Assassin's Creed Valhalla RPG Catch-All

Just under 3.5 hours in. For whatever reason, I am instantly smitten with this game compared to Odyssey. I find the snow, crags, and mountains of Norway extremely impressive. I like the setup and Eivor's motivations. The UI treatment is fantastic, though. AC Origins (and Ghost of Tsushima) also nailed this. Really looking forward to getting into the branching skill trees.

Melee combat, early on, feels a little lacking. Haven't had enough experience with it to get a good feel. I did run into a bug at the first moment you can, selecting Eivor's sex. Had to quit out, google the solution, then adjust some settings.

Going to be thinking about this all day. Stupid family and work.

Vector wrote:

I did run into a bug at the first moment you can, selecting Eivor's sex. Had to quit out, google the solution, then adjust some settings.

Ran into the same bug selecting my own sex.

I ended up buying the base game on Stadia. I'm hoping the gen 2 Stadia hardware shows up before I am too frustrated by 30 fps. The game is gorgeous though. I'm only a couple hours in and just arrived home.

I chose the "let the animus decide" for the character. I figure switching back and forth will keep me on my toes.

I just got to England. I’m still unsure about my feelings. Odyssey is my favorite AC game and one of my top 5 games of last generation. So I’m trying to give Valhalla a fresh look but it can be tough. So far I like the combat in Odyssey better, but I don’t think I can fully judge that until I get more weapons and abilities. I’m playing on Series x and it looks great and runs great. It seems like a great game and I’m interested to explore the new or tweaked systems. I like these games in general so I think it will be more of distinction of flavor. I like ice cream and would prefer mint chip, but that doesn’t mean I hate chocolate.

One thing I do like a lot so far is there seems to be more emphasis on exploring and little environmental puzzles. It can give you a marker to where you find wealth or a new ability but it might take a bit to figure out how to get it.

I’m not sure how I feel about the main characters. I like them well enough, but sometimes I feel like the bad guys. We are invaders robbing and plundering. I’m curious to see how the game handles this.

I did smash up a couples belongings and set their house on fire to get help them get in the mood to bang. So there’s that... I guess we’ll see where this journey takes us.

IUMogg wrote:

...sometimes I feel like the bad guys.

....I did smash up a couples belongings and set their house on fire to get help them get in the mood to bang.

At least you're a hero to them

IUMogg wrote:

I’m also not sure how I feel about the main characters. I like them well enough, but sometimes I feel like the bad guys. We are invaders robbing and plundering. I’m curious to see how the game handles this.

Um, excuse me. I believe you'll find that you're just trying to settle and farm and have a good time and as all Americans (and some people over in Gaza) know that makes you the good guys who deserve the land irrespective of who is currently residing there.

I took the Gamepass route and started Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor. Not bad.
I do like my AC games though.

SkillUp reeeeeally did not like Valhalla. Not one little bit.

I'd say "fair enough" to his criticism, and in the end he does come to the conclusion that if you really loved Odyssey, you'll probably like this game. But one of his points left me confused. He complained that the combat was too easy on default difficulty. But there are two difficulty levels above that, and he didn't mention raising the difficulty at all.

That's only one point, though, and he made a lot of others. Clearly this game was not for him.

r013nt0 wrote:
IUMogg wrote:

I’m also not sure how I feel about the main characters. I like them well enough, but sometimes I feel like the bad guys. We are invaders robbing and plundering. I’m curious to see how the game handles this.

Um, excuse me. I believe you'll find that you're just trying to settle and farm and have a good time and as all Americans (and some people over in Gaza) know that makes you the good guys who deserve the land irrespective of who is currently residing there.

Hasn’t that always been the case with AC? I mean you play assassins in every game and in Black Flag the main character is at heart a pirate thug. I’m still in Norway so not sure if the Saxons are even “worse” bad guys in the game. .

You are very much not the bad guy in Origins.

Vector wrote:

You are very much not the bad guy in Origins.

You aren’t really in Odyssey either. You’re a mercenary trying to survive in the middle of a war.

jdzappa wrote:
r013nt0 wrote:
IUMogg wrote:

I’m also not sure how I feel about the main characters. I like them well enough, but sometimes I feel like the bad guys. We are invaders robbing and plundering. I’m curious to see how the game handles this.

Um, excuse me. I believe you'll find that you're just trying to settle and farm and have a good time and as all Americans (and some people over in Gaza) know that makes you the good guys who deserve the land irrespective of who is currently residing there.

