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AC Valhalla - it's finally over! (Full Spoilers)

sobaka770

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100 hours. It took me a 100 hours to complete this game. I’ve done the main quests, all the Order members are dead, Asgard/Jotunheim visions are complete. I’ve done roughly 80% of all the mysteries and artifacts, found Thor’s hammer and Excalibur – pretty much completed most of the interesting content.

And boy I got things to say. The main one being: STOP IT Ubisoft! Seriously, just take a breather and think about what you’re doing! AC: Valhalla is a good game. No it’s a great game on paper – good mix of new AC with some old stuff returning like 1-hit assassinations, social stealth and, personal favourite, finding bits of a video about precursor race through puzzles straight out of AC2 (only puzzles are worse in this one). It has meaty if slightly janky combat which gels well together once you upgrade your character with a few skills, it has good main protagonist and a likeable supporting cast. The raid system is fun and assaulting castles while obviously scaled-down feels quite epic. It’s a much better package than Odyssey and Origins in core mechanics.

That being said, the game is ruined, totally and irrevocably by it’s sheer length. I don’t always agree with SkillUp but his review was right on point. I totally loved my first 30 hours with the game, I kind of liked it at hour 50 – but the last part was me just dashing through cutscenes and repetitive slog to get to the end. And to what end?

  • The supporting characters and their arcs are underdeveloped. Because of the structure of the game you spend a few hours liberating a territory before moving on. There are a TON of territories (15-20?) That means you meet a cast of characters for a short arc and apart from very short cameos for some later on they are gone from the game. You don't see them for dozens of hours and their plotline never comes back. Remember how in ME2 you went on that suicide mission and you had a squad and they had a mission each and the game was 30 hours long and you felt the bond with all these guys? Well it doesn’t work when the game is 100 hours, you forget the sidequests you were doing in each region because they are all padding with similar missions. It's not great when during the final battle when I met them all my only reaction I had was: I don't remember half of these guys. And even if I remember a character the way they are written clearly shows how bad the structure of the overall narrative is. In the final region I learned Ubba died – I remember Ubba, he was in one of the earlier memorable regions, not the one where I had to break up a couple, but wait: he dies off-screen and an NPC is telling me that and we don’t really get to do anything? How about remove 10 of these useless NPCs, spend more time with 5 or 6 across all regions so that they grow with me?
  • The story is disjointed overall, and characters don’t make sense. Ubisoft apparently had different teams work on different regions and it shows in the chapter-based story approach but it also screws up the overarching storyline as well. Sigurd is supposed to be important but you barely interact with him after the first couple of hours and his character is all over the place. The climax of the story is muddled as usually is the case in latest AC games where you get a modern -day story dump in penultimate chapter and a totally underwhelming but apparently plot-resolving assault on a village(?)… I didn't believe it at first but it's true: after all the castles I assaulted in the game the last big fight is in a village and the alliances we made result in all our friends coming not with huge armies but seemingly by themselves in a single viking ship.It feels like there was a clear budget issue with the game ending as it just ends on a whimper of a mission without any emotional resonance. After the village is burned and you bury the dead NPCs No 1, 5 and 9 you literally return to Ravensthorpe and report back to Randvi and the game says – hey congrats you liberated England.
  • So many wasted opportunities. I get that Ubisoft is meandering with the whole Isu-present day lore and it’s getting always more complicated and doesn’t gel together but if you’re gonna put Excalibur and Thor’s garments and hammer in a game, have decency to at least have a quest for them? Am I asking too much but to provide some context to finding 12 treasures across the map or killing the three witches other than pure world exploration? If you are burnt out by end-game and don't visit the unremarkable cave in the last region you might even never find the damn sword. For all the stealing from Wither 3 – Ubisoft can’t seem to be capable of understanding that the greatest strength of that game was density and sheer world-building and cohesion. If there’s a chest with treasure in a game there was a good chance there would be a letter or an NPC having a brief line about it. Hunting for Witcher gear was not just finding it on a map, you had letters and rumours to guide you in the quest log. Sometimes it simply meant buying a map from the merchant, but it’s something!
  • 30 hours condensed awesome >>>> 100 hours of slog. Enough of games wasting my time because people want to "get their money worth". It's a videogame - you get your money worth in entertainment not in hours. I will not play Valhalla again. I will come back for DLC, but this is a game which will never ever be re-played. Just like Odyssey before – 100 hours of padding and shit side-questing while waiting for story bits to drop with glacial pacing is abhorrent game design. And what purpose does it even serve? I’m not sure how much Ubi makes on mcirotransactions for AC but I doubt people would buy more cosmetics and resources just because they have to spend more time in the game. Nothing in the store can even help making the game shorter this time, I was way overleveled by mid-game with just minor side-questing. Ubisoft’s own Watch Dogs Legion and Fenix Rising may not be as huge as AC but their 20-30 hour story is much more memorable, digestible and doesn’t outstay its welcome by much. Having AC entries become a 100-hour slog with not enough gameplay to support such length is stupid. I’d much rather replay AC2 or ME2 or even Origins (even purchase remaster) than ever touch Odyssey or Valhalla in a few years. I won’t even recommend the last 2 because they are simply too long and there are better ways to spend a 100 hours gaming.
OK, rant over. Valhalla overall is a good game, better than Odyssey for sure. But the sheer length and lack of memorable characters, quests or anything really just really shows the AAA Ubisoft design limitations – all of its games lack bite and character. It’s like a low-tier Marvel movie product – you’re entertained while you play, you want to see it through but once you’re done – it’s out of your mind, as nothing really sticks. It’s all focus-tested to be as bland and inoffensive as possible and therefore removes a lot of charm of the game. I won’t remember anything about Valhalla as nothing is memorable, not Eivor, not his village, nor his friends – they have no depth as the game is all width. And that’s a shame because it could be so much more and if trimmed this could be a classic AC adventure.
 

