The Gist of the Story
Our character was recently slain in battle. Their soul is sent to a purgatory realm called Valheim where they can battle some more treacherous foes and then die some more because they didn’t wear pants during a battle. (True story.) You are tasked with hunting down Odin’s enemies and bringing peace to Valheim.
By Odin’s balls, this game is good. The game acts as a survival game with building, crafting without the nonsense of incessant hunger, thirst, or sleepy meters bothering you at every corner. There is a hunger meter but that’s linked mostly to your health and stamina. The higher quality of food you eat, the more stamina and/or health you receive. Each food item you cook or find has a duration so its effect will fade as time passes. You can eat three different types of nourishment at once. There is no hp drain if you don’t eat unless a troll breaks your house and curb stomps you while you’re in it. You die in that case. When Death greets you, you drop your items in a form of a tombstone (sort of like a bloodstain from Souls games) but what’s great in Valheim is that your map tells you where you died and there doesn’t seem to be an expiration date so your precious iron and gear will wait for you.
The combat I would say is pretty solid. There is a variety of weapons you can choose from (Swords, Shields, Spears, Axes, Hammers, Bows, Torch) each with its own moveset. I normally select thrusting weapons so I chose the spear at first but the moveset has such short range for a spear that I roll with a sword. There are a block and parry mechanic. If you manage to parry correctly (block at the last second of the attack), you can stagger the enemy and damage them for critical damage. Make sure you gear up because if your equipment isn’t up to par, you will melt.
You will level up your stats constantly. Let’s say if you are running, you will improve stamina drain. If you’re mining with your pickaxe, you’ll increase its damage. It reminds me of the Elder Scrolls system (Oblivion and Skyrim), where you naturally increase your skills the more you use them.
Valheim also has a heavy emphasis on exploration. You’ll start with your underwear, but as you become stronger, you’ll be able to explore each new region more comfortably without worrying about a giant troll rushing towards you with a grin on its face. I am about 70+ hours in, and I know I haven’t seen everything. The game encourages you to explore and search for superior resources to outfit your Viking or the location of the next boss. When you find a boss arena, you’ll have to hunt for items in the boss’ region that allow you to summon the boss. Build a ship and sail to an unknown land. The sailing somewhat reminds me of Windwaker. Just an open sea. With you and your Red Lion King…(ok, that’s not in this game, but I wonder if modding can make it happen one day).
Lastly, if you don’t want to explore on your own, join the Valheim discord server or visit the Steam community, and you’ll find other Vikings to play with. Just be careful about griefers in the servers. I play solo for the most part. That way, all the resources in the world are mine and mine alone. I have played with a few folks, though. There are so many creative players out there. It’s amazing to witness how they construct their headquarters and handle the game’s challenges their own way.
Graphics and Technical Issues
For context, my specs are RTX 2070 super, i7 4790S, 12 GB ram. Playing on 2160p resolution.
Valheim has painting-Esque graphics, and it is beautiful in its own right. This is one of the best early access games I have ever played. The game does have poor performance. My fps does hover around in the 40’s medium settings. Others in the community seem to be struggling as well. It is slightly buggy. I’ve clipped through walls by accident or gotten stuck. Nothing major.
I absolutely adore this game. It’s calming and addicting. I am obsessed. Please, do yourself a favor and get this game. Add me, Vikings. I’ll see you in Valheim!
- Emphasis in exploration
- Solid combat
- Diverse weapons
- Freedom to approach the game your own way
- Long game time
- Poor performance
- Minor bugs associated with early access games
- For multiplayer servers, be wary of griefers and jerkfaces
- Structure placements can be finicky
Written by LadyTenjoin
Valheim (PC Survival Gameplay) | Thors vs. Eikthyr (boss fight)
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