Assassin's Creed Valhalla (for PC): Another Winner
PC Magazine|December 2020
The Assassin’s Creed series has taken us to numerous historical settings since its 2007 debut, including Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, and Revolutionary War-era America. The newest installment, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, details the Viking invasion of 9th Century England from the perspective of history’s most notorious raiders. Though Valhalla doesn’t introduce anything wholly new to the series, it’s an excellent PC game that follows in the footsteps of its equally exceptional predecessors, Origins and Odyssey.
TONY POLANCO

TO GREENER PASTURES

In Valhalla, you play as a male or female Viking warrior named Eivor and travel with your clan from your ancestral Norwegian home to conquer and settle England’s fertile fields. Though more temperate than frigid Norway, England is no less perilous. Whether it’s Anglo-Saxon barbarians, trained soldiers under a king’s command, or untamed wildlife, England has many trials to challenge your Viking crew. To survive, Eivor and the clan must forge alliances with other Vikings and Anglo-Saxon allies.

Establishing and growing your settlement is one of Valhalla’s main features. By building and expanding structures such as a stable, forge, granary, barracks, and items shop, you’ll gain access to additional weapons, gear, warriors, horses, and other items. Unlocking and upgrading your settlement also opens up new missions. These, in turn, reward you with experience points, weapons, lore, and a chance to get to know your settlers better.

You’ll need sufficient supplies and raw materials to upgrade buildings, but the process is as simple as walking up to a structure and selecting “upgrade.” Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations featured a similar base-building mechanic. But those games’ settlement mechanics didn’t feel as intimate as Valhalla’s, because you upgraded buildings from a bird’s eye view similar to real-time strategy games. In Valhalla, you live inside your settlement and see it and its inhabitants mature over time.

BERSERKER RAGE

Good old-fashioned raiding is the best method for finding settlement materials. When you’re near a monastery, military fort, or enemy-controlled town while sailing down a river, the game prompts you to raid them. Running into a village with a horde of Vikings at your back makes you feel as powerful as an Asgardian. Battles are incredibly frantic affairs as enemy and friendly forces clash. During the slaughter, you can ransack churches for precious building materials, silver, weapons, and other items. You can attack only soldiers or warriors, which somewhat diminishes the feeling of being a blood-thirsty Viking who indiscriminately kills. Still, lopping off enemy limbs and heads is a joy.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (for PC)

PROS

Massive detailed open world that’s bursting with activity. Distinct, powerful weapons. Strong, character-focused narrative,

CONS

Struggles to maintain 60 frames per second in the open world.

BOTTOM LINE

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla continues the series’ recent winning streak. This stellar entry boasts an expansive world, many exciting missions, and a tight, character-driven plot that make it one of 2020’s best games.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PC MAGAZINEView All

Boston Dynamics' Spot Robodog Finds Work on a BP Oil Rig

Boston Dynamics’ four-legged canine-inspired Spot is by no means an old dog, but that doesn’t mean it can’t learn new tricks. The 55-pound robot, unveiled in 2016, has boarded BP’s Mad Dog oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, where it will master tasks including reading gauges, finding corrosion, mapping the facility, and sniffing out methane, according to Reuters.

1 min read
PC Magazine
December 2020

CAN THIS AI HELP SMOKERS QUIT?

While COVID-19 remains an occupying force in our world, and a viable vaccine is still out of reach, dealing with the pandemic comes down to mitigating health risks while coping with stress. If you’re a smoker, that’s going to be tough on both accounts. This isn’t the Mad Men era; everyone knows the risks of tobacco use, but cessation of addictive substances isn’t easy.

7 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

Assassin's Creed Valhalla (for PC): Another Winner

The Assassin’s Creed series has taken us to numerous historical settings since its 2007 debut, including Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, and Revolutionary War-era America. The newest installment, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, details the Viking invasion of 9th Century England from the perspective of history’s most notorious raiders. Though Valhalla doesn’t introduce anything wholly new to the series, it’s an excellent PC game that follows in the footsteps of its equally exceptional predecessors, Origins and Odyssey.

6 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

Microsoft Xbox Series X: An Impressive Console

The newest Xboxes are here, packing plenty of power into boxier frames than ever. Microsoft’s entries into the latest console generation are the Xbox Series X, reviewed here, and the Xbox Series S ($299).