Aion002

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Thank you for this thread...
I just finished watching the 4th season of the The Last Kingdom and I was contemplating buying this just because of the setting... Thank you for reminding me of how much filler AC has these days.
 
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Pakoe

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I got bored after 20 hours, I think. I didn't do any side quests and just wanted to complete the main mission, but got stuck when I became underleveled. I stopped playing after that, no way I'm gonna waste my time on shitty side quests.
 
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Umbasaborne

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I also finally beat the main story after...72 hours. Ac odyssey was also long, but i thought it was a lot more fun. They let kassandra essentially be a super hero which made ancient greece a blast To run around and murder the fuck out order members and mercenaries in.

i concur though, i wish they would condense the main quests at least to 25/30 hours. The extended plot and constant padding really killed the pacing of a story that is occasionally interesting.
 
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Certinty

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Honestly can't believe you and everyone else who completed it managed to do it.

I gave up like 35 or so hours in, one of the most repetitive and boring games I've ever played even though it started off pretty well.

I'm honestly done with the franchise unless they go back to what the games once were.
 

Zimmy68

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I gave up after around 30 hours also.
I think I took over 3 or 4 regions.
I bought the Gold Edition since I was such a huge fan of Odyssey. I couldn't stop playing even after the end of the game.
I loved messing with different builds and becoming an OP god.
30 hours in and I still can't get into the combat with Valhalla. The stamina, the unblockable attacks, the bullet sponge enemies.
Worst thing of all for me, stealth just wasn't fun.
It isn't worth the time scouting a camp and going in silently and killing everyone. No letting out the wild animals and slowly taking everyone out as the chaos ensues.
In Valhalla, the quick time assassinations are a joke, you miss the timing and the whole town is alerted.
The gear has no sense of variation to me.
Anyway, I want to get back to it but it has been hard.
 

SJRB

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I understand your grievances completely and I agree with them 100%.

I played "only" 30 hours but even then it was clear that it just wasn't worth it putting more time and effort into the game. It probably has the best opening hours of any AC at this point, but once you reach England everything just comes tumbling down.
After "liberating" the third or fourth burrough I realised it's almost literally a carbon-copy every single time with a bunch of throwaway characters, barely any interesting plot, sometimes a bipolar Sigurd and an "EPIC FINALE" with a siege on a castle or village.

It's just not rewarding in any way to do the same thing over and over and over and over and over.

Also doesn't help that the story paints these viking invaders as mischievous rapscallions when in fact they're literally brutally murdering people and banishing them from their own homes while setting ablaze their towns. There's a massive disconnect from the "we're the misunderstood good guys" tone of the story and the insane things that happen.
 
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EverydayBeast

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(Assassins' Creed Odyssey's Ancient Greece for comparison)

England and the raid system is an all time achievement but I agree it should have been 10 less regions to conquer.

I liked the side characters, (Sigurd in the Raven clan, and early on, and also Ragnar’s children in England)



And OP is right it is a long, HUGE bombshell, distraction of a game, you're gonna want to upgrade your character, village etc. loot and raid and you'll feel overwhelmed but that's ok because if I want my traditional 15-30 hour game I'll go to Tomb Raider or a Naughty Dog game. That being said Ubisoft has to be willing to shave off a few hours of the game to advance their stories.

The games feel right to me and way more fresh than AC before Origins.
 

Raven117

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I actually really liked it. Its not Black Flag or AC2, but its definitely in the higher tiers of the AC franchise and maybe the best of the new style (Origins story was pretty good honestly...Odyssey sucked...sorry...) Yes, there is bloat. Alot of it. But you don't have to do it. (Well, most of it).

