Assassin's Creed Valhalla Review

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Posted: 8 weeks ago, last updated 5 days ago.

Author: @AntHaigh, @GeekDadGamer and @EamonGaudio.

OverviewOverview

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.

Valhalla places you in the role of Eivor, a Viking raider, who leads their clan of Vikings in the invasion of England. Combat has been altered from previous games to allow dual wielding of almost any weapon, including shields, to give a more Viking feel to the game. You can also control a raven giving you "Odin Sight" which can be used to scout the nearby areas as well as use their raven to distract guards.

All Assassins Creed games focus on a stealth and Valhalla makes use of this feature despite Vikings having a more raiding nature. Eivor can hide from enemies not only in grass and bushes, but can pull down their hood and slip into crowds to use them as cover.

The Assassins Creed Games also have a completely opposite side to them where the game you are playing is actually a VR type environment that the character is playing through 'DNA Memories' from their ancestors experiences to help open up the mysteries of History that have been forgotten, so gameplay will suddenly transfer into this future environment for you to play through this side of the story before you return to your ancestors legacy.

Of note to families with younger children not old enough to play the game but keen to explore the settings, there is a Discovery Tour mode and stand alone version on PC for Odyssey, Origins and Valhalla that provides a violence-free setting. This enables players to explore the full map without the pressure of quests and combat. It also adds enhanced cinematic scenes to focus on the smaller details being discussed during a tour. There are also quizzes to see how much history players have taken in during their exploration.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @Ubisoft

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 50 hours and 90 hours to complete. Longer play time is for players who seek out all the side missions and treasures.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.

The Season Pass includes two large expansions, as well as the Legend of Beowulf quest which focuses on the hero Beowulf, allowing players to discover the truth behind the character. This quest will be available on launch day for season pass owners.
  • Wrath of the Druids: Journey to Ireland, experiencing Gaelic myths and folklores. Fight through haunted forests and beautiful landscapes while gaining influence among Gaelic kings.
  • The Siege of Paris: Infiltrate the fortified city of Paris and the River Seine, uncover enemy secrets, and form strategic alliances to safeguard their clan’s future.
  • Seasonal Content: Free content with in-game events, including a new settlement, the Yule festival event, a new River Raids mode, and new skills and abilities.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 18+ due to depictions of graphic violence to humans and use of strong language. This game contains frequent depictions of graphic violence towards human-like characters. Powerful attacks with weapons can cause decapitation or dismemberment. Blood flows from wounds and severed limbs are seen lying on the floor after they have been cut off. The game also contains infrequent depictions of motiveless killing of innocent people. There is a section of the game in which the player must pillage a town. A number of the humans the player encounters are innocent men and women who can be killed indiscriminately. A large number of these characters will scream and try to flee. However, they can still be chased and then killed. There is also frequent use of strong language ('*!@?*' and '*!@?*').

ESRB rating MATURE 17+ because you use stealth to discreetly kill human targets. Players also use swords, axes, arrows, and siege weapons to kill multiple enemies (e.g., soldiers, mythic boss characters) in frenetic melee-style combat. Combat is highlighted by screams of pain and frequent blood-splatter effects. Some weapons allow players to decapitate enemies; zoomed-in sequences depict victims' bones, organs, and muscles getting damaged by players' blade. The game contains some sexual material: a mission taking place in a brothel; topless women straddling men; a character agreeing to “lay with” a man (kissing is depicted before the scene fades to black). A handful of sequences depict screen distortion/discoloration and impaired movements after players' character consumes mushrooms or inhales mushroom-based fumes (dialogue states, “I may still be buzzing from these mushrooms."). Players' character can also engage in a drinking contests; later sequences depict the character stumbling as the screen tilts and blurs. The words “f**k” and “c*nt” appear in the dialogue.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Assassin's Creed Valhalla builds upon previous Assassin's Creed games with more accessibility settings. Notably, the addition of support for Tobit Eye Tracker software. Some accessibility options, such as field of view, may only be adjusted on the PC version of the game.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game.

Adjust After Setting

Adjustable Anytime: You can adjust the difficulty while playing.

Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds.

Save Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time, and not lose progress.

Assistance

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.

View Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with points of interest and missions highlighted throughout entire game.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

Speaker Indicator, their Tone and Environment Sounds: Captions indicate who is speaking and their tone, game sound and music.

Voiced

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.

Menus are Voiced: All of the game menus can be narrated for easier navigation.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Mouse and Controller: Can play with mouse and controller simultaneously.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Re-map all buttons/keys.

Swap Sticks: Swap the sticks over.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Head-Up-Display Visibility

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.

Violence

Turn Off Blood: Reduce or disable graphic content of blood and gore.

Turn Off Dismemberment: Disable graphic depiction of dismembered bodies and corpses.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game.

System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings. Stadia offers some system accessibility features. Tandem enables you to use two controllers to play one character. This also enables you to connect other controllers like the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @AntHaigh, @GeekDadGamer and @EamonGaudio


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