Developer: Iron Gate AB
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Following in the well-trodden path of other survival games, Valheim is the newest darling in the genre. This game comes from the two-person Swedish studio, Iron Gate Studio, and the publishers of Satisfactory. This game is rooted in Norse mythology, where you are a Viking warrior recruited to fight Odin’s enemies in the afterlife beneath the branch of the world tree
As a survival game, this game contained many classic features with different twists. The base building is more robust in ways than others with an aim towards decoration. As this game does not emphasize PVP play, the bases are not needed to defend one’s base, so decorative aspects can come forth and flourish. Crafting is much the same as you would expect; gathering ingredients to craft better items is intuitive once you understand the basics. Much like other games of this genre, the world is procedurally generated from a random seed. In my playthrough I used 1337247afk to create the world. The combat system is adding a dodge and block system which is innovative for games of this style. This game supports multiplayer, which is aimed at cooperation and is a welcomed deviation from the genre. As a Viking, sailing, and boats offer an easy way to move throughout the level. Food and health systems are simplified, as food is used to increase stamina and hit points over time.
This game has many beautiful aspects to it. The art style is warm and engaging, with its retro low detail look. The art style stands out once you look over a large swath of land; with all the shaders and light effects, it creating a compelling look. Where it is not obtuse, the gameplay is easy to understand, and the key binds are thankfully natively straightforward. The base building, although fussy, maintains to be incredibly fun. The level of customization is very expressive. I built my first base on a rock outcropping and hoped to put large bay windows overlooking the sea, but my tech level did not allow for windows. I have seen charming mead halls built by players that truly emphasis the creativity that this game enables.
As this is only an early access game, some of the features may change in the game’s final form. One of the most significant issues I have in this game is the 3rd person view. Due to the foliage of the trees and bushes, there are times when you cannot see. This effect is exacerbated by the low resolution of everything. Even early into early access and there is no planned mod support, modders have made 1st person mods for this game, so I am not the only one having this problem. While I was playing another issue, I had was the availability of resources. While many of these materials could come by with extra scavenging, leather scraps, a necessary material for fair, too many things were exceedingly challenging to come by. Even while domesticating pigs for making leather scraps, I still found that I lacked that material. While deer hide, which could be made into scraps in the real world, was much easier to harvest and was not convertible into scraps.
As a player of survival games, I gad to correct a few things in my review. I prefer a contemporary or future setting for my games, and I err towards a more realistic aspect of my games. With, that the game is in early access and shows a lot of promise. The significant detriment to the game was grinding for resources that took me out of the game. In my 8 hours playing the game, I spent three-quarters of the time looking for resources.
Additionally, the progress of the game is hampered by the obtuse and cryptic instructions in the game. It took longer than it should get my base set up and delayed the repairing of my tools to lessen the grinding for resources. I did not get to play with friends, which may have lessened my enjoyment of the game. Overall, if you have $20 dollars, desire to go outside, and some friends who play it, go buy the game and pretend to be a Viking.