles have brought a landslide victory by turning up their noses at those who preferred to act in the shadows to serve the light.

As you will see shortly in this review, in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, from this point of view reigns absolute balance. Scuffles and melees take turns with infiltrations, stalking and spying in an irreproachable way. Ubisoft seems to have listened to the community calibrating to the cent the gaming experience. In this sense, unlike Odyssey, Valhalla appears as a title inherently reconciled with the very identity of the saga.  

The return of the Assassins' instrument of death par excellence: the Hidden Blade is certainly to be read in this light. The operation of the weapon remained essentially unchanged compared to the past, to trigger it, as always, a quick touch of the left upper back as you cautiously approach guards and minions. it would have been the best to see some new features linked to this tool in action but already being completed after a long time even just a tutorial on it is frankly exciting.

Even the mechanics stealth have remained the same to which the series has accustomed us over time. Benefits and defects they are part of a single package to be accepted in full once again. Artificial intelligence is modest like in the good old days. On the other hand, you can adjust the reactivity level and other parameters of the opponents related to this phase from the settings. Small gem on the sidelines: by pressing triangle you can blend in once again between the ranks of Monks praying thanks to yours hood as you did in the first chapters of the saga. Another explicit and welcome wink to the past in other words.

On the combat system front, another thorny issue for the brand, Valhalla does not present itself as revolutionary. Again alternating the right lats you will have the opportunity to settle light and heavy attacks. You can then as usual dodge with square. This time, however, the Force, a new game parameter makes everything a little more varied and weighted.

Basically dodges and misses will consume this gauge by opening your guard and making you vulnerable. The possibility of challenging him also returns shield which, like Vigor, is quite appreciable. From this point of view Ubisoft has tried to characterize in the key of prudence the clashes. These remain however rather brutal although less theatrical than in Odyssey. 

Really excellent, varied and satisfying bossfight that from time to time you will find yourself supporting. Danes, Angles and Saxons count among their ranks excellent thugs equipped with interesting movesets that will be able to put you in a tight spot. Either way, much of the style of play will be determined by the type of weapon you will rely on. These will finally be a lot rarer and research those of Odyssey and they can be Custom also in the aesthetic component.

Mistero – Review Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

We will repeat this several times throughout the review: what Assassin's Creed Valhalla aims to do, in its multifaceted structure, is to guarantee you an experience as much as possible. personalized that fully reflects your style of play. For this you will have a system of talents which excellently replaces the levels by Odyssey. The latter led you, in various situations, to a forced grinding.

Now, instead, by earning experience points from every single game action you can go and build your own skillset which is extremely branched and varied between stat attribute bonuses and active and passive perks such as being able to cushion falls or perform a stealth chain kill. You have already seen many of these perks in action in the past and some will be very welcome easter egg

Le real skills, instead they will be assignable to the various keys of the pad and are divided into melee and distance shots. To exploit them, as in Odyssey you will use theAdrenalin. What changes from the previous chapter, however, is the system of obtaining. In fact, you can only find them in remote and inaccessible ravines in the form of Books of Knowledge

From the point of view of game map (it's the most extensive ever for the series), Ubisoft heavily revised the icon system that made everything out in the open in Origins and Odyssey. This time you will only have lights of different colors to indicate various quests and treasures. Only by approaching you can you discover their real identity. In this way the Montreal team manages to re-establish some of the aura of pleasant mystery which characterized several entries of the saga, Black Flag primarily.

Naturalness - Assassin's Creed Valhalla Review

The game system that Assassin's Creed Valhalla makes available to players is even more stratified and mammoth of the already monumental one of Origins and Odyssey, we will see it shortly in the course of the review. The player takes steps into British territory which is a lively one melting pot of peoples.

Your slow expansion will have as its epicenter the camp mentioned several times in the promotional campaign phase of the title. This is thecentral hub of your Viking handpiece. In essence, it is a location perfectly inserted in the open world without interruption. From a simple settlement, you will have the opportunity to transform the lair into a small e thriving colony Norse going to upgrade the various structures from time to time.

These are highly diversified: emporiums, shops for tattoo artists, barbers, blacksmiths, barracks and so on. Each of these activities will perform a specific task that can essentially be traced back to the general perspective of customization of Eivor. This, as the rpg tradition dictates, will be entirely customizable. Basically, the Eivor that you can get will be almost comparable to a character created with an editor.

Your whole experience Sara customizable going to allow you to modify the raiders of your crew, your deputy, your boat, the Dreki and even your trusty Crow which takes the place of Senu and Icarus, Bayek's eagles of Siwa and Alexios. In addition, thanks to the development of the camp you will also be able to obtain various assignments and special quests such as those of the Occult, also known as Assassins.

