Assassin's Creed Valhalla

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Wedgie » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:54 pm

A lot of negative feedback on FB. Saying it’s a step down from Odyssey.

Anyone feeling the same?

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Photek » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:45 am

Played first 3hrs, still in prologue of sorts. Going by reviews, it’s more focused than Odyssey which is a plus imo. Odyssey was way too big for its own good, if this is more like Origins I’m well up for it. I like how it’s far less icon heavy and the combat so far at least is a step up from the previous games.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by JChalmers » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:52 am

Never played Odyssey but I'm loving this. Played about 5hrs of it last night and still on the snowly landscapes of Norway. Love trying to explore finding al the mysteries and wealth nodes all over. Got three special abilities so far, knockout arrows, axe throwing and run, spear then ground and pound.

I'm loving it.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Finiarél » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:16 am

Played it for 4 hours last night. I love it, Map so far is massive and it doesn't feel like just space. Plenty of things to explore, collect and quest around.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Photek » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:34 am

I noticed slight screen tear (at least I think I did - it was so brief) in some cutscenes. If 'feels' like it's locked 60fps but if it drops down to 50, can't say I've noticed.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by JChalmers » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:03 am

Just left Norway after 6 hours, was funny seeing the opening title baring in mind I'd played so much already. But after that it went straight into the modern day cutscenes that I couldn't care about.

Wish they got rid of the whole simulation/real-world stuff and just made it a pure game based in whatever setting its in.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:55 am

Started this last night on PS4, this is pretty much my first Assassin's Creed since ACII. I saw my girlfriend play bits of Origins and Odyssey and I very briefly tried Origins myself but bounced right off from the lack of instant assassinations. I'm faring a lot better with this so far!

It's definitely jarring going from TLOU2, one of the last PS4 games I played, to this, and the comparable lack of polish in animations and transitions. It's typical open world jankiness, like awkward silent pauses with your character shuffling when you start a conversation and have to wait for it to load, or NPCs juddering about with their pathfinding when on scripted paths, or accidentally standing on a chest every time you run up to one to loot it, or interaction prompts being finnicky in what angle they will let you activate them from (there was one guy I was supposed to talk to who was sat at a bench. You can sit directly opposite him on the bench in a conspicuously open seat. You can't actually talk to him (at least in my experience) from the seat, you have to walk up to him from the side and talk from there).

There is a similar jankiness to the combat. It's surprisingly unweighty, with bodies being thrown unreasonably far by attacks - great fun when you send someone flying off a cliff edge or bridge, but mostly it just appears unnatural. Obviously a big thing in this are the raids, but the AI is kind of haphazard. There is no sense of formation, or pushing into a camp - you just have these free-for-all melees where the enemy is mixed in all over the place. When I did have a more scripted assault, needing to open gates for my forces to advance, I had the amusing situation where all my AI allies sprinted through a gate into the next area right past two tough enemies "guarding" the entrance, leaving me to fight them to get through myself.

The controls are proving difficult for me to adjust to. Light and heavy attacks are on R1 and R2 (as is assassinate on R1) and I really, really want them to be on the face buttons (probably square and triangle) instead. You can remap the controls to your liking, which is great, but there is only one preset which is the default and I'm worried about remapping badly not being familiar enough with all of the controls. If anyone has any suggestions on a good remap, that would be really appreciated! There are a few other control issues - holding R3 to ping is awkward, as I think any requirement to hold an analogue stick button is. I don't mind pressing once - for example L3 to sprint is good - but when you have to hold the press it's uncomfortable. L2 being aim and L1 being block has led to me aiming my bow when I want to block with my shield, but I think that's just something to learn to live with.

