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.

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