Multiplat Assassin's Creed Valhalla

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giggler99

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This can't really be a complaint because it's more self inflicted than anything, but even as a completionist I was done with the base Odyssey game in 80 hours. I'm at 78.5 and still have about 5 or 6 areas to go (story wise I've just hit Jorvik, only had two other options as the highest level areas were still unavailable). While I'm still enjoying it, it feels unnecessarily bloated. In Odyssey I was excited about hitting a new area to find new gear set pieces, hunt new mythological creatures etc.

Power wise I'm about 330-340 last I checked, so way over levelled but that's what happens when you're OCD about clearing a region out including every little yellow wealth dot even if they don't contribute to the region progression.

Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla were always touted as a trilogy so they were always going to be fairly similar. Valhalla feels the weakest of the three. I hope the series goes back on ice now like after Syndicate while they upgrade the Anvil engine for next gen and overhaul the game design again. I don't know which studio gets the next AC because both studios have either just released something or have something coming out. If they were alternating then it would be Ubisoft Quebec next, but they just released Fenyx Rising. Montreal only just released Valhalla. The majority of their other studios are supporting and used for post release content and support. The only other studio big enough to take on an AC game would be Toronto but 1) they've never made one, and 2) they just did Watch Dogs Legion and are also responsible for Far Cry 6.
They should do a remake of the original. Add the modern mechanics and some extra missions etc.. Go back to its roots.. You know what the core game was all about, being an Assassin!
 

dwwaino

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They should do a remake of the original. Add the modern mechanics and some extra missions etc.. Go back to its roots.. You know what the core game was all about, being an Assassin!
Unity was the closest thing to the original/AC2 and it wasn't really well received. The formula got stale and the best thing they did was put the series on ice to reinvent it. The original was pretty repetitive though, just going back through the same areas a few times.




Side rant about the state of the game/series from a long time AC fan:

I'd really love more Isu stuff. Even if I don't necessarily believe in all of it IRL, I'm a sucker for things like alternate universes and Ancient Aliens (not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens) as well as an armchair hobbyist of stuff like history, linguistics and religions and AC is one of the only game series that scratches all those itches at once. It was the whole secretive 2012, end of the world thing that got me hooked in AC1. I didn't care much for the setting after the second or third time of going back through the same areas to kill new dudes, but I couldn't wait to get back to Desmond inside Abstergo to learn more about the conspiracy stuff. AC2 Animus fragment hunting was conspiracy overload, and which ever game it was where piecing together the footage of Eden showed an Adam and Eve escaping was full on jizz. The few games where they crowbarred Minerva in felt a bit forced but it still kept me hooked. That was something I liked about Origins and Odyssey as there were the vaults and stuff where you learnt heaps about the Isu and what happened to them and their world.

I feel like I'm missing that in Valhalla. There are the fragments that you collect that are piecing together a full video like AC2 but I feel like they're only crumbs. I've only got two to go so can't wait to see the whole thing. A lot of people don't care for the modern day or main story stuff of AC so it's like it's becomming an after thought in the games when it's added on. It's the very hook of the game though and why you go into the Animus at whatever period to do stuff. I hope they can find a way to utilise and incorporate that side of the game more where it satiates the fans of that side of the game as well as being more engaging and meaningful for those who might not have typically cared that much for it.

IMO Valhalla has a bit of an identity crisis. Origins just worked, it was the reinvention of the series and was a success. It had RPG-lite elements with a world design that was obviously inspired by Witcher 3 but was still at its heart an action game with a loot pinata that kept you going. There was heaps of loot, heaps of quests and a massive and exciting world to explore. The game play loop was fight harder enemies in harder areas for better gear so you could take on harder enemies in harder areas, repeat. Odyssey was very much Origins on steroids. It was absolutely bloated with content, but it was done in a way that if you didn't like a particular aspect (exploring, grinding, sailing etc) then you could just ignore that part and still be able to get on with the game. Once you got late into the game you had the fun of hunting for and using all of those legendary gear sets to make unique builds with too. Valhalla just has an unrewarding game loop. It's not a fully fleshed RPG so it needs to win at being an action game, more so when it's not a looter at all any more. While I feel that the combat and action is the weakest of the three games, it wouldn't matter if it was rewarding. There's no loot as a reward. Loot is largely just found in designated chests and the odd quest item if you're lucky. In Origins and Odyssey to get more powerful you would upgrade your gear as you levelled up or replace it. Since gear in Valhalla doesn't really become obsolete the meaningful quality upgrades are walled behind regions. Then those regions are walled by your power level. I've hit 400 and getting mastery levels now at 93 hours, but I was only just recently able to upgrade my gear to legendary with tungsten bars. For a good 50 hours I had the same blue armour set with the same weapon (a legendary dane axe from Reda that I don't even think is available to find anywhere in game), how's that meant to be fun or deemed as engaging and rewarding gameplay? For that level of masochistic grinding to make sure ticked off every corner of the map in Odyssey I was at least rewarded. In Valhalla I have nothing at all to show for it except for like 20k leather and iron.