Something really noticeable in the game's design is its commitment to quality of life in moment-to-moment gameplay at the expense of pretty much anything else. It's like it has been playtested extensively and every single sticking point or problem has been smoothed and optimised away. This is great for some things - the autosave seems really robust - but I think it hampers the immersion of the experience, as well as overloading the new player with optional QOL features. When I first use the boat, it's actually more confusing to immediately tell me how to put it into the auto "follow coast" mode and subsequent auto "go to objective" mode when I actually want to learn how to pilot the ship manually and don't necessarily know the difference. Summoning the boat is one of the biggest examples of optimising QOL over immersion - you can near instantly spawn the boat to wherever you want complete with people popping into existence on its benches. Whistle to summon a horse and it will immediately run in from the direction of the camera, no questions asked, regardless of what far flung mountain you happen to be on top of. With climbing it is unclear what can and can't be climbed because too much can be climbed (I'm sure that must make sense :lol:). Surfaces still have grabbable locations, so climbing isn't completely BOTW free-for-all, but the visual distinction is unclear because you can pretty much get up anything if you try it.

I've just reached England, having stopped there last night after establishing my camp, but I definitely missed a lot in the opening map of Norway. Narratively there isn't really any point at which you feel free to go off and explore Norway even though it's the opening tutorial-like map, and I only did a little because I chose to sail round to a quest marker and stop at some places on the way rather than ride right there on horseback. It's weird because there are at least a couple of straight-up "are you ready to continue" choices gating the story progression, but saying "no" to them makes no sense in the context of the story! Example: When you're about to leave for England, the whole plan is to slip away quickly and quietly before Harold's men realise what's going on, so everyone gathers at the ship ready to go, and then you get the choice of saying "I've got some other stuff to do". It makes no sense for your character to choose this, so I didn't!

I think that gets back to the tutorialising being kind of bad. It's either incredibly blatant, like the po-faced assassination of straw dummies, or awkwardly thrown at the player through endless text prompts where really it's just assumed you have played the previous games. I got pretty frustrated with an early raid that wants you to burn things where I died from burning to death, because the way the fire works as an area of effect is some kind of black magic and of course every pot is actually explosive (what did I expect, it's a videogame). I've actually died quite a few times and it's slightly annoying that dying isn't always a game over. In the first "boss" for example I died but the game continued, and I'm concerned I missed something from not perfecting it! But then later in a "world event" (side quest) I had to beat up three people in a fist fight. I reloaded maybe five times before eventually managing it - the game forcing me to learn it's particular brand of parrying, dodging and stamina management - but it actually changed nothing and the outcome was the same as if I'd just immediately put the controller down and got my head kicked in. It wasn't the best experience because the loading on base PS4 at least isn't the quickest, and luckily I quickly realised I'd have to make a manual save if I wanted to keep reloading because every time I failed a new autosave would trigger, overwriting those I was relying on to reload!

Eivor's story so far seems decent enough. In the bridging between Norway and England you get thrown out of the animus and my god I have no idea what is going on in the wider modern day Assassin's Creed world. The series has really escalated and there is just a bunch of optional text and audio logs talking about things I have very little idea about, and even my girlfriend who has played a lot of the series couldn't tell me about :lol: I do appreciate it though, I love when sci-fi lore just gets out of hand.

On performance and bugs, the most notable issue I've had repeatedly come up is audio hitching. A line of dialogue will pause midway and then resume, meaning it will run over into the next line of dialogue. It's relatively annoying for its frequency but fine as subtitles are on by default (although they are really big, it's the only setting I have changed from default to make them "small").

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Photek » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:49 pm

I mean, fair enough racoon but you're being very nitpicky here:

OrangeRKN wrote:..like awkward silent pauses with your character shuffling when you start a conversation and have to wait for it to load, or NPCs juddering about with their pathfinding when on scripted paths, or accidentally standing on a chest every time you run up to one to loot it, or interaction prompts being finnicky in what angle they will let you activate them from (there was one guy I was supposed to talk to who was sat at a bench. You can sit directly opposite him on the bench in a conspicuously open seat. You can't actually talk to him

I'm on Series X and maybe it's the SSD but haven't noticed any pauses, no NPC's juddering about as of yet and I opened a chest perfectly fine. Interaction prompts over bodies can be finicky tho.

