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Thoughts / Suggestions After Finishing Valhalla (Minimal Spoilers)

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Leo K's picture
Leo K
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Finished the game.

The marketing is super misleading.

This game is intensely First Civilization-heavy, moreso than any other game before, and it gives me the same vibes the endings of AC2/ACRevelations/AC3 gave me, throughout the experience. This was overseen by Darby (Revelations/Black Flag) so that's to be expected, because, in the words of Jeffrey Yohalem, "Darby loves Lore."

This game does not really "add" new elements to the Assassin's Creed universe, like the previous games did.
Instead, it looks back on the thirteen years the series has existed, puts its foot down and says, "This is getting ridiculous. Enough is enough. Time to start wrapping these things up and concluding them." And that, it does. NOT EVERYTHING. But a LOT. Enough to make me question how Ubisoft even allowed them to make something this narratively satisfying.

If you're an AC veteran who's been playing since AC1, you WILL notice things and you will be super happy they even bothered to conclude them. The future, though, is uncertain, because this era of Assassin's Creed is over. From AC1-Valhalla can be considered one overarching story, and this is what has, from what I saw, been concluded. What is being teased at the end is... the next era. Whatever it may be.

What Is True:

  • You're still Layla Hassan.
  • You are a Viking. You can fight very well. Oftentimes the fastest solution is to fight and kill everything brutally.
  • Parkour is still basically non-existent. But, you can Slide out of a Sprint! You can also still Vault low objects. Fun.
  • You do pledge to different Territories of England to either conquer them or build alliances with them.
  • The "core" of the game's loop is the Settlement, which is not optional in this game like it was in previous ones. It IS the game. This is Eivor's raison d'etre.
  • There is a Viking woman named Eivor Varinsdottir and she is the (canon) main Synced character.
  • There is a [REDACTED] named [REDACTED] and he is the other (canon) main Synced character. You may choose to wear him as an Animus Hack "Skin" over the True Eivor if you prefer to play as a guy. Don't do this. The story makes WAY more sense if you choose the middle, Animus-Directed experience instead. You will still need to play as him sometimes, and you will thank me for letting the Animus give you that at the correct times.

Important Stuff:

  • If you're an AC1 fan, look forward to the 3 Cities in the game. My god, do the Cities. You'll have to, they're mandatory, but I cannot overstate how interesting they were. See what you end up noticing!
  • You only get one substantial Present Day segment in the entire game. It's very good, though, and it all fits.
  • Layla's Laptop has some very fascinating files. If you liked AC1-III, you have a responsibility to yourself, to listen to them. You'll see why.
  • This game is buggy on all platforms, though whether you get the worst bugs is a game of chance.
  • It has three different difficulty selectors, though in its launch state I would advise staying away from Master Assassin for Stealth and just do Assassin. I essentially poisoned much of my enjoyment of my first playthrough playing on Master Assassin from the beginning. Trust me. It is awful when you pair it with weird things like guards sighting you instantly from 50m away because you breathed wrong. When the game is fixed more, Master Assassin will be more fair, but right now it is either deeply broken (for some players) or is unforgiving but works fine (for some players).
  • The Animus Anomalies are super important. They unlock a video file akin to The Truth from AC2. Called The Hidden Truth in this game. You need to watch this in order to understand what's happening.
  • The Visions are super important. They are the Isu Era viewed through a Norse Cultural lens. But if you pay attention, you may start... noticing familiar voices, especially in the second region. Play and finish ALL three of these as soon as you can.
  • The Abandoned Hidden Ones Bureaus and their Codex Pages are super important. Experiencing them gives you some appreciable information on The Hidden Ones, and what it was like to have to pull out of Rome when they were pushed away from that region.
  • This game reveals MAJOR information about The Order of the Ancients, the Templar Order, and the Instruments of the First Will, namely, how they're different, what similarities they share, and why and how they came to be.
  • Nothing I just mentioned is DLC. It is all in the most basic version of the game, as it should be.

I really enjoyed this game on a narrative level.
In terms of gameplay, it's an evolution of Origins, and it shows.
But, I think by now, I am tired of this very wide, flat, overwhelmingly massive RPG formula about Horsing from place to place.
They fixed the story. Now they need to retrieve their gameplay.

Dense Cityscape. Fluid Movement. Creative Stealth. Lethal Combat.
Nothing less.

161803398874989's picture
Joined: 12/13/2010

Just wanted to let you know this was read and appreciated. Smile


"Betraying the Assassins is never good for one's health."
"Well, neither is drinking liquor, but I'm drawn to its dangers all the same."

stabguy's picture
Honolulu, HI USA
Joined: 09/15/2009
161803398874989 wrote:
Just wanted to let you know this was read and appreciated. Smile

I concur! For a while I avoided reading this topic because of the subject. It said "spoilers" and "suggestions after finishing". I thought it was going to be Leo saying, "I finished Valhalla. Do you guys have any suggestions for my second playthrough?" Instead it was Leo giving us suggestions for our first playthrough. Very useful.

You won't even feel the blade.