This is more subjective but I think the time period of Valhalla really misses the mark for an AC game too. I think someone at Ubi just really wanted a viking game, but clans fighting in Scandinavia probably wouldn't be as visually interesting or historically significant as Odyssey and the Spartans vs Delian League, so we get the Norse settlement of England instead.

So Valhalla isn't an RPG or a looter. It only has being an action game left. Is it really a good one at all? If I wasn't such a fan of AC then I'd probably say no.

endrant. Here's a picture of a dragon to make it more interesting

Concept-HighDragon.jpg
 

giggler99

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Unity was the closest thing to the original/AC2 and it wasn't really well received. The formula got stale and the best thing they did was put the series on ice to reinvent it. The original was pretty repetitive though, just going back through the same areas a few times.




Side rant about the state of the game/series from a long time AC fan:

I'd really love more Isu stuff. Even if I don't necessarily believe in all of it IRL, I'm a sucker for things like alternate universes and Ancient Aliens (not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens) as well as an armchair hobbyist of stuff like history, linguistics and religions and AC is one of the only game series that scratches all those itches at once. It was the whole secretive 2012, end of the world thing that got me hooked in AC1. I didn't care much for the setting after the second or third time of going back through the same areas to kill new dudes, but I couldn't wait to get back to Desmond inside Abstergo to learn more about the conspiracy stuff. AC2 Animus fragment hunting was conspiracy overload, and which ever game it was where piecing together the footage of Eden showed an Adam and Eve escaping was full on jizz. The few games where they crowbarred Minerva in felt a bit forced but it still kept me hooked. That was something I liked about Origins and Odyssey as there were the vaults and stuff where you learnt heaps about the Isu and what happened to them and their world.

I feel like I'm missing that in Valhalla. There are the fragments that you collect that are piecing together a full video like AC2 but I feel like they're only crumbs. I've only got two to go so can't wait to see the whole thing. A lot of people don't care for the modern day or main story stuff of AC so it's like it's becomming an after thought in the games when it's added on. It's the very hook of the game though and why you go into the Animus at whatever period to do stuff. I hope they can find a way to utilise and incorporate that side of the game more where it satiates the fans of that side of the game as well as being more engaging and meaningful for those who might not have typically cared that much for it.

IMO Valhalla has a bit of an identity crisis. Origins just worked, it was the reinvention of the series and was a success. It had RPG-lite elements with a world design that was obviously inspired by Witcher 3 but was still at its heart an action game with a loot pinata that kept you going. There was heaps of loot, heaps of quests and a massive and exciting world to explore. The game play loop was fight harder enemies in harder areas for better gear so you could take on harder enemies in harder areas, repeat. Odyssey was very much Origins on steroids. It was absolutely bloated with content, but it was done in a way that if you didn't like a particular aspect (exploring, grinding, sailing etc) then you could just ignore that part and still be able to get on with the game. Once you got late into the game you had the fun of hunting for and using all of those legendary gear sets to make unique builds with too. Valhalla just has an unrewarding game loop. It's not a fully fleshed RPG so it needs to win at being an action game, more so when it's not a looter at all any more. While I feel that the combat and action is the weakest of the three games, it wouldn't matter if it was rewarding. There's no loot as a reward. Loot is largely just found in designated chests and the odd quest item if you're lucky. In Origins and Odyssey to get more powerful you would upgrade your gear as you levelled up or replace it. Since gear in Valhalla doesn't really become obsolete the meaningful quality upgrades are walled behind regions. Then those regions are walled by your power level. I've hit 400 and getting mastery levels now at 93 hours, but I was only just recently able to upgrade my gear to legendary with tungsten bars. For a good 50 hours I had the same blue armour set with the same weapon (a legendary dane axe from Reda that I don't even think is available to find anywhere in game), how's that meant to be fun or deemed as engaging and rewarding gameplay? For that level of masochistic grinding to make sure ticked off every corner of the map in Odyssey I was at least rewarded. In Valhalla I have nothing at all to show for it except for like 20k leather and iron.

