Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla wrap-up

Awhile back I wrote a review of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. I liked the game, though I felt it had its flaws.

Since that review, I’ve played other games, at least one of which (Ghost of Tsushima) was better than AC:V. Yet, in the long run, it was Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla to which I kept returning.

Part of the reason is that Ubisoft kept releasing additional content for the game. They added some puzzle quests that (eventually) rewarded you with cool armor. There was a Ragnorak expansion, that allowed Eivor (in Odin vision-quest mode) to visit Jotunheim, and later to venture into Helheim in a rogue-like adventure (that so resembled Hades that I thought it might legally actionable).

AC:V might not have been as good as other games, but it had a quality that kept me engaged. I’d leveled up Eivor to the extent that none of the enemies presented a serious challenge (at least, not at the easiest difficulty setting). This let me enjoy myself in brief spurts: Start the game, fulfill a couple of daily quests, maybe get some cosmetic improvements to my character.

After two years, which is an unusually long time for a non-multiplayer console game of this sort to receive support, Ubisoft is ending its active support for the game. They marked this with one final adventure. Through a set of “visions” (I’m avoiding some spoilers here), you see the events towards the end of Eivor’s life.

Eivor’s ultimate fate was never in doubt, since early in the original game (in a modern-day section) you see characters gazing at Eivor’s skeleton. Now, two years of game-play later, we understand how and why those remains got to their final resting place.

The game isn’t “dead.” You can still continue playing it for as long as you wish, gaining additional gear that was formerly only purchasable with real-world money, and doing the daily quests or go fishing or hunting or whatever suits you.

For me, that final story is enough. I had my fun playing Eivor, but I feel that story is concluded. Going back seems unnecessary to me.

In the end, I spent over 400 hours playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. That’s more time that I’ve spent in any other console game, and second only to World of Warcraft in terms of the amount of time I’ve spent playing it.

Well done, Ubisoft!

The next game in the series has already been announced: Assassin’s Creed: Mirage. It’s the tale of the earlier life of a character whom we’ve already met in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (and so, as with Eivor, we already know their ultimate fate). I hope that Ubisoft devotes as much time and attention to this new game as they did for this last one.

I also hope that there will be no timed platformer challenges…

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