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Valheim Review

Game image Valheim
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Posted: 12 weeks ago, last updated 9 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 Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 02/02/2021

Platforms: PC

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

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.


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.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Valheim is still in early access which means the game is still in-progress and accessibility may change throughout the development.

Difficulty

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

Cognitive Pressure

Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.

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.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

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

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.

Large Clear Text: Text is 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.

Navigation

How the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds and spaces.

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

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 Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

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.

No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.

Motion sickness friendly: Option to reduce motion sickness (motion blur, depth of field, field of vision).

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.

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

Communication

How you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

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... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @cbGameDev and @JonahMonaghan


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Games Like Valheim

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Valheim or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Valheim, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16+ or ESRB TEEN games.

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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