Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Neil Flynn 23.12.2021

Review for Assassin

There have been 12(!) mainline Assassin's Creed titles, and yet this is the first time that yours truly has stuck with one. Taking a look at something that is built upon so many iterations before it can be difficult, but looking at this with a fresh pair of eyes was the approach taken when writing this review. It probably helps that the TV Show, Vikings, has helped promote 9th century Norse explorers to this critic's more recent interests. Long story short, after a thorough review of the PS4 version, here's a look Assassin's Creed Valhalla, this time for Xbox systems.

The story is simple to begin with, and follows the adventures of a Viking, Eivor, who embarks on a quest with his brother Sigurd, away from the frozen fjords of Norway to invade medieval England. In typical Viking fashion, Sigurd intends to continue their expansion across England's many Kingdoms. Travelling around England contains heaps of small stories wrapped up in mini arcs taking a couple of hours each to complete. Each arc has new characters and environments, and varying routes to completion often culminating in a multiple choice ending that needs to be made at the end of each arc. Battling and assisting a wide spectrum of settlers across the land of England is a subtle, but very effective way to bulk out the story offering away from the main story and to create a bustling world around the player.

Screenshot for Assassin's Creed Valhalla on Xbox Series X/S

Take your Vikings out on raids, loot gold from villages, churches and other establishments, or even go after much larger targets such as castles to go for the top end materials. Civilian NPCs are detailed as they scream and flee away from the action. Exploration is done so well in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, with way points to help guide traversal so it is just as well that the vistas and scenery are so detailed and stunning to look at. This massive open world is gorgeous, full of detailed landscapes, environments, and life, including atmospheric weather effects from beautiful sunsets to foggy hills. Exploring the world is the primary method to upgrading gear and skills, by travelling off the beaten track and finding chests and boxes with rare materials. Stats and upgrades are done via a skill progression tree, while other upgrades are found in Books of Knowledge.

The skill tree has multiple branching pathways set out like a star constellation, such as The Raven which uses traditional style stealth combat, or The Wolf which focuses on archery and distanced combat, and finally the Bear which is focused on close range combat. The skill tree doesn't grant new skills, but enhances other attributes such as damage and defence, and it is somewhat frustrating to work towards a new part of the skill tree not knowing what the full payoff is going to be. Combined with looking for books of knowledge and progressing the skill tree, it can take quite a long time to really equip a full arsenal of moves, making combat feel slightly repetitive until newer moves are unlocked. Once they are there, there's a barrage of assaulting moves to be performed.

Screenshot for Assassin's Creed Valhalla on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It is highly satisfying completing a story arc or traversing the world and finding things that you felt that other players might not have stumbled across due to the nature of the open world and its use of way finders. The lack of load times on Xbox Series S is truly impressive given the nature of environments, landscape, and elements that are present on screen. There were a few issues from characters floating in mid-air, bizarre enemy AI, and straight up freezes, although these were far and few between given the scope of it all. Intuitive and varied combat help keep things fresh, even if it does take a fair few hours of gameplay to really get going. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a thoroughly enjoyable, open-world RPG that is an absolute must for Xbox owners.

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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