If AC is going to keep going on these vast epics, please, for the love of gawd, make just running the main story enough to keep your power level with the next story requirement.

The games are too long to have this whole "please go grind to continue the main story" nonsense. Just let me run the main story without slowing me down. That was the only time I almost quit because I was 70 power levels off the next main story quest. Also, maybe rethink the whole "searching for an underground passage or way into buildings to get gear and treasure." A few times is fine, but damn, did this get irritating after awhile. I just quit trying after awhile. Its boring took too long and happened way too often.

The highs of AC Valhalla are indeed high. But the lows were absolute slogs. Your enjoyment of the game is dependent on how well you manage the slog to get to the highs.
 
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Valentino

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What really pisses me of is I downloaded the Fenyx Immortals Rising demo and OMFG it was LITERALLY Assassins Creed Odyssey. This is what people mean by Ubisoft using the same formula (and not a very AC formula at that) and slapping AssCreed logo on the front. Didn't they already release a Viking game just recently too? For Honour?
Also like the Naval gameplay which you all bum the shit out of isn't very Assassin Creed-y but you all seem to allow it. And obviously now they're developing, Skull & Bones, an entire new IP inspired by their naval gameplay. It's like all their games are prototypes for each other and sometimes a new IP is born from it. Hence why AC is constantly ridiculed and found no middle ground. Oh but it's okay because they've brought make the incognito hood. YUM Assassins Creed vibes, all is well :pie_eyeroll:
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Games that promote open world always have to focus on content and hours of play. So with every game, you're almost always going to get bigger and bigger worlds to explore.

How often has an open world game maker said the new game is the same size or smaller than the last game?
 

SJRB

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What really pisses me of is I downloaded the Fenyx Immortals Rising demo and OMFG it was LITERALLY Assassins Creed Odyssey. This is what people mean by Ubisoft using the same formula (and not a very AC formula at that) and slapping AssCreed logo on the front. Didn't they already release a Viking game just recently too? For Honour?
Also like the Naval gameplay which you all bum the shit out of isn't very Assassin Creed-y but you all seem to allow it. And obviously now they're developing, Skull & Bones, an entire new IP inspired by their naval gameplay. It's like all their games are prototypes for each other and sometimes a new IP is born from it. Hence why AC is constantly ridiculed and found no middle ground. Oh but it's okay because they've brought make the incognito hood. YUM Assassins Creed vibes, all is well :pie_eyeroll:
The fuck are you talking about, "literally Assassin's Creed Odyssey"?

They're nothing alike, aside from being third person and both having an ancient Greek asthetic.
 
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AJUMP23

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I didn’t read the first post to avoid the spoilers, but I would like to be able to get Excalibur without all the hoops. Or just give me access so that I can use the cool weapons through most of the game and not just the end.
 

sobaka770

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I actually really liked it. Its not Black Flag or AC2, but its definitely in the higher tiers of the AC franchise and maybe the best of the new style (Origins story was pretty good honestly...Odyssey sucked...sorry...) Yes, there is bloat. Alot of it. But you don't have to do it. (Well, most of it).

If AC is going to keep going on these vast epics, please, for the love of gawd, make just running the main story enough to keep your power level with the next story requirement.

The games are too long to have this whole "please go grind to continue the main story" nonsense. Just let me run the main story without slowing me down. That was the only time I almost quit because I was 70 power levels off the next main story quest. Also, maybe rethink the whole "searching for an underground passage or way into buildings to get gear and treasure." A few times is fine, but damn, did this get irritating after awhile. I just quit trying after awhile. Its boring took too long and happened way too often.

The highs of AC Valhalla are indeed high. But the lows were absolute slogs. Your enjoyment of the game is dependent on how well you manage the slog to get to the highs.

I don't disagree. I liked Valhalla, I mean I stuck with it for 100 hours and came back to finish. There is an addictiveness in the core loop that Ubisoft perfected and it is a better gameplay than old AC. But for an RPG it's an empty boring title. I wanted to know how the story ended, there were good moments throughout but as a cohesive game it's like the lessons of Odyssey have been learned in a wrong direction (and yes I find Odyssey totally shit). Of all things that needed tweaking after Origins - length wasn't one of them. It feels like Dragon Age Inquisition - stretched just for sake of some business KPI and not making a good game.

The AC loop is fun for 30 hours. That's enough time to do a story, side-missions with a rounded cast of characters that are memorable. The problem starts when you make a 100-hour game and the gameplay simply doesn't have enough depth to support this amount of game time. Moreover the story just isn't good enough to warrant such commitment. There are so many characters by the end that even those that are memorable and actually are "recurring" like Ivar, Ubba, Randvi even Sigurd just get lost in the ensemble. At some point Sigurd got abducted by crazy paladin Fulke for like 30 hours of game time and that was a big thing but after that happens and you kill Fulke there are 30 hours more to play and that whole storyline is just lost in the muck. Instead of helping another king to get his cojones back to lead the duchy how about spending more time with a core group of characters?