The camp is essentially the final stage in the evolutionary process of Adrestia, the ship with which Alexios plowed the Aegean in Odyssey. Ubisoft therefore hinged on the settlemententire game architecture. To make the hub thriving you will have to raid the many monasteries clinging like sinister birds of prey to the heights bordering British rivers. You will immediately familiarize yourself with the mechanics of RAID which will be real wells of materials for crafting. The structures are well defended, sometimes bordering on impregnability, giving the whole fair degree of challenge

Furthermore, the various narrative arcs will culminate with the sieges of fortresses where Saxon rulers love to entrench themselves. This mechanic takes the place of the contrived and exhausting ones by right pitched battles by Odyssey. You will be in the center of the action right from the start. In the outpost you will have to advance in the mud and direct the charges of theariete to open the breach in the walls of the imposing fortresses. The breakthroughs will allow your men to permeate the interior of the fortresses, while you will open other gates up to the highest level of the structures in order to make the siege unstoppable. 

What we have told you so far, apparently cumbersome and racked up to the test of facts, on the other hand, fits perfectly natural and fluid. In this, Ubisoft's work has been astounding. In raids and sieges, the pace of the game is kept tight without ever being forced and artificial as in the pitched battles of Odyssey. There are no clumsy health bars of the opposing army to rule it. Everything takes place in the credible and likely optics of a royal siege. Leading your bloodthirsty raiders to conquer is fulfilling and beyond that pleasant thanks to a game system that in a perfectly fluid and natural way allows you to switch from one action to another in a moment. 

Ultimately, it seems to be aimed in a farsighted way avoid slowing down and unnecessary fillers. What you get, to the eye, seems to somehow anticipate the results promised by next-gen videogame.

Painterly - Review Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Immediately after the usual security warnings, starting Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the logo of theAnvil engine. We are now used to strengths and weaknesses of the graphics engine of which Ubisoft owns and develops. For Honor, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and the entire saga of Assassin's Creed they are the sons of this prolific father. In its many iterations, the engine has gradually become more refined, sophisticated and convincing while remaining however step back compared to some other graphics engine.

In Valhalla the Anvil reaches the maximum consecration showing up in his fits better. One approaches discreetly to the cinematic quality proposed by several other triple A productions equally illustrious but equipped with more performing engines. Take a spin, at any point in the game, to the left analog to fill your eyes with wonder. The British lands have nothing to envy to the Hellenic world. The colors, surprisingly, are just as vibrant and bright.

In Valhalla you will have an infinite number of places and points of interest, magnificent wooded lands, solitary hermitages, frozen expanses, placid river waters. The engine is doing well a bit 'with everything reaching, as in the past, peaks of exceptionality as regards the yield of water masses and buildings.

A caressing haze will often help to make the glance suggestive, giving the whole a certain quality pictorial and picturesque. However, in the flashes of vegetation, in the musculature of the horses, in the foliage and in other details, the graphic engine seems to get lost a bit. Especially in some facial models still too "plasticized" and in some animations a bit clumsy and now obsolete. 

To write the review you are reading we have been provided with a code of the PS4 version of Assassin's Creed Valhalla and we got to test the game on Sony's base console. The framerate it has been very thick rather fluctuating up to the sobs caused by various situations. Overall, the title turned out to be an ugly beast to tame for our console but we trust that the same game is within the reach of the Pro version of PlayStation 4 and the next-gen.  

THEaudio of Valhalla, on the other hand, is placed on the alti standard canons of the series. The suffused chants, the sublime litanies, the arpeggios and the many pieces based on percussion only increase the general suggestiveness by giving voice to the mystery mentioned above.

History is our playground

In what in some ways has been its annus horribilis, Ubisoft strongly refers to the arrogance of a title solemn, mysterious, layered. The Canadian division of the colossus allows us to look through the keyhole of a door that opens onto the next generation videogame. You see all sorts of wonders from there. 

The trilogy inaugurated by the adrenaline-pumping Leap of Faith by Origins it closes with a much smoother kick that leads to throne of the prequel triad. The long work of perfection has undoubtedly paid for the efforts by giving the community another one pearl based on the events and the Norse imagery. Valhalla is betting everything on narration who, contrary to the previous chapter, does not suffer from stuttering. Everything, from weaving to gameplay mechanics based largely on sieges and raids, it is spontaneous, organic, fluid. At the center of this real and fictional universe there will be you, once again running around the playing field of history.

Thank you for taking the time to read this Assassin's Creed Valhalla review. Stay tuned with us at techigames for all the other news and curiosities from the world of gaming and beyond.

9 We act in the shadows to serve the light

Points in favor

  • Organic, full-bodied and simultaneous narrative arcs
  • Satisfying Sieges and Raids
  • Right balance between stealth and open face combat
  • Great bossfights
  • More "mysterious" map
  • Visually, overall, it is sumptuous

Points against

  • Artificial intelligence and stealth mode are roughly the same as ever
  • Many animations are not convincing
  • Bit unstable frame rate
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