AC: VALHALLA IS DAUNTING AND BEAUTIFUL   
Go for a wander. See what happens.               


REVIEW

By JAY TEE
16/11/20
Reviewed on Xbox Series X.

This key art is incredible.  

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWEET US @THATHITBOX, SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL,
OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@THATHITBOX.COM



Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a raucous and often times shocking adventure, that eschews the campy thrill of some of its wackier predecessors and instead chooses to double down on grit and grime. Don’t go in expecting a jolly romp; this is a game that revels in the dirty realities of Viking culture, and quite frankly is all the better for it. Gone are the needless side distractions and tangents of irrelevance, and in there place is a game confident in its execution.

From the opening moments you’re thrown into a harsh, often times unforgiving landscape, and the stakes are set to the max. There is an appreciated immediacy to the storytelling here, even though you’re encouraged to discover things organically and just be present in the world. You won’t find the padding and fluff that besieged some of the (still excellent) Ezio trilogy; your mission is clear, but how you get there really is up to you.

It’s worth taking the time to explore the settlement customisation, as upgrading its numerous facets will yield powerful rewards. Valhalla follows the trajectory toward full blown RPG that Origins and Odyssey established, and I’m so glad to see this new direction iterated upon so successfully here. You’re rewarded for your investment at every turn.

Visually, this is a stunner on next gen platforms, and while it’s no slouch on previous gen hardware (unlike Watch Dogs: Legion which clearly suffered as a cross gen release), Series X or PS5 is definitely the way to go. Compared to the initial unveiling, the biggest graphical leap can be seen in the character faces, and that same intricacy extends to the world design and art direction.

As with most open world titles, they require a certain suspension of disbelief, and Valhalla is no exception. For the most part, A.I., combat, and traversal all work as intended, but every now and then a wonky animation transition while exploring will take you out of the moment, and there is some polish needed to prevent NPC behaviour from going off track. But the in the grand scheme of things, these are minor quibbles.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is an enticing world where exploration and choices genuinely matter. You won’t want to stop playing.


WORTH IT?

AND

YEAH!
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a grandiose, enthralling adventure.   

There’s no filler - you’ll want to poke around and discover everything this world has to offer.

TARPS?

BETTER THAN*:

WORSE THAN*:

At the bottom of some of our articles, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.  

The BREAK THE TARGETS badge is for a game that has excellent side quests and/or optional missions and activities.

The KILLSTEAK badge is for a game where wins / kills are really satisfying.

The BOND THEME badge is for a game that makes you feel like a badass.  


The COLLISION COURSE badge is for a game that gives you more than one way to succeed.


The SARU’S GANGLIA badge is for a game that does a great job of visually immersing you in its world.



The SEVEN’S IMPLANTS badge is for a game enhanced for specific hardware, and / or re-released with technical improvements.


The PUMPKIN LOOK badge is for a game where the art style, graphics, and/or presentation are on top form.



Home

* This is not a serious comparison.