Edit: Interesting, this post seems quite controversial. I guess Valhalla isn't very popular on this Reddit? Honestly that scares me because the last thing I want is a return to the one-note gameplay and shallow worldbuilding of Odyssey. I guess people liked Odyssey as a pure combat and fort-clearing sandbox but that's really not what I want from AC games.
Also, I should have just said 'Valhalla is a major improvement on Odyssey' because it was really Odyssey that left a bad taste in my mouth – not Origins. Origins had more than enough going on for me to enjoy.
I was hopeful Valhalla would be better than Odyssey but it's actually surpassed my expectations. I'm really impressed with how much effort they put into giving each area its own stories and reasons to explore – gone are those awful copy-pasted forts and tombs, gone are the horrible collectibles that just reward you with engravings, now it really feels like there's a reason to explore every area because it feels like the old AC formula of giving you a variety of stuff to do and collect is back. And every activity or feature is nested within larger activities and features to make the world feel more cohesive – just like old AC. Even little things like putting notes in the locations that give more backstory to each region helps a lot.
I like that there's a greater focus on stealth and parkour and that they made some effort to tighten up the animations and make Eivor's movement feel a little more cinematic. It's still nowhere near something like Unity obviously, but it's certainly better than Odyssey. And he's no assassin but at least Eivor can actually be low-key and do proper stealth kills again. And what a great, chilled but badass character Eivor is. I have no complaints about male Eivor whatsoever and that's rare these days.
And the visuals – this game is doing stuff with smoke and water and depth of field and light and color that I haven't seen any other game do. It's utterly gorgeous and a huge step up from Odyssey. For years now AC games have stood out as some of the most beautiful games of their generations and Valhalla may just be the series' finest moment. The directed cut scenes are god tier but even the regular scenes are very impressive because of the ingame lighting and effects. It really draws you into the world.
Then there are the good things from Odyssey and Origins that got even better – the quality of life features like autopilot to your destination, cinematic cameras – even the ships have it now. AC games don't get enough credit for this stuff.
I guess the one slightly controversial element is the combat. I'm enjoying it but its been slow going expanding my moveset or finding new weapons, and the repetitive finishing moves that take control of the camera do get a bit annoying. I wasn't a big fan of the Odyssey loot grind but I can't say Valhalla's combat has necessarily been better so far. Hopefully, it will get better when I unlock more abilities but Odyssey certainly gave you more to have fun with much earlier.
All in all though – this is the best AC game in quite some time – hell the best Ubisoft game period in a long time. It's very rare to have a game this expansive maintain such a high level of quality at multiple levels. Well done guys.
- Odyssey is better than Valhalla? Agree or disagree?
- Returning to Origins after Odyssey/Valhalla, an even greater appreciation.
- How does AC Valhalla do in these aspects?
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