ASSASSIN'S CREED VALHALLA
Official PlayStation Magazine - UK Edition|October 2020
What’s better than one axe? Two axes, of course
East Anglia is delightfully muddy, making a refreshing change of setting from Odyssey’s sunny Greece and Syndicate’s bustling industrial revolution. But gameplay-wise Valhalla doesn’t rock the Assassin’s Creed longboat. It takes Odyssey’s more RPG-focussed model and tweaks it. It looks different, but doesn’t feel especially new.

Squint at some of the in-game action and you could easily mistake what’s happening on screen for footage of the last game. Your character Eivor’s combat skills are displayed on the UI and accessed by holding a trigger (i for close-quarters, p for long-range), corpses glow with looty treasure, and numbers pop out of enemies. Functionally, much is as it ever was, with minor tweaks: auto-riding your horse now features a cinematic camera (à la Red Dead Redemption 2); in-battle health gains are governed by rations; and this time Eivor’s three-pronged skill trees resemble constellations.

RUN TO THE HILLS

All that said, it’s hard to object to the similarities to past games when Valhalla is on a roll. Waging an assault on Burgh Castle, Eivor takes command of the approach by sea, their longboat one of many Viking craft rolling over the rocky waves in the middle of a storm, lightning flashes illuminating the castle in the distance. It’s gorgeous. Viking drums increase in tempo and you can’t help but feel a surge of adrenaline as Eivor hops out of the boat to storm the castle, entering the bloody fray.

A Viking’s life for me

Eivor and company have plenty scheduled for their England tour

1 As you sail along the coast, raids can be initiated from the longboat, with your crew jumping on land to fight next to you (or you can go stealthy).

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