9 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

2020's Most Common Passwords Are Laughably Insecure

Chances are that if a password is easy for you to remember, a hacker can easily crack it. And despite years (and years) of tech companies warning consumers to use hard-to-crack passwords, plus two-factor authentication, people are still using laughably insecure codes.

1 min read
PC Magazine
December 2020

THE BEST PRODUCTS OF 2020

It’s been a weird year.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

Virtual Movie Night: How to Watch Netflix With Friends Using Teleparty

Many of us are facing a long winter indoors, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. And though we have video streaming to distract us, watching shows and movies is more fun with friends. You could get everyone on Zoom and press play at the same time, but there’s an easier way: Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party).

2 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

Apple Mac mini (M1, Late 2020): Most Polished, Potent Tiny Desktop

The Mac mini doesn’t get upgraded often, but when it does, it makes an impact well out of proportion to its trim dimensions. The 2018 Mac mini was a PCMag Editors’ Choice pick for its pep, connectivity, build quality, and limited upgradability. A slight variation on the same sheet music, played with little fanfare earlier this year, pumped up the two base models’ SSD capacity. The real update of this iconic little desktop is this one, and it’s a big-band extravaganza. Apple’s own highly integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC), the M1 brings the Mac mini to new performance highs, and while a few fundamentals have changed, the peppy performance, the reasonable mix of connectivity, and a new lower $699 starting price combine to make it one of the best values in compact computers, period. It easily earns our Editors’ Choice nod.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
December 2020

Optoma HD39HDR: Bright, Low-Lag Projector

Designed for gaming and for watching movies and TV, the Optoma HD39HDR is one of a growing number of 1080p home projectors that can accept a 4K UHD (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) HDR signal and downconvert the resolution to 1080p. Some projectors in this category accept the input without really offering any of the benefits that high dynamic range promises for a wider color gamut or range of brightness levels. Others, including the Optoma, make good use of HDR. In my tests, the HD39HDR delivered more-vibrant color and far better shadow detail when I played the 4K HDR versions of movies on my Blu-ray player than when playing the 1080p SDR versions of the same titles.

6 mins read
PC Magazine
November 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review: Perfect Balance of Power and Price

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is everything you need and nothing else. Samsung pared down its flagship S20 series to a more palatable price, and the result is a value-minded standard-bearer to properly face up against the forthcoming iPhone 12 line. With fast performance, solid cameras, and often substantial discounts at major wireless providers, the S20 FE 5G becomes our default Android phone recommendation for 2020 as well as our Editors’ Choice.

7 mins read
PC Magazine
November 2020
RELATED STORIES

My Travel JOURNAL

How DAYS’s Thaao Penghlis (ex-Tony/Andre) learned the concept of “the arrogance of a loser” during a trip to Greece

8 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
October 26, 2020

MICROSOFT PLANS $1 BILLION DATA CENTER VENTURE IN GREECE

Microsoft has announced plans to build three data center sites in greater Athens, providing a badly needed investment of up to $1 billion to the Greek economy which has been hammered by the pandemic.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
October 09, 2020

A Light From Within

The only one who’d ever been afraid of me was me. Then came Bronwen

8 mins read
Guideposts
October 2020

Níkos Aliágas

Sharing the story behind his latest exhibition in cannes.

10+ mins read
Art Market
Issue #51. September 2020

VOTING DAY around the World

When it comes to elections in the United States, it’s pretty certain that most people will be voting on a Tuesday. The custom of voting on a Tuesday in November was established when many Americans were farmers. By November, the growing and harvesting seasons were over making it easier for farmers to leave their work and go vote.

2 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
September 2020

PPID DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUE ADVANCES

Year-round diagnosis of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, also known as Cushing’s) just got easier, thanks to the joint efforts of equine researchers in England and mathematicians in Australia.

3 mins read
Equus
Autumn 2020

.280 Ross

Testing New Brass and IMR Powders

8 mins read
Handloader
October - November 2020

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

Go slowly, look closely, and killer nudi shots could be your reward

3 mins read
Scuba Diving
July 2020

SOME LIKE IT HOT...SOME PREFER NOT

When the promise of Caribbean sunburns and crowds have lost their luster, it may be time to head for cooler climates further north.

6 mins read
Porthole Cruise Magazine
August 2020

KATE GETS BACK TO WORK

REPORTING FOR DUTY! AFTER THREE MONTHS OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT, KATE MIDDLETON IS EAGER TO BE A HANDS-ON ROYAL AGAIN.

1 min read
Star
July 13, 2020