Whether you’re a long time fan of the series or the thoughts of your own Viking saga have drawn you in, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is here for you. A great new addition to the series, it balances facets of the older games that players love, while adding some new things to make Valhalla stand apart from the rest. Want to find out what we mean? Well then, get some PlayStation Gift Cards and get the game!
With that, there are some things to know before you take a leap (of faith) into the game. Here are some tips and tricks to make your saga one for the ages.
A Story To Tell
There’s always the urge in open-world games to get past the tutorial missions and explore once you’re given free rein. While exploration is important in Valhalla, you’ll want to stick to the story rails for a little while longer.
One thing Valhalla shines at is using missions to show off the setting. There’s plenty of cutscenes and quests that provide time for you to be in awe of England’s shores or Norway’s frozen expanse. If you roam too early you may risk taking away some of those magical moments, and making those scenes feel more monotonous than anything.
Plus, there’s always the risk of running into areas that are out of your league at the moment. The game is good about using the majority of the map for missions, so don’t feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t go exploring early.
Eyes in The Sky
On the subject of exploration: when you do get to the point where you’re ready to wander about the map, you’ll want to do so in a smart way.
Eivor has a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to scouting. Between sync locations, Odin sight, and Synin the raven you have plenty of opportunities to unveil portions of the map and be on the lookout for enemies and items without slogging over every crevice.
Side note, if you do find yourself travelling large distances, there are a few things to keep in mind. Sync points are also fast travel points, as in the rest of the series. Also, your longboat and horse can be invaluable for faster travel across the environment. Especially once you build a stable for horse upgrades.
Respect The Respec
One thing in Valhalla that quickly draws your attention is the skill tree. It has three main branches (Wolf, Bear, and Raven) and each branch has a facet of gameplay attached to it (ranged, melee, stealth).
While it’s relatively easy early on to put points in a specific branch, you can’t see much of what you’re working towards. The designers took that into account, allowing you to respec the points you’ve used at any point.
This is a great ability, and should be used whenever necessary. Not only will you realise one branch may have a far-flung skill that you wish you had now, but it also comes in handy when facing different enemies or mission requirements. It’s perfectly easy to walk into one mission with a skill loadout reminiscent of a berserker, respec or stealthy bowman.
Fight or Flyte
In certain settlements there are options for brief minigames called flyting. In such, you and our opponent wager which of you can best insult one another while rhymin’ in verse. Think ancient rap battle.
To win, you must pick the best retort out of a series of possibilities. Pick the one that rhymes, keeps with the insulted theme, and keeps the rhythm and you’ve got it.
There’s a couple of things you get out of this. One, it’s just fun to do. Secondly, you double what you bet, and as a plus your charisma score goes up. This score can unlock special dialogue options when communicating with other characters. Such is your way with words.
A Settlement Needs Your Help
There are a lot of things to upgrade in Valhalla, but one thing that you shouldn’t overlook is your settlement. Through story missions and collecting enough resources Eivor can choose to build certain buildings that will prove valuable as you continue the game.
Some things you’ll want to focus on first are the blacksmith and stable. The smith lets you upgrade your equipment in return for gathering ingots, levelled weapons can easily turn the tide when fighting harder enemies. The stable lets you switch out and upgrade your horse, great for faster travel and cosmetics as well.
There’s plenty of other buildings for you to create and upgrade, each with their own benefits, so don’t just use your settlement as a starting point, go back often.
A Weapon for Every Occasion
Valhalla offers up a handful of weapon options to choose from. Each of them has its own pros and cons. It’s easy to find a weapon early on and just want to maintain that through the rest of the game.
Variety can be a boon though. Dependant on what you’re doing, different weapons and strategies may benefit you more than others. Slower enemies may be easily thwarted by the speed of the seax, while more sturdy ones may fall easier under the weight of the doppelganger.
Combine this with the earlier fact that respec is always available and you’ll realise Valhalla expects you to change things up as you go. Go ahead and have your favourites but play around early on with different styles of combat against different enemies. You may be surprised at the options you have available.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is definitely a great next step in the series. No matter what draws you in, it’s sure to impress. Just keep these tips in mind and you should be well on your way to the gates of Valhalla.
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