OrangeRKN wrote:There is a similar jankiness to the combat. It's surprisingly unweighty, with bodies being thrown unreasonably far by attacks - great fun when you send someone flying off a cliff edge or bridge, but mostly it just appears unnatural. Obviously a big thing in this are the raids, but the AI is kind of haphazard. There is no sense of formation, or pushing into a camp - you just have these free-for-all melees where the enemy is mixed in all over the place.

I feel the EXACT opposite, it's particularly weighty, sure if you finish with a heavy attack your enemy will get flung a little but that depends on what weapon your using, an Axe can hook an enemy as apposed to a sword, either way I didn't notice anything odd.

As for formation, what are you on about? The Vikings didn't attack in a regimental way.

OrangeRKN wrote:The controls are proving difficult for me to adjust to...

Git Gud.

OrangeRKN wrote:Something really noticeable in the game's design is its commitment to quality of life in moment-to-moment gameplay at the expense of pretty much anything else...

Whistle to summon a horse and it will immediately run in from the direction of the camera, no questions asked, regardless of what far flung mountain you happen to be on top of. With climbing it is unclear what can and can't be climbed because too much can be climbed (I'm sure that must make sense :lol:). Surfaces still have grabbable locations, so climbing isn't completely BOTW free-for-all, but the visual distinction is unclear because you can pretty much get up anything if you try it.

This first part is a matter of taste but trust me, it's handholding is FAR less than previous AC's and moreover, you can make it less or more in options.

The Witcher 3 and the last 2 AC's spawn your mount right beside you, bizarre to criticize this imo, same with visual distinction for climbing and comparing it with BOTW's system. :fp:

OrangeRKN wrote:I think that gets back to the tutorialising being kind of bad. It's either incredibly blatant, like the po-faced assassination of straw dummies, or awkwardly thrown at the player through endless text prompts where really it's just assumed you have played the previous games. I got pretty frustrated with an early raid that wants you to burn things where I died from burning to death, because the way the fire works as an area of effect is some kind of black magic and of course every pot is actually explosive (what did I expect, it's a videogame).

On the one hand you're annoyed at the 'Po-faced Assassination of dummies' (which itself is a bizarre criticism as the game is serious in tone - you know this) and 'endless text prompts' but earlier you criticize it having too much QoL. :?:

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:49 pm

I'm not going to turn off tutorials because that's how the game is choosing to teach me its systems and, not knowing the systems, I need to learn them! I just find popup text infodumps a bad way of doing that. The tutorialising of assassinations with the straw dummies is equally lazy, it's so obviously a tutorial rather than designing those teaching moments in more naturally. I call it po-faced because its such an obvious setup without an ounce of self-awareness over how silly it is (well, it ending with "you can even assassinate from haystacks!" was pretty funny but I'm not sure it was supposed to be, y'know?)

I don't think the instant mount spawn is a bizarre criticism because that happens in other games too - it's probably as equally immersion breaking in those as well.

On climbing it's that the game falls between the freedom of climbing anything and the calculated traversal of needing to pick out a route. The visual cues seem to suggest the latter but the actual experience I've had so far is more the former, and my assumption is that it's done for moment-to-moment QOL reasons. For example I ended up climbing up to a wealth chest from completely the wrong direction by accident in the opening area, and it felt a bit like I was cheated out of doing it the proper way. If climbing was completely free-form it wouldn't feel like there is a "proper" way, whereas if it were stricter and more directed I wouldn't be able to do it "wrong".