This is more subjective but I think the time period of Valhalla really misses the mark for an AC game too. I think someone at Ubi just really wanted a viking game, but clans fighting in Scandinavia probably wouldn't be as visually interesting or historically significant as Odyssey and the Spartans vs Delian League, so we get the Norse settlement of England instead.

So Valhalla isn't an RPG or a looter. It only has being an action game left. Is it really a good one at all? If I wasn't such a fan of AC then I'd probably say no.

endrant. Here's a picture of a dragon to make it more interesting

View attachment 1036711
I agree that the original has its flaws especially with the game mechanics, but it’s lore and historical concept and dialogue was great and is what ended up making the Ezio trilogy so special. I believe the series went down hill from AC3 on wards, even through Blackflag is one of my all time favourite games. Ubisoft rushed out the games and tried to exploit the players and forgot about its lore and story. Unity was good and they tried to change it up a little with it and I did enjoyed it but ultimately it was a broken game, lots of glitches with some horrible A.I and gameplay. Ubisoft's idea of turning AC in to a Witcher RPG type game just doesn’t cut it for me or works tbh all it’s doing is exploiting a market that’s already to saturated and by slapping an Assassins Creed title to it to cash in.
 

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Soft Downhill Skier

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Ok, so I pumped another 15 hours into this. Brings me to about 40.

The setting is just boring. Norway looked great. English countryside is not.

Combat is just a mess. Too easy, and reliant on win now moves.

The skill tree is a mess. You can't RPG your combat style.

The gear system is nothing. Minor stat bonuses, no desire to hunt down loot because there is none.

I'm genuinely confused why this got so much critical acclaim. It's not just a case of me finding it dull. I think the systems are objectively worse.
 

dwwaino

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Ok, so I pumped another 15 hours into this. Brings me to about 40.

The setting is just boring. Norway looked great. English countryside is not.

Combat is just a mess. Too easy, and reliant on win now moves.

The skill tree is a mess. You can't RPG your combat style.

The gear system is nothing. Minor stat bonuses, no desire to hunt down loot because there is none.

I'm genuinely confused why this got so much critical acclaim. It's not just a case of me finding it dull. I think the systems are objectively worse.
I think they are worse too. Take the combat. You can stun but staggering an enemy isn't reliable yet I can be stun locked mid combo. The "smart parkour" is itself a nightmare at times when there are two 50/50 paths to take or I'm trying to do something like climb through a window. There are very few landmarks worth visiting. In Origins it was exciting heading to the pyramids and other famous ancient locations of Egypt, I was constantly looking up modern day shots of the ruins of the locations and marvelling at how well the designers scaled and brought the location to life. Odyssey was similar. In the Odyssey thread I even put up some really cool comparison shots from the palace at Knossos. Crafting/upgrading isn't in anyway meaningful and I don't even feel any different after upgrading my stuff to max. There isn't even any feedback if I am more powerful or not. Skills in the tree don't feel that spectacular, and neither do the actual abilities. In Origins and Odyssey I started to feel like a god once I had my favourite abilities. It might have been a bit OP in the end but I felt like I had built up my character. I pretty much only use the hook thing and fire weapon. Occassionally I'll use the kick ability to kick someone off a ledge for lols, but since I use a 2h Dane axe a heavy attack usually does that anyway.

This is the axe I have been using that I bought from Reda (mine has a different perk though? Mine stacks light attack damage after each hit. My attack and stun is a lot higher too, I'm guessing from the runes I'm using and my own stats). I've been trying to find where to actually find it in the world and I don't think you can? This is the only article I can find. That means most of the cool looking weapons and armour that Reda sells you can't actually find in game. What the actual fu**?! So you have to grind daily contracts for a measily few opals for weeks to get a full set of it? The loot side of this game is absolutely borked and I as well don't understand how it received any acclaim what so ever. You can't hunt for mythical gear in this game because it doesn't exist outside of upgrading vanilla pieces with tungsten bars. That's an atrocious decision.