Hasn’t that always been the case with AC? I mean you play assassins in every game and in Black Flag the main character is at heart a pirate thug. I’m still in Norway so not sure if the Saxons are even “worse” bad guys in the game. .

I’m still early on when you go to England but that’s when in got sketchy. The Norway stuff was all regional conflict and power struggles, which was fine. One of the first missions in England is to go to a church and steal their stuff because we need it to build our settlement.

Vector wrote:

You are very much not the bad guy in Origins.

Fair enough I skipped Origins. Seems like you could choose your morality in Odyssey but I didn't get far in that either. Eivor seems a bit more like Kenway but I've only played a couple hours.

So far, it feels like everything in Valhalla is gated behind exploration puzzles of various difficulties. For people who really liked Odyssey's ARPG style looting, it might be a little off putting.

polq37 wrote:

So far, it feels like everything in Valhalla is gated behind exploration puzzles of various difficulties. For people who really liked Odyssey's ARPG style looting, it might be a little off putting.

Well crap. By exploration do you mean a lot of jumping puzzles or searching areas. I like the later but hate the former.

jdzappa wrote:
polq37 wrote:

So far, it feels like everything in Valhalla is gated behind exploration puzzles of various difficulties. For people who really liked Odyssey's ARPG style looting, it might be a little off putting.

Well crap. By exploration do you mean a lot of jumping puzzles or searching areas. I like the later but hate the former.

The only jumping puzzle I've experienced so far was in an "anomaly". Not sure how many there are, but from the one I've done, it seems to unravel a bit of the meta story and is probably avoidable.

There are "chase" (parkour) puzzles where you go after pieces of paper that reward new tattoos.

Some of the wealth chests require working out how to get into locked rooms.

jdzappa wrote:
Vector wrote:

You are very much not the bad guy in Origins.

Fair enough I skipped Origins. Seems like you could choose your morality in Odyssey but I didn't get far in that either. Eivor seems a bit more like Kenway but I've only played a couple hours.

That makes some sense since the leader writer on this is the same as Black Flag. Origins, which has one of my favorite stories, has a very different main character. He’s presented as a little bit older (mid-late 30s), married with a kid, and is an Egypt Witcher at the start of the game. Most of the other games on the series is staring early an 20s person with a cocky attitude while Bayek is very humble. Eivor, the Misthios, Edward, etc. all follow the young and cocky template.

Just secured my first alliance in England, got my settlement up to level 3. Really enjoying the game so far, but I do have to say combat just feels mediocre. I don't know if it's nostalgia goggles but I feel like Odyssey's combat was more fun somehow. It also doesn't help that Tsushima is still fairly fresh in my mind and this combat system just can't hold a candle to that.

Odyssey's combat is very fast and gives you super powers. You're teleporting around the battlefield and unleashing your super moves very frequently. So far, Valhalla just doesn't have that.

jdzappa wrote:
IUMogg wrote:

I’m also not sure how I feel about the main characters. I like them well enough, but sometimes I feel like the bad guys. We are invaders robbing and plundering. I’m curious to see how the game handles this.

Hasn’t that always been the case with AC? I mean you play assassins in every game and in Black Flag the main character is at heart a pirate thug. I’m still in Norway so not sure if the Saxons are even “worse” bad guys in the game. .

I largely fell out of love with the franchise once the Desmond Miles story arc ended (AC3), but you were presented largely as the good guy in the earliest games; the Assassins were freedom fighters trying to eliminate the tyranny of the Templars.

I've only played a couple of the games since then, but my impression is that they've become a lot more nuanced/complex in their depiction of morality over time. The tension between forces of order and personal freedom no longer directly correspond to evil and good respectively.

For those who want to play only "good" protagonists in video games, it can be off-putting.

Yeah, in Odyssey (don't remember if in DLC or the base game) you're told that the Assassins and Templars balance each other out, but the latter are almost always portrayed perpetrating the most heinous, evil sh*t that it rings pretty hollow. I've never seen the Hidden Ones/Assassin's advocating for all out anarchy so I don't really understand why we're supposed to be all "both sides" about the conflict.

IUMogg wrote:

One of the first missions in England is to go to a church and steal their stuff because we need it to build our settlement.

Sounds like the good guys to me!

Bleedin' C of E.