The lack of organisation to battles is most apparent in the part you didn't quote, with the scripted assault through multiple gates where my own assaulting troops would just run straight past the defenders. With the less structured raids you get similar but less severe examples like an enemy archer standing on the beach that everyone runs straight past, and then they can stand there shooting at me from a fair distance despite a fight going on one meter to his left or something. It's not the general melee that I'm objecting to rather than regimented battle because as you say that's pretty accurate for the period (although being able to order up a shield wall would have been cool as hell), it's the randomness of the AI's attention.

I do have to straight up disagree on the weightiness though. It's very fast paced, staggers are brief and rare, and bodies absolutely do go flying.

I don't want to come across overly critical, I'm enjoying the game so far! Just coming back on the above points in more detail.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the performance and loading is better on your version too.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by D_C » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:47 pm

I'm only about 2 hours in, already wondering if Hytham the assassin has any relavance to Haytham (Kenway)... Perhaps he's another of Desmond's ancestors?

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:59 pm

For a supposedly hidden society I loved how immediately recognisable they were as assassins :lol:

I enjoyed the dialogue option to deride the hidden blade too. Felt on brand for a viking

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Carlos » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:44 pm

D_C wrote:I'm only about 2 hours in, already wondering if Hytham the assassin has any relavance to Haytham (Kenway)... Perhaps he's another of Desmond's ancestors?


It's probably an in-joke like when you come across a kid in Origins called Esio

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Robbo-92 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:27 pm

I’ll probably pick this up once I’ve got through Fallen Order, plus I’ve got next week off in theory should be able to rack a few hours throughout the week.

Do we know what the DLC and whatnot is you get included in the gold as opposed to the standard edition? Normally I’d just opt for the standard edition but no idea what’s included in the gold edition/if its even worth it?

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:33 pm

Robbo-92 wrote:I’ll probably pick this up once I’ve got through Fallen Order, plus I’ve got next week off in theory should be able to rack a few hours throughout the week.

Do we know what the DLC and whatnot is you get included in the gold as opposed to the standard edition? Normally I’d just opt for the standard edition but no idea what’s included in the gold edition/if its even worth it?


Gold edition is season pass (Ireland druids expansion and Siege of Paris expansion) and an extra quest based on beowulf

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Robbo-92 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:38 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Robbo-92 wrote:I’ll probably pick this up once I’ve got through Fallen Order, plus I’ve got next week off in theory should be able to rack a few hours throughout the week.

Do we know what the DLC and whatnot is you get included in the gold as opposed to the standard edition? Normally I’d just opt for the standard edition but no idea what’s included in the gold edition/if its even worth it?


Gold edition is season pass (Ireland druids expansion and Siege of Paris expansion) and an extra quest based on beowulf


That actually sounds pretty tempting as far as DLC goes! Do we have a release date for it? If its going to be well into next year I might just buy the DLC at a later date.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by OrangeRKN » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:42 pm

No idea, I just got the standard edition.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Robbo-92 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:58 pm

Fair enough, it’s probably what I’ll end up opting for anyway!

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Seven » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:13 am

Since my partner got this for Xbox Series X alongside Yakuza 7, I've been playing it whenever he plays Yakuza 7 and I'm really liking it a lot.

I mean, I'm not sure if it beats AC2 or Black Flag for me but I'm still enjoying it regardless - although I haven't played Origins or Odyssey yet so can't make any comparisons with these.

I've not unlocked hidden blade as instead of main story I went around exploring for sidequests and treasures, haha. Really enjoying axe and shield combo, though I got flail and it's really fun to use!

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Rex Kramer » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:58 am

Is anyone else getting choppy audio on headset on Series X? Getting occasional drops and quite regular distortion. Haven't noticed it on anything else.

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PostRe: Assassin's Creed Valhalla
by Wedgie » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:09 am

Rex Kramer wrote:Is anyone else getting choppy audio on headset on Series X? Getting occasional drops and quite regular distortion. Haven't noticed it on anything else.


I saw in a Push Square review of PS4 version saying that the audio is blorked. Orange Ron mentioed he’s having some issues with the dialogue audio a few pages back.

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