Table of contents:
- 2. The setting: where am I actually here?
- 3. You can assassinate again
- 4. The combat system: raids and wrangling
- 5. The game world: level by level
- 6. Before each fight: pick berries
Video: Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Preview: 6 Findings After 3 Hours Of Play
Again you can choose from a female and a male character at the beginning of the game. Both bear the name Eivor and, as in Odyssey, the selection seems to have primarily visual effects and does not affect the course of the plot or the cutscenes. Like Kassandra, the female version of Eivor has not fallen on the lips, stands as a wedding guest with arms folded in the corner, triumphs at drinking games and behaves just as self-determined and of course as is expected from the male counterpart.
It is not yet possible to say exactly who Eivor is, since we were thrown into a chapter from the middle of the game and were not yet allowed to see the actual start of the story. It is only known that Eivor belongs to the Norwegian Vikings.
2. The setting: where am I actually here?
Assassin's Creed Valhalla takes place in 873, a time when Saxons, Danes and Vikings crossed axes in the British Isles. An important figure in this scuffle, at least in the demo, is Oswald from East Anglia. It really did exist, as his Wikipedia article proves, but practically nothing is known about him today except for a coin. This gives Ubisoft Montreal the creative freedom to design the details of the framework according to their own ideas, without getting into gross historical contradictions.
A look at the world map reveals that Oswald will not remain the only supporting personality of the plot. The demo area East Anglia is only one of numerous regions and in the finished game you will be able to travel as far as the south coast and even across the North Sea.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla: "Cinematic World Premiere Trailer" Ubisoft [DE]
3. You can assassinate again
A feature that caused a lot of discussion in Odyssey was the level system. Anyone who ventured into areas that were too difficult was not only inferior in battle, but also could not rely on their own skills as an assassin. Even a surprise ambush attack only drained some enemies of a third of their life energy as soon as the level difference was too big.
In Assassin's Creed Valhalla, attacks like in the old series parts should be possible again. We were also able to convince ourselves of this when we gradually overpowered the residents of a bandit camp and then released a bear from the cage who took care of the other adversaries.
Start photo gallery (18 photos)
4. The combat system: raids and wrangling
It is clear that in Valhalla there is again fighting at every nook and corner of the game world. The basic principle remains the same as in Odyssey: In addition to your regular actions such as light and heavy attacks, blocks and evasive steps, special skills are also possible again, such as a kick that stuns your opponents for a moment. However, not only the life energy of your opponents plays a role in the fight, but also their endurance. Similar to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it is also possible in Valhalla to kill opponents with a special attack as soon as they have taken too many hits in a row and are too exhausted to continue fighting.
A hint of sekiro is also included in the boss fights, as careful and planning can avoid entire phases of boss fights. So we should actually defend ourselves against villain Rued as well as his wolf companion in one of the bos fights. Instead, we can overwhelm Rued with a well-planned assassination attempt and then only have to defeat the wolf in battle.
While in Odyssey, Spartans and Athenians dug bumps in the conquering battles, there are mass battles in Valhalla in the form of raids. However, these are much more structured. First of all, it is your job to break through the fortifications of your target, for example by helping to push a battering ram to the opposing goal. However, archers and close-range fighters who want to prevent you from doing so also want to be repelled. Alternatively, you can also go a more secret way here and climb the ramparts by hand. After you have eliminated the opposing archers on the ramparts, either in close combat or secretly with your hidden blade, you can simply open the gate for your allies from the opposite side.
5. The game world: level by level
You can travel the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla freely, whether on foot, on horseback or again on board a ship. Of course, the fast travel typical of the series should not be missing, for which you must first unlock a viewpoint as usual. You should still exercise caution when traveling through the game world.
A look at the world map revealed that the areas of the game recommend a certain amount of strength. The ideal power level for East Anglia is around 55, but there are some regions where this value is beyond 300. That doesn't mean that Valhalla makes the same mistake as Odyssey and fills the surrounding areas with the same, but miraculously more difficult opponents. There were no signs that opponents themselves had levels in the three hours of play.
However, this does not automatically mean that level upgrades and character enhancements are dispensed with. Through battles won and successful story progress, you unlock skill points that give you more attack power, better defense and more bonuses.
6. Before each fight: pick berries
There is a feature that caused irritation in the demo. In order to heal in battle, Eivor relies on rations. These are replenished by collecting berries or hunting wild animals. On paper, this is an interesting mechanism that fits wonderfully into the scenario. In practice, however, it reveals its pitfalls. This is mainly because the healings are not easily replenished. So if you lose a boss fight or a raid, you can usually try it a second time immediately, but then you have to live with the fact that a cure is no longer possible with this attempt.
So if you want to be optimally prepared, you have to search for the next forest for berries and wild animals for ten minutes after each fight. Not an ideal solution. It is quite possible that the search for rations will be simplified or automated in the course of the game, for example through certain skill upgrades or through skills that are only unlocked in the course of the action, but none of this could be seen in the demo. Whether this system will slow down the game unnecessarily or whether Ubisoft still has a suitable solution ready is the biggest question mark around Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
The Assassin's Creed series now includes dozens of main games and numerous offshoots. In our quiz you can prove your knowledge about the Ubisoft assassin series!
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