Assassin's Creed Valhalla is another of Ubisoft's most important releases for what lies ahead (also on PS5 and Xbox Series X) and I have been able to play three hours calmly, days before this Ubisoft Forward, to see from First-hand changes and improvements regarding Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
It is said soon, but since the first Assassin's Creed in 2007, the French company has not stopped with the main saga, releasing a new game every year... until that 2018. This two-year hiatus has served to add a series of variables interesting in Valhalla that we will detail below with an advance.
The part of this adventure I tried was somewhat advanced, through the territory of East Anglia. This information is important, because the only thing we could not experience was the development of our base, where we can recruit more people for our side and see how our town thrives, a bit along the lines of Far Cry Primal. And all because the base is in a very specific place...
As we already knew, this Valhalla is set in Viking-era England, with a fractured nation waiting to be conquered. We will take the role of Eivor, chosen name for our warrior, regardless of gender. And the future of history will depend on everything we do, since this time the consequences will be more reliably reflected.
The initial sensations, by setting and locations, take us back to what we experienced with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt half a decade ago, which is a compliment. Not in vain Ubisoft has bet more hard with the RPG facet and has polished the progression of the character with a new menu for the abilities and different passive improvements, based on the astrology of that time and all its deities.
The core remains with respect to the previous Odyssey, but there are modifications in relation to combat, yes. We have a clear example in the substitution of the strong attack, which in this case has four shortcuts to perform that function based on the skills equipped. In total, we will have eight shortcuts based on near or far attacks.
It is not the only thing that attracts attention in the early stages, since now we will not automatically replenish our lives. Now we depend on a food reserve, having to collect berries and others to heal us instantly or have food stored to heal us. In any case, it does not have a slow use time, as in Dark Souls, but it is of immediate effect. And here perhaps Ubisoft should have been much more aggressive.
Valhalla improves more if possible seen in Odyssey
Just because you couldn't access our base doesn't mean we didn't have access to related items like recruiting more allies. This is extremely important in the face of incursions, those large-scale battles where we besiege enemy settlements to gain control of them.
This is done from a boat, which we previously called using a horn: as the whistle for our horse, let's say it like this. And in this sense, of the two forays we made, we came across an especially spectacular one after a long journey through the sea, with an endless number of flaming arrows falling very close to our boat. A Normandy proto-battle, in essence.
Within each raid there are enemies of different kinds, among those who are in the front line and who do not put up resistance, including archers who do not stop bothering (it helps a lot to destroy the burning vessels to eliminate them from that very advantageous position) and others large, semi-bosses. And all to finish, of course, against the boss on duty and end up stealing all their gold and other possessions so that our wealth can prosper in the face of the base.
There is a lot to do in Assassin's Creed Valhalla and every exploration has its reward. There was a sorcerer who reminded me in part of the experience against the demanding Valkyries of the last God of War, while I verified in another duel how difficult certain animals are in hand-to-hand combat due to their high mobility. Ironically, yes, the only battle in which I almost died was against a humble fishing boat who wanted to demonstrate his honor in front of his son. And all because it had an extremely lethal spear attack.
Among the novelties, the addition of Animus Anomalies, a series of special tests where parkour meets the resolution of some skill puzzles, surprises... And with the surprise that we will not reveal.
A very lively world with many things to do
Three hours go a long way in Assassin's Creed Valhalla and luckily I was able to see a wide variety of situations, such as when exploring East Anglia without a specific point, bumping into a most disturbing post where satanic cults seemed to take place. Or looking hard for a person who wanted to challenge us to a duel of insults, to Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
There was a time for messing around, of course. After saving the skin of a certain secondary character (we can decide the future of each one based on our decisions, of course), a celebration took place before which we were able to carry out different activities to relieve tension. And there the funniest was the beer test, to lower Broder's smoke by showing that a woman also knows how to drink. The joke came later, after showing me affectionate after defeating him by calling him by the name of his brother Brothir. What a rebound he caught!
It was one of the aspects that I liked the most about this installment and what it has been emphasizing for a few years: that feeling that their world is more alive and with characters that we can end up loving or that simply provoke us some kind of reaction, like a laugh.
Of course, not a hair is cut with executions. It is not for nothing that we are Vikings. And we must remember that here the hidden leaf returns. Logically, there will be many more weapons to choose from to massacre rivals, such as twin axes, swords or, of course, bows to unleash other types of abilities. We will feel at home if we play the latest installments.
Although I really liked the direction of the saga since Assassin's Creed Origins, which knew how to break that monotony in which it had been for many years, I was not so enthusiastic from the outset with this Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but the truth is that it has finally conquered me and I want it to be one of the first games to release the next generation consoles.