Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Review: Vikings in Medieval England

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a massive fantasy epic, set during the dark ages of Medieval England and focusing on Viking settlers reaching the shores. There’s adventure to be had in every direction in this story-rich and combat-oriented stealth-action game, with choices to be made and alliances to be forged as you make England the home of your clan.

Make no mistake, Valhalla is a huge game, both in size and content, and you’ll have to avoid getting lost in it, writes Zac Kelly.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Vikings in hoodies

Three years ago, the Assassin’s Creed franchise hit the reset button. After a long run of producing very cinematic, cheesy, cool-to-play but overall quite mindless games, the series took a turn and moved on to loot systems, broad skill trees and more thoughtful gameplay. In 2018, the series would take this a step further by introducing RPG elements, where your choices determined the direction of the story in a terrific evolution of the franchise, and now in 2020 we’ve seen this trend continue.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest installment in the series. Much like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the game before it, it’s very ambitious, continuing Odyssey’s legacy by keeping player choice at the centre of the core design. Moving on from Odyssey, Valhalla is much more dense, rewarding you more for exploration. Although in doing this, it’s become a swamp of a game, where there’s so much content and such a long story that it’s easy to get bogged down and lost. All enjoyable, yet often middling and quite buggy, Assassin’s Creed is back.

Vikings sieging a saxon stronghold

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Love gaming? Head over to the Xbox store and pick up games for your PC or your Xbox device. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available for purchase on the store, and while you’re there you can pick up other games through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or the Game Pass for PC for just $1 for your first month. These passes give you access to hundreds of games on your preferred system. Click the link below to head on over.

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The story: Where am I?

Assassin’s Creed is always offering rich fantasy, action-packed, adventurous and, somehow, sci-fi stories, and Valhalla doesn’t break the mold. Valhalla is set during the dark ages in England, with a little bit of Norway in there, too. You follow a customisable Viking named Eivor, leading your clan of Norse settlers as they beach on English shores and build their new town on alliances and unity.

This story goes forever. Not until the end of time of course, but parts of it feel unending, and it’s easy to get lost in. It drags on for hours as you help kingdom after kingdom with their squabbles and issues of state, with huge choices and moments that can leave you fatigued after you perform one time-filling quest after another. That’s not to say the story and the choices aren’t good – they’re really great! There’s just so much going on at any given time that feels like it should have been optional or side quest material.

As for the side quests, the world is patterned with “Mysteries” that can range from helping some children find their father, all the way up to uncovering the mysteries of Stonehenge. It’s truly enough to get lost in, and if that’s appealing to you, then you’ll love this game. If you’re after a straight-forward game that is less embracing of an open world, then this might not be for you.

The world: Dense, beautiful, and full of reward

There’s so much to do in this game that is separate to the main storyline. Around the world there’s plenty of loot to find in the forms of weapons, armour, upgrades and such, hidden in caves, ruins, castles and more. As soon as you reach the shores of England, you feel as if there’s adventure to be had in every direction – and there is! Plunder, raids and glory await. Just be careful, as the game doesn’t want you to go anywhere at any time, and has some high level requirements for some areas. Travelling too far south too early will end likely with your death.

I really can’t underscore how much there is to do in this world. You can raid Christian monasteries (while also, somehow, making time to befriend the kings of the lands that they reside on), hunt dangerous beasts, plunder fortresses and delve into Roman ruins for secrets and treasure. The world is painted in things to do and places to explore. If you were looking for the kind of game to just sink your teeth into for a while, Valhalla certainly delivers.

A viking overlooking the world of Assassins Creed Valhalla

The gameplay: More of a Viking game than an Assassin’s Creed

Valhalla has some tight gameplay. Combat has been given a small refresh, giving us a much deeper system than the last game, while stealth hasn’t been built upon much. In fact, given the tone of combat this game has, focusing heavily on raids, fighting and things typically reserved for Vikings, you’d be forgiven for never going the stealthier option – there’s no reason to.

While stealth has you hiding in bushes, taking out enemies one by one, sneaking by large groups to get into locations and allowing you to slow the game down to a heart-beat pace, combat is everything. Fighting flows incredibly well, and lets you play your own way. There’s a massive range of weapons to choose from – daggers, spears, long swords, axes, bows, all kinds. You can even dual wield two shields and be a crazy Norse warrior known for beating people with two arm guarding planks.

The parkour is also nice, although it itself hasn’t changed much since the last game. Ultimately, for a Viking game, combat is everything, and the developers have gotten it right. For a future installment though, it’ll be interesting to see what is done on the stealth side of things.

A viking running towards battle

Should I buy Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?

I recommend Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. As a standalone game and an addition to the series, Valhalla seems to hold its own all things considered. The combat is clashy enough to keep you interested, the story is enough to keep you invested, and the world you enter is enough to keep you exploring. Right now the only downside to the game is the bugs, which are being patched out over time.

Where can I buy Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?

You can buy Assassins Creed Valhalla digitally on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, on the Epic Games Store or on the Ubisoft Store, along with physical and online retailers, with prices ranging between $69 and $99 for standard editions.

Love gaming? Make sure your NBN plan is up to the task

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla may be a fairly average-sized game, clocking in at 45GB on all platforms bar the Xbox One, where it is 44GB, however that doesn’t mean you should overlook needing a good internet connection for this game. The game will be receiving updates after release, such as patches and free content, which will be several gigabytes in size. Needless to say, other games need good internet connections too. See below for a selection of NBN plans fit for gamers of all types.

Gaming-ready NBN plans compared

The following table shows a selection of published gaming-ready NBN plans from Telstra and Aussie Broadband on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Cheap NBN plans compared

Not every gamer needs the fastest internet, and some people like it cheaper. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 25 and NBN 50 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

NBN 50 & NBN 100 plans compared

If you’d like your gaming experience to have a little extra kick, these plans will do the job. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

NBN 250 & NBN 1000 plans compared

If you want an NBN plan with some serious power, an Ultra fast NBN plan is for you – albeit more expensive. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Superloop logo

Unlimited Superfast 250/25

  • Superfast 250/25 Speed (NBN 250)
  • BYO modem
  • Special offer: $99.95 for the first six months, then $119.95 ongoing

min. cost $119.95 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $119.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Platinum Unlimited

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $116.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $128.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $128.90 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $128.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power User

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)
  • Special offer: $99 for the first six months, then $129 ongoing

min. cost $129 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Superfast NBN

  • Superfast Speed (NBN 250)
  • Typical evening speed: 215Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard.
  • Special offer: $140 per month for the first six months, then $180
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $3,459 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $140Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Diamond Unlimited

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $134.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $148.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $148.90 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $148.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power House

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)
  • Special offer: $119 for the first six months, then $149 ongoing

min. cost $149 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $149Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Superloop logo

Ultrafast 1000/50

  • Ultrafast 1000/50 Evening Speed (NBN 1000)
  • BYO modem
  • Special offer: $119.95 for the first six months, then $139.95 ongoing

min. cost $139.95 over one month

3TBMax Data**/billing period $139.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Ultrafast NBN

  • Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000)
  • Typical evening speed: 250Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard.
  • Special offer: $140 per month for the first six months, then $180
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $4,419 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $180Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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