📢 TIME TO REACH VALHALLA MY WARRIORS! 📢
Or spend ten hours chopping wood, same difference. 😅
Where did this come from? Well, me and my friends got together to play this co-op over the weekend and I felt compelled to make a post. At first, I thought to bring our play sessions alive through screenshots, but I thought twice and decided to dedicate a Through the Lens to it.
This won't become a thing, covering Early Acess games I mean. I try to give the spotlight to released titles, but we'll make an exception just this once.
Thus❗️ In this edition of Through the Lens 🎞, we'll be taking a look at Iron Gate Studio's viking survival RPG from 2021: Valheim. ◀️
(technically the game is still in development, and is not releassed yet, but let's say 2021 regardless)
Roll it! 📽
🔷 UP TOP 🔶
I really love this soundtrack. This is one of those that you can listen to while working or doing your chores. And if you follow these articles you'd know I don't say that often. Great soft tunes and great Nordic/Viking-like melodies. Really good soundtrack, highly recommend it. 👏
As I said this is probably gonna be a one-and-done in terms of covering an Early Access game. But I just had a lot to say to f@$# it. 😀 Played this for the first time over the weekend and I got a lot of thoughts. Some good, some bad. But this game is a mixed package if I've ever played one. Let's get into it!
🔷 SURVIVAL 🔶
The game functions as mainly a survival game with some minor RPG elements sprinkled in there to make the stirrup go down easier.
The survival elements are your standard survival game gimmicks. Nothing new here, nothing innovative. But it works. You get cold and need to make a cloak to stay warm. You need to stay by a fire at night or freeze. You need to eat, get out of the rain, etc.
The main difference is that these systems are very forgiving. Since the game doesn't dwell on them, they feel less important. But they still affect the experience enough to be important, which is nice.
TO eat food you have to hunt it. Either boars or deer. Then you need to cook them over the fire. Wait too long and they'll become charcoal. Cool stuff, right? It is cool. And I wish the game focussed more on these elements honestly.
It is an Early Access game, but it has been an Early Access game for almost 3 years now. In that time you expect there to be substantial content and/or balance updates. When in fact, the content has been almost non-existent, and the balance changes have been largely disliked by the community. 😬
🔷 RPG? 🔶
I think without a doubt the combat is the weakest part of this game. If you ask anyone that has played it they'll agree wholeheartedly. Enemy AI doesn't exist, and as such is frustrating as all hell. There are systems like perfect blocks and whatnot, but most of these are foregone because the best strategy in this game is to cheese everything. 🧀
This goes for the base building as well. All the best strategies, if you check YouTube or Reddit, consist of abusing the mechanics and cheesing the gameplay. That might be fun for some, but I personally want my games to not be so... breakable. I get it, EA, yes. But at the same time, this is the game. It was designed as such.
The RPG elements themselves consist of skills that you acquire from doing a thing (the Skyrim model), and armor that you have to craft. In order to craft it though you have to get said materials needed. This is fun until you understand that the armor does almost nothing to protect you. If an enemy wants to one-shot you, they'll one-shot you. 😅
Feels like the devs wanted to make the ultimate game, and ended up just making a hodgepodge of ideas that don't really align. I felt the same way with the ARC games. But, both ARC and Valheim are largely successful. So what do I know?
🔷 BASE BUILDING 🔶
Really quickly I wanted to talk about the base building in this game which I adore. I love base building in any game, but I feel this is the best since Minecraft. For a non-voxel game (voxel being the square design you see in Minecraft) it's the most impressive building system I've seen.
You can build almost anything. Combined with the fact that your building is important for airflow, and workbench placement - is great. I would of course want more options, but what is given is more than substantial. Now, I wouldn't say I like that the workbench is the barometer for where you should build. That feels like a piece of design that was an afterthought.
🔷 LEGACY 🔶
This game has an Overwhelmingly positive score on Steam and for the life of me I dunno why. 😅 I'm not trying to be a hater here, it's just I feel people give greater slack to Early Access games than full-release titles. This makes sense, but at the same time is not representative of the final product.
I have no clue what this game's legacy will be. Honestly, I'm not sure if it will even ever be released. It has a lot of content already, but literally nothing is polished. And this is a small team so I have no idea how they'll manage this all. They've already made their money, so what's the incentive to work on the game like they have already?
I guess we'll see. 👀
Thank you for reading, you rock! (and maybe roll) 👏👏👏
Shout-out to the 🍕PIZZA🍕 gang, 🤙 gang. 🤙
What's next? Who knows... I need to find another niche to talk about. 😅 Feels like I'm running out of games, but whenever I think that I get surprised by the number of games I've yet to cover. Hope you all enjoyed this more critical piece and I hope you'll join me for the next one.
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I hope you are having an amazing week! 🙌