I just want to start this by saying I’m not saying Valhalla is a bad game, it’s still a solid 8 or 9 (if you judge your games with numbers). It’s a very fun viking game and arguably feels a bit more like a creed game as it has the hidden blade and the order itself within the game, however I do feel it’s a step down from Odyssey.
First off as much as Eivor is a bad ass viking he’s no Alexios, I don’t blame Eivor for that I just don’t think there will be many new Creed protagonists that are better than sexy Alexi. I think the fact that Alexios is mostly on his own in his story made him such a focal point of the game whereas Eivor’s story is much more about the village he’s supporting, the alliances he’s forming and his badass raiding team. There is no fault on this and it’s completely down to personal preference, and it’s not to say Eivor’s story isn’t good, it’s great. However Alexios’ just felt ……more intensely focused I suppose.
A big thing in all Creed games (and Ubisoft games (and all RPGS or action games) ) is the open world you explore. I’ve read many things where Mr Joe Bloggs is bored of the Ubisoft format but I personally love it, and it really feels at it’s best in these last 2 Creed entries, and in Farcry 5…. In terms of the open world and exploration the more you get into dominating England the better it does become, with the raids being the highlight of the entire map. If you storm a camp or castle you’re given a choice to ‘raid’ with your crew, blow your horn and in they storm breaking skulls and…. well everything else….as they go. The real main difference is the ‘mystery’ surrounding the exploration, when you’ve synced a location you’re given differently coloured dots which give an idea if it’s going to be a treasure or mini mission, but nout else. Whilst this is a fantastic idea quite often you can get there and it’s an utter waste of time, especially if you’re not planning on 100%ing the map. Also as much as it’s fun to see sheep, and it is interesting that the locations look similar to my local area, you just can’t compare manky old England to ancient Greece…….and I REALLY miss the ship battles.
Lastly I suppose is the combat….well the weapons mostly. The combat is the same as the last 2 entries however it’s slightly clunkier, which works for a viking right. I think I just slightly miss the fluidity of Odyssey, with Eivor you can pretty much run through smashing R2 (by the way I played both on medium difficulty) and pretty much get by with the occasional parry, I rarely need to use my abilities. This was completely different with Alexios, I’d be parrying, switching weapons (in Valhalla I’m still using the same axe after 30 hours), using fire damage and more. I am only 30 hours into Valhalla so this may well change but so far the combat is just….different.
Perhaps it’s just the fact that I’m pretty much fresh off the heels of Odyssey and this doesn’t feel like a leap forward, at all, but Valhalla just isn’t scratching that same itch. I’m fully in when I’m playing it but I’m not rushing to get it on to see what happens, like I was previously. It’s not to say at all that it’s not a great game, it is really entertaining…But I doubt I’ll spend the same amount of time I did on Odysses trying to do everything on the map. Ubisoft have take half a step back with this. At least Valhalla has the norse gods!