Assassin's Creed

Somehow, Ghost of Tsushima is a better RPG than Valhalla

The new river raids are all about combat and it shows just how lacking Valhalla is in that aspect. I went back to play Odyssey and Ghost of Tsushima to compare what those games did right because I really enjoyed their combat.

Odyssey is a good RPG because your armour stats matter a lot. Depending on your gear, you can do almost no damage or insane damage that almost breaks the game with how easy it becomes. Depending on which stats you focus on, you can make very different builds. But that's what makes it fun. You can still go back to it after the story, watch build videos on Youtube and try to put something fun together yourself. On its own, the combat and gear are almost endlessly fun to mess around with.

Ghost of Tsushima is a good action game because of how versatile combat is. You have different stances which have different move sets and are effective against different types of enemies. You have your ghost weapons, armour sets and charms which are your mods that you slot in to give perks. No matter your gear, your sword will still kill things but all those perks add up to let you be noticeably more powerful in some aspect. You can create a ghost 'fear build' to terrify enemies more often, or a ronin 'resolve' build so you can abuse heavenly strike more often. Builds aren't as distinct as Odyssey's builds but they still exist, all while still being a fun action game.

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Valhalla tries to toe the line between the two and fails at both. The only thing that matters for gear is how much resources you've put into it. One max level piece is the same as any other. You'll have a max level armour set which only adds 1 damage when its perk is active. One max level axe is the same as another, so why have different ones at all? It fails as an RPG.

As an action game, it's functional but not great. Kill animations break the flow and you can tank too much damage. All weapons do the same damage so spears are the best because they have the best speed and range. And compared to Tsushima, you have too few options at any moment. Hit, parry, or use a bow or ability. That's it.

So it's not as good an action game as Tsushima. Not as good an RPG as Odyssey. And because gear doesn't matter, somehow Tsushima – which is an action game – has more build diversity than Valhalla.

What happened here?


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