Content of the article: "Really makes you feel like your a Viking…and an Assassin"
Loving this game so far. Its world, characters, and writing are continuing to impress. Every side mission is satisfying and often intriguing, and the simple yet sometimes frustrating puzzles to get a chest or destroy a Pagan curse feels rewarding. The game’s atmosphere is immersive and full of life keeping me interested for hours on end. And the top notch music only enhances it further.
Where the reduction in gear loot is sometimes a drag, it makes finding a new piece of gear more exciting and rewarding. There’s also no disincentive to stop looting chests and exploring due to the upgrade system (and hope of finding a new gear piece). I do hope that future patches brings about the ability to cycle the appearance of gear to its earlier stages before upgrading them (similar to Ghost of Tsushima), and I hope future content adds more gear that fits the time period without necessarily having that assassin robe silhouette.
For the first time since AC3, I really appreciate all the small activities littered throughout the world. I know the slower mini games aren’t for everyone, but it adds to the completeness of this world feeling alive. The little immersive details and activities (along with the story) for me is what made Witcher 3 and both Red Dead Redemptions my top games in the last decade. AC Valhalla finally tries to mimic that and succeeds more in some areas. The settlement system is a joy and gives more purpose to the whole explore, fight and loot gameplay loop—and it reminds me of AC3s awesome homestead portions. Viking recruitment is badass.
And speaking of AC3, I know the combat is divisive among fans, but my god were the kill/finishing animations great. I’ve enjoyed the combat in AC Valhalla since the beginning, but what sets it apart from the last two games is the gruesome killing animations. We finally have dismemberment and beheadings!! Weird thing to be excited for, but damn does it make you feel like a brutal Viking warrior. The combat is only getting more fun with the new abilities and skills, and I feel as deadly as I did playing as Connor.
If anyone remembers the recruitment system in AC3 for special assassin brotherhood skills, it was nice to switch between being a lone wolf to calling in for aid. This same feeling exists in Valhalla fighting alone, calling in your crew for aid, or all at raiding with them from start.
The social stealth mechanics are a welcomed come back. The cloak mechanic is awesome; being able to sneak through town without hiding in bushes or behind walls all the time is something I hope never goes away. I’d say the combination of scouting areas with Synin and slowly making your way to your target is some of the best/most immersive assassin’s experience in any of the games. I hope the devs add to the social stealth mechanics in the expansions.
With every mechanic combined in this game, it has done an amazing job at making me feel like I’m a Viking existing in the same dark ages England previously invaded by Ragnar Lothbrock. I think after some patches, quality of life fixes, and additional content, this may end up being my favorite AC game. I’m curious to see how I’ll feel towards the end of the game compared to Skill Up’s final review, but right now I feel like I can just keep coming back to this game for the next 6 months and just exist in the Viking lore. Excited for the updates to come.
- I may be exaggerating a little bit but Valhalla may be my most favorite open world RPG ever (sorry Witcher 3)
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