 

dwwaino

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Interesting read of opinions on the three latest ACs. Most are along the lines of what we've been saying here. Something else I completely missed in my word salads was not being able to switch weapons in Valhalla. I generally always 2H slow weapons in these sorts of games, but in Odyssey I could have a back up fast 1H if I needed it. I'm pretty sure my second weapon option was dual wield actually.

 

Dancing Potato

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For me, Odyssey is the best of the three. Hands down.

Kassandra was an awesome character. The game world was bright, vibrant, beautiful and felt the most alive out of the three games. The main story was engaging, the lore was deep, the side characters were interesting and sometimes hilarious (every interaction with Socrates was brilliant).

It also had the best combat, loot, skill tree and sense of accomplishment. Hunting down gear and levelling up felt powerful and meaningful.

Everything about Valhalla is a bit...vanilla? The Asgard arc is cool but everything in England is pretty bland. Eivor has nothing on Kassandra.

Plus the game makes no sense morally. We work with region leaders to bring peace and save lives, but also mercilessly raid and burn their monasteries and villages in these same regions. But can also play as an Eivor that spares people or ruthlessly kills them with story choices. But can't kill civilians without desynchronising. But can murder hundreds of innocent soldiers under the command of these region leaders, in the name of loot. Soldiers that won't start a fight first. But in some cases soldiers in cities attack on sight even after I've completed the region quest and secured a very public alliance with the leader.

It makes no sense. None of it.
 

juss

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Ok, so I pumped another 15 hours into this. Brings me to about 40.

The setting is just boring. Norway looked great. English countryside is not.

Combat is just a mess. Too easy, and reliant on win now moves.

The skill tree is a mess. You can't RPG your combat style.

The gear system is nothing. Minor stat bonuses, no desire to hunt down loot because there is none.

I'm genuinely confused why this got so much critical acclaim. It's not just a case of me finding it dull. I think the systems are objectively worse.
It's the first AC I've ever played.

There's nothing special about this game and definitely not one that would hook me into buying the next in the franchise. It's a solid - good game, but not much more. Quite repetitive so far.
 

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dwwaino

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Shame you can't get it until after the story. :(
Another decision I don't get. I have every piece of the Thor set except for cloak. I'm currently doing Winchester with only Hampton to go and wondering if I missed something. Then I looked it up and found out about that and the hammer. What's the point? There is no endgame. Where the hell am I supposed to use it?

So many dumb design decisions in this game.
 

dwwaino

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This popped up on my Reddit feed and I disagree totally. Different weather patterns does not make it a great setting.

Where do they get the four unique maps from? They aren't unique. Norway is just the same as Northumbria but with more climbing and water. Vinland is similar to the forested areas of Mercia. I do find the southern parts in Wessex to be quite appealing though. Jotunheim is just another snow area, but Asgard did remind me a bit of Atlantis from Odyssey.

I get it, opinions are subjective and they're always going to be different and I don't think anyone has a wrong one. That's just a sh*t argument though.
 

dwwaino

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Lol didn't even realise I had finished the main story. Nice "ending". I guess there is a real ending when I get the last of these collectables and kill this last order dude.
 

UnitedWarrior93

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Not sure how far along I am, think I’ve pledged 6 areas, played about 80 odd hours and have just hit level 200.
 

gaskin

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Lol didn't even realise I had finished the main story. Nice "ending". I guess there is a real ending when I get the last of these collectables and kill this last order dude.
Yep. The real ending is when you kill the Grandmaster. The other ending is more for those that just want to stop and not continue to grind for hours on end.
 

dwwaino

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Yep. The real ending is when you kill the Grandmaster. The other ending is more for those that just want to stop and not continue to grind for hours on end.
I just 100% it and yeah that's right but I still feel it is incomplete.

The AC reboot was always touted to be a trilogy, and I'll assume that meant a Layla trilogy. Instead we get a Layla and Basim cliff hanger. It's supposed to Layla's last game and it seems like her IRL body is dead and that was a poor way to end it.They put main arc story behind DLC the last time but nothing major, but this time if you want to know what actually happens you're going to have to buy the DLC which is pretty unfair.


At least that's completely finished and out of the way. Time to back up my save (don't trust the cloud) and uninstall this until the next main story DLC that I'll get anyway and probably still complain about.
 

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