Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise has had its ups and downs for quite some time now. There are times when these games disappoint us, and there are times when it impresses us, but one thing is for sure, no one knows what’s coming next. So when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla got announced I was a little sceptical with what I saw, with regards to its overall gameplay approach.

However, every game deserves a chance to prove itself, so here I am to review Ubisoft’s massive masterpiece of the year, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla! Without further ado, let’s go on a Viking journey.

What is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest entry in the franchise that allows players to take on the role of a Viking, to claim England as their own. The game also marks the return of the iconic Hidden Blade after it got replaced with a broken spear in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Developed and published by Ubisoft, the game follows the same formula of utilizing an open-world action roleplaying approach; that provides players with a vast and dangerous environment to thrive in as a true Viking.

With every new Assassin’s Creed game, Ubisoft is continuously trying to improve upon the direction, while keeping specific established elements as it is. And Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is no different in that aspect; however, not all of the changes are working in it’s favour.


Ubisoft has been hard at work with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla by bringing various components together to give players a well-rounded gameplay experience. And as much as I enjoyed fighting and exploring, at times, it felt like the game wasn’t sure what it was trying to be.


Ubisoft revamped its entire combat mechanics back in 2017 with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, by turning its focus to more of loot-based warfare. And Assassin’s Creed Valhalla follows in the very same footsteps but decides to take things a step further by embracing the inclusion of stamina. Thus, in turn, becoming a full-fledged Souls game without the horrendous dying.

Stamina operates quite differently in the Valhalla and somewhat feels like a redundant component that was added to create realism but failed to accomplish it.

Stamina drains when a player uses block, dodging and heavy attacks during combat. It can easily get recharged by using quick attacks that don’t miss the target, or just by waiting it out. And even when it gets emptied, the only mechanics that are affected are dodging and blocking, which means you’re still able to dish out damage as usual without much of a setback.

Thus, all the player has to do is swap between quick and heavy attacks to keep stamina going without much effort in managing it. This repetitive routine makes the game feel quite basic and boring in the early stages and only gets better when abilities are unlocked.

Thus, all the player has to do is swap between quick and heavy attacks to keep stamina going without much effort in managing it. This repetitive routine makes the game feel quite basic and boring in the early stages and only gets better when abilities are unlocked.

That brings me to my next point, the hidden blade and the aspect of stealth. While you’re completely engrossed with the combat system, it’s easy to forget that you’re also an Assassin. The game tends to forget that fact as well with its abilities and content catering more towards a Viking experience, rather than a stealthy one.

As someone who loves stealth approaches, even I admit it’s so much more fun to be a screaming Viking rushing into battle, instead of whistling in the bushes to lure enemies. It just doesn’t fit all that great with the character you’re playing as a whole.

Skills and Abilities.

In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the skills system has been modified to not only include abilities to enhance gameplay but also passives to create your character in the way you want to play it.

For example, if you want a tanky fighter, then you should focus on unlocking the nodes that grant health, and if you want your character to be a deadly Viking, then go with the nodes that grant critical bonuses instead. Whatever you choose, your avatar will never be the same as someone as else.

The best part of the skill system is that you can reset it anytime you want, except during missions, without any requirements; so you can change things up according to the situation. However, the manual process can be tedious after a while, since there’s no option to save skills builds and swap them around instantly.

Abilities are what makes combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla essentially fun in the long run, and it can be unlocked within the skill system. But to get to that point, you’ll have to grind a bit more than usual for additional levels; so be prepared to do more side missions if you want quicker access to these abilities.

And even then, it’s not as simple as following the nodes to the abilities you want to unlock. Ubisoft has deliberately designed the skill system in a way that additional portions of the skill system only reveals itself after specific nodes are obtained. Thus, to know what abilities you want to gain, you’ll have to perform several trials and errors which is honestly a waste of time.

Raids and Settlements.

Raids is the bread and butter of what makes Assassin’s Creed Valhalla so great. Instead of infiltrating an enemy stronghold silently to loot and take out targets in previous games, raids allows you to throw caution to the wind and charge in headfirst with your comrades. The feeling of raiding is so primal that it becomes exceedingly fun and makes you feel like a true Viking of the era!

And it never gets boring because raids are not there just there for the fun of it, it serves a purpose. The raw materials obtained during raids will enable players to build up their settlement and thus creating a real home for their people. Okay sure, you can get all technical with the fact that you’re destroying other people’s homes to make your home, but you have to admit that it’s quite rewarding in the end!

The Order.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla may come off strongly as a Viking game, but Ubisoft has made sure to include the fundamental elements of an Assassin’s Creed game within it. Just like the previous two games, Valhalla brings back the intricate web of targets that you’ll have to assassinate, clues to decipher and storylines to clear until you finally reach the Grandmaster of the Templar Order.

I am glad that this component was brought back because it’s the only thing that separates the game from being a complete Viking experience. It reminds you that behind the entire story of the Vikings, there is a hidden narrative that’s untold.

Visual aspect of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Characters and Environments.

Just a few mins into the game, you’ll witness how beautiful and detailed the environment is. Some of the scenery is honestly so breathtaking that you could spend hours using photo mode to capture these moments. In Valhalla, the developers have outdone themselves by providing the players with a world that feels so realistic. When it transitions from a snowy mountain to a sunny forest, you can’t tell if it’s a game sometimes.

However, the same can’t be said of the characters. The design of the characters seem pretty basic and nothing extraordinary. Most of it feels like a reuse of previous avatar models from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As I played through the game, I even experienced some of the audio not syncing up with facial expressions. I thought this would have been fixed by now since it happened in Odyssey as well.

Character Customization.

Unlike in Odyssey, Valhalla gives you the option to customize how your character looks like, be it a female or male. This added feature is most welcomed and surprisingly quite fun too! You can completely change how your avatar looks like with different hairstyles and deck them out with tons of tattoos everywhere.

Customization options can easily be unlocked by just playing the game or by trading them from stores. You can also buy more premium options from Ubisoft online store, that uses real cash instead; something to consider.

The Bottom Line.

We have now reached the end of the review, and it’s time to decide if Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is worth your time? Honestly, everyone should play it. Valhalla becomes a notable game after a slow grind, and through it all, you start to appreciate how Ubisoft has tackled the Viking era to provide them with a humanized point of view.

However, if you’re a true fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise you might find the game less of an Assassin game and more of a Viking game instead. Strangely enough, that’s not a bad thing since the amount of fun you’ll have as a Viking in the game will be more than enough to satisfy your gaming needs.


A wonderful Viking experience that will make you want more of it, but struggles to be more of an Assasin’s Creed game.

The Good.

  • Character Customization.
  • A true Viking experience.
  • Combat gets better with abilities.
  • Environments are incredible.
  • Raids and settlements make the game stand out.
  • The Assassination list of targets returns, adding more value to the game.

The Bad.

  • Skill point page hides its contents.
  • Character designs are somewhat basic.
  • The stamina bar is redundant.
  • Unclear of what it wants to be, a Viking game or an Assassins’ Creed game.

Ibrahim's a hardcore gamer and Star Wars fan. He's obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi, even claiming that he's a descendant of the fictional Jedi Master. Other than that delusion, Ibrahim's pretty down to earth, collecting figures and buying games he'll never finish.

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