Assassin's Creed

Why Valhalla was so disappointing

I've just finished after about 100 hours of playtime and wanted to get my thoughts on the game down, and why I found it such a letdown…

For me this had to be the worst storyline across the AC series. I got why Eivor/Sigurd left England but it felt a bit contrived but hey, it's just the prologue.

The entire story arc in England felt so disjointed and arbitrary. Obviously the end goal was to pacify England to then conquer it, but that just felt a bit too abstract/overbearing to really get invested in. I think this was because it never felt like there was a main villain that you really wanted to get or an objective you wanted to achieve. Compare this Odyssey, where I felt emotionally invested in finding Alexios' mother and fighting Deimos/the Order. In Valhalla, getting rid of the Order just felt like a box ticking excercise rather than doing it for any real reason.

In such big games I think you need a more affecting, straightforward storyline to keep you invested through the grinding, and one that you can remember when when you inevitably stray from the main quest line due to the sheer amount of other quests/activities on offer.

Valhalla didn't have this for me but the shame is it maybe could have – the Eivor/Sigurd relationship was interesting but any investment is killed by the fact that after Fulke captures him he isn't present in the game for like, 60 hours of gameplay? There are a couple of references from Randvi and the fight with Dag, but other than that Sigurd takes a complete back seat.That storyline then becomes so disjointed and when he comes back into the game, it's hard to know what you're supposed to think about him.

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The Valhalla segment then really comes out of the blue – might have been to nice to play as Sigurd to get more of a sense why he suddenly knew there was an Isu machine in Norway that transports you to Valhalla? Rather than him just going, oh here it is. That whole segment was interesting, but I think it was because it wasn't another mindless territory pledge/castle siege – it was still very sudden and jolting and not that well explained (but when has the Isu stuff in AC ever been well explained)

Basim was probably the most intriguing character/storyline,>! due to the Loki link,!< but he felt criminally underused. He could have been one of the main villains that drives you in the more boring part of the game,>! but instead he just turns up in Norway (somehow tracking them?) when the dark side of his character has barely been developed. Then when he gets out of Valhalla and into modern day – a cool development – his character just fades away again?!<

Ultimately, the Valhalla story wasn't really interesting/emotionally affecting for me and I never had that sense of anticipation towards the ending which you get with other top games. As a result, the monotony of the majority of the game became even less appealing, and if it wasn't for lockdown I'd probably have left it. And the less said about the order of Ancients ending the better.

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I know there's in game purchases and so on and I didn't necessarily mind the lack of weapons overall, it just felt such a slap in the face that you can get Excalibur, Gungnir and Mjolnir once the game has ended. What's the point in that? My enjoyment of the game would have gone up five-fold if I'd been able to twat people with Mjolnir during the main storyline. Instead a settled on a flail/spear combo that I ended up using for about 70% of the game. Again, monotonous.

Skill tree
I'm a pretty seasoned gamer but this was the most convoluted skill mechanic I've ever, ever seen. You can tell Ubisoft knew it was difficult by making a mention of it being overwhelming in the hints and tips. I'm not sure you could even make a particular build given you basically get enough skill points to fill out the tree entirely?

Lack of England lore
Should add here I thought the Norse mythology sections (Asgard/Jotunheim) were great but I felt there was such a missed opportunity within England. One of the great parts of Odyssey was the options to track down the Minotaur and similar mythological characters. Maybe England just doesn't have as many…but it would have broken up the monotony of the main storyline.

Enough said.

In the pros column, I thought the mysteries were a great addition and as mentioned the Norse mythology sections were great (but benefitted from existing storylines). Overall though I'd give the game just 5.5/10 and is definitely the least I've enjoyed an AC game.

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