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Valheim Review

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Posted: 7 months ago, last updated 11 weeks ago.

Author: @JonahMonaghan, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Valheim is a Viking inspired strategy game for up to 10 players. You build, survive, conquer, and explore the world. It's popular because it combines strategy of building your town stronghold with tough adventures and encounters with the enemies of the world.

Your goal is to slay Odin's ancient rivals in order to free your soul and ascend to Valhalla. In the massive procedurally generated world you can build settlements, castles, and ships using the game's extensive crafting system, where survival is in your hands.

The games rapid rise to success and popularity is from its large open world to explore: mysterious forests, snow-capped mountains and lazy meadows. Each area has its own creatures and legends to discover. You can summon vengeful primordial creatures of the world's myth that can be defeated to collect trophies and craft new items.

Fighting draws on the exacting mechanics of Dark Souls style games. You need to learn to dodge, block and attack with a wide range of weapons. You travel to these battles in the ships you build and sail through the world. Back home you are able to build a complex and customised homestead. The flexible house and base building allows you to raise mead halls, farms, settlements outposts, castles and more.

While many of these elements have existed in other games, Valheim uses them in concert to impressive effect. As you take on missions and explore, unexpected encounters, weather and monsters can appear. This, along with the day-night cycle, living world and simulated physics gives the game a feel that anything can happen -- and usually does.

Valheim is out in beta on PC via Steam. A Mac version is expected, but currently Valheim Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 are not planned. Although the developer has said it "won’t rule out console versions in the future".

DetailsGame Details

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 02/02/2021

Platforms: PC

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

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @ValheimGame

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 40 hours and 60 hours to complete. Duration depends on how you play the game, but the worlds and mythology invite players to spend many hours.
 
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online. You can play with up to 10 players. This is supported in player-hosted servers and unlimited world creation. Playing with 3-5 players offers the optimum experience.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.  

You don’t need a paid subscription to play this game online. Valheim is available via early access release. This enables the developers to refine the game for releasing it more widely. "We want to make the best game we can, and even in beta we’ve learnt that working directly with our community is the best way to do that. Valheim is a huge world and we have lots that we want to add, and Early Access is a way for us to receive constant valuable feedback, collaborate with our players on what they want to see, and keep our players in mind at every step of the development cycle.”

The final version will have additional content, such as "new biomes, new enemies, new bosses and new materials to find. We want to expand the crafting system with new crafting stations, and of course more recipes. We also want to add more types of weapons and build-pieces so you can further customize your viking stronghold, and make it withstand new threats.”

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB. Likely to be PEGI 16 and ESRB TEEN. As the developer states this is "a brutal exploration and survival game". When you die you a tomb stone appears and your body disappears with large splashes of blood on the ground.

Although you can talk to other players you don't know in the game, you can set up your own server to be able to control who you play with.


Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 12-18 year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity. Because of the teamwork and online world to navigate this requires considerable skill. You also need to persevere to make progress and not be put off by the sometime harsh world you play in.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.



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