Rogue is the only AC where you play as an out and out villain. And even then, you play less as a villain and more as history's dumbest Assassin. "Shay, you absolute moron," each of your old friends and companions say as you stab them through the heart.

Got all the synch points, Wealth, Mysteries, and Artifacts in Rygjafylke. Norway is super fun to explore.

I’ve got about 10 hrs in, now. I’m starting to get a feel for how this game flows. I’m coming straight from Odyssey, where I have a little over a hundred hours, so it’s been a little hard adapting. I don’t think I like the moment to moment gameplay of this as much, but it’s not terrible. The combat is somewhere in between the arcade-y superhero simulator of Odyssey and the “light strike-heavy strike-parry” of a From Software game. I don’t think it quite works well in either way. It looks good when you watch it, but it doesn’t “feel” good. Parrying isn’t satisfying, and half the time the only way I know I parried well is my weapon will light on fire due to a perk of my shield.

The game world is beautiful. The lush hills and old Roman ruins. I’m going to have a great time exploring this world. I have some issues with the HDR, but I’m getting used to it.

I think I’m about to turn that corner where I start unlocking perks and powers and the real Assassining begins! I didn’t hit that point until about 20-30 hrs into Odyssey, but I can already see myself inching toward perks that are going to help gameplay and combat a bunch.

Oh yeah, and wow does fire look bad in this game. It really stands out when the game is buttery smooth 60fps and the fire is like 12fps and looks completely 2 dimensional.

Finished the Soma storyline. Really really fun, deep, and satisfying, totally worth it.

Now rolling over to Ivarr. 5 minutes after meeting the guy and I hope he dies of sepsis. The character development in this game is A+++.

Really a shame it carries the AC branding and baggage because I think it would come close to challenging the Witcher 3 in terms of narrative and game design strength but gets held back by constant comparison

After going to England and completing as far as the end of the Soma storyline (surprisingly long and varied, too) I decided to go back to Rygjafylke and clean up the "dots". A couple of the wealth dots were back in Kjotve's fortress. I go back there and it's now a "distrust" area. So up goes the hood. I guess there's something about that technique I'm missing, because for the second time (out of two) I'm spotted almost immediately and it becomes a free-for-all. 10 minutes later and there's no distrust in the area. Or anybody but me living. One perk I got which rules is the "highlight enemies when unspotted and crouching". Until (or if) my raven has that "Mark" ability, it's going to be my go-to approach for clearing out restricted areas.

While I'm not putting in any marathon sessions, dropping in for an hour or two every so often is proving a pleasant distraction from all the RL chores I'm supposed to be doing

staygold wrote:

Finished the Soma storyline. Really really fun, deep, and satisfying, totally worth it.

Now rolling over to Ivarr. 5 minutes after meeting the guy and I hope he dies of sepsis. The character development in this game is A+++.

Really a shame it carries the AC branding and baggage because I think it would come close to challenging the Witcher 3 in terms of narrative and game design strength but gets held back by constant comparison

I doubt it would make a difference. I endured continuous arguments over on the Bethesda forums with endless comparisons between Witcher 3 and Skyrim. People will simply compare anything to Witcher 3 no matter where it comes from. If there is no existing franchise baggage, they'll simply make some up. There is always THAT guy that comes into a forum discussion of every game who starts out something like, "This game sucks compared to Witcher 3." I wouldn't be at all surprised if I just went poking around in the Farming Simulator discussion forum and found a thread called "Farming Simulator vs. Witcher 3."

So if AC Valhalla proves to be exceptionally good, I have no doubt it will stand on its own and do very well, just like Black Flag (which probably also gets compared to Witcher 3, BTW.)

If it isn’t Witcher 3, it’s getting compared to Dark Souls.

I recently read a comment that literally compared the ACV combat with Dark Souls (light attack, heavy attack, parry).

I mean come on, people, move on already, it’s been five years...

BadKen wrote:

I recently read a comment that literally compared the ACV combat with Dark Souls (light attack, heavy attack, parry).

I mean come on, people, move on already, it’s been five years...

Yeah, that was me. It’s literally the combat controls of this game and is derivative of the From Software games. I still think it’s a pretty good explanation. Also, if 5 years is the limit to which you can compare something in video games, then I’m even more out of the loop than I thought. I still explain “Punch Mashers with ‘Y’ to counter” as Arkham style games.

Valhalla is pretty good, I guess, whatever the control scheme may be.