This game needed to remove half of the regions - the ones with stupid one-shot stories needed to go, just cut cut cut. I'd even cut the trip to America - it's all bloat. The map doesn't need to represent the whole region, I get negative space but this ain't Death Stranding either. I enjoy AC as a game and I will play the next one but if it stays at 100 hours I might just wait for a discount. The excitement isn't there and I was really excited for Valhalla.
 
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sobaka770

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I didn’t read the first post to avoid the spoilers, but I would like to be able to get Excalibur without all the hoops. Or just give me access so that I can use the cool weapons through most of the game and not just the end.
You can get it rather early if you do the necessary locations. The problem is that there is no story to it, at least not one I could find. It's just a dozen special caves to explore across England and pull it out and it's an Isu artifact. It's a waste of a storyline imo - stuff that should be the core of AC and even modern arc is now just a side-activity for a mid-late game weapon.
 

Valentino

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The fuck are you talking about, "literally Assassin's Creed Odyssey"?

They're nothing alike, aside from being third person and both having an ancient Greek asthetic.
They even played the fuckin same. Obviously there are alterations - you got wings to fly around in Fenyx, the entire emphasis is on Greek mythology, the story is self aware and playful etc. But it was way to strikingly similar to AC Odyssey, but with it's own art style and story elements. And that's all I saw AC Odyssey as. A story set in Greece with the bare minimum Assassins aestheticism and lore. Fenyx was playing exactly like Odyssey to me. What i'm trying to say is why couldn't Fenyx have been what it was instead of us having two Ubisoft games which are practically the same but with a different visage. It's pretty blatant they took advantage of having these Greek assets and mechanics. The gameplay works in it's own way but it just ultimately diluted the essence of Assassins Creed.
 
Mar 23, 2018
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They even played the fuckin same. Obviously there are alterations - you got wings to fly around in Fenyx, the entire emphasis is on Greek mythology, the story is self aware and playful etc. But it was way to strikingly similar to AC Odyssey, but with it's own art style and story elements. And that's all I saw AC Odyssey as. A story set in Greece with the bare minimum Assassins aestheticism and lore. Fenyx was playing exactly like Odyssey to me. What i'm trying to say is why couldn't Fenyx have been what it was instead of us having two Ubisoft games which are practically the same but with a different visage. It's pretty blatant they took advantage of having these Greek assets and mechanics. The gameplay works in it's own way but it just ultimately diluted the essence of Assassins Creed.

U clearly didn't play the games if you think they are the same rofl.
 
Jun 2, 2017
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I clocked about 110 hours and finished it and I agree with Op....I know for the last like...30 hours or so I was just hitting the button to skip cutscenes.

It became one of those things I really wasn't enjoying much anymore..but I felt like I needed to see it to its end after doing all that bullshit.
 
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KungFucius

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Agreed. I was really into it for the first 30-40 hours but then it was a chore to get through the full 90 hours. It is just too much. I don't want to devote more than 2 weeks of full time labor to a game that could be done in half that. I played it with my 3090. I wish it was 30hours instead of 90 hours.
 
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Valentino

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U clearly didn't play the games if you think they are the same rofl.
I'm baffled. I'm really baffled. It's not even a rofl situation............. I'm basing this solely on the demo I played and there was enough in the demo to make me think "this is a cartoon version of Odyssey". I've just done a flippin google search and people are saying the same. Reused animations, reused assets. That's great and all, cuts time and money (just to ievitably have another 'spend money to progress game' and milk players for their money) but the general consensus is Odyssey was not a good AC game and was too big for it's own good. I'm NOT saying it's a bad game. But Fenyx should have been released and Odyssey shouldn't have happened. Well, as an AC game it shouldn't have gone ahead. Ubisoft said Valhalla wouldn't be as big, but over the months since it's release.... I just haven't had that impression one bit.
 

Loostreaks

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Still padded and with that levelled MMO system? 75 hours or so in with Odyssey, kind of enjoying it, but I'm not even half through. Honestly the most memorable moment in the game ( so far) was when I was killed by lvl 30 chicken. ( the whole thing was so dumb and hilarious, didn't even try to defend myself).
 
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Data Ghost

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Thanks OP on taking one for the team. There is no way, in this busy lifestyle of mine, that I have one hundred hours to pour into a single game.
 

Hezekiah

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Got this free with my SSD, but man, 100 hours is ridiculous. Haven't even completed Red Dead and it's quite daunting having such long